IEPD is now offering training that you may take on your own time! Once you sign up, you will have 2 weeks to complete the course - on your own time during that timeframe!! Scroll down to see what is being offered.
For Programs: We can create a "private" online course for your group using any of the topics below.
Sensory Processing (also referred to as sensory integration or SI) is a term that is used to describe the way the nervous system gets messages from the senses and converts them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) refers to a condition that exists when signals do not get organized into appropriate responses. It has been referred to as a neurological “traffic jam”. One research study states that 1 in every 6 children experience sensory symptoms that affect aspects of everyday life functions (Ben-Sasson, Caerter, Briggs-Gowen, 2009). In this course participants will explore methods that early childhood educators can incorporate into their programs that support and build resiliency in children with SPD.
Maria Montessori, the groundbreaking child development theorist, said of children and their way of learning, “The things [they] see are not just remembered, they form a part of [their] soul.” Montessori, like many other practitioners in the field of early education, saw the value in incorporating nature play into children’s lives. She believed that children should have opportunities to “run outside when it is raining,…rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade, and shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning.” This philosophy reflects the deep understanding of the relationship between nature play and children’s social-emotional well-being, which continues to be confirmed by modern psychological research.
Current research on the impact of nature play on children finds that time spent in nature provides many benefits to children, including improving social relations, self-discipline, creativity and problem solving, and buffering the impacts of life stress. In this workshop, educators of young children can explore current research about the benefits of nature play for young children, refresh their understandings about best practices for supporting social-emotional development, and apply their understandings to create rich curriculum to support development in a nature-based or outdoor learning environment.
It is estimated that each year in the United States, there are approximately 5 million children that experience some form of traumatic event 1. Traumatic experiences and toxic stress can have a lifelong impact and there can be physical, psychological and emotional effects on infants and young children. Many of these effects can manifest as challenging behaviors in young children. We, as early education providers, can provide children with compassion, support and safety by incorporating trauma-informed care and practices into our programs and help children to develop resiliency as they continue to grow and develop into adults.
 Deviney, J., Duncan, S., Harris, S., Rody, M., & Rosenberry, L. (2015). Inspiring spaces for young children. Lewisville, NC: Gryphon House.
Aesthetically pleasing early childhood environments benefit children, educators, and families. Creating this special environment requires more than adding “things” to the space, it involves considering your space, the function of the space, and the needs and interests of those that are in that space. In this training, participants will consider what they already have in their classroom or program and how to enrich this space using the Seven Principles of Design as a guide. We will explore inspiring spaces, the Seven Principles of Design, and cultivating inspiring children’s spaces. Bring your creativity, an open mind, and ideas to share!
Children are miracles…we must make it our job to create, with reverence and gratitude, a space that is worthy of a miracle. Anita Rui Olds
 Deviney, J., Duncan, S., Harris, S., Rody, M., & Rosenberry, L. (2015). Inspiring spaces for young children. Lewisville, NC: Gryphon House.
In this 5-hour training, we will discuss bullying, steps to take in setting up a responsive, safe environment including establishing and enforcing policies and rules, and activities to teach children about bullying. Once successfully completed, you will earn .5 CEU's.
In a 2018 study, researchers analyzed data from the National Survey of Mental Health and found that rates of anxiety and depression had increased in kids ages 6 to 17, from 5.4% in 2003 to 8.4% in 2011-12. . Some stress is both normal and, in fact, healthy, as it gives us opportunities for growth, such as fear of the dark and finding strategies to manage that fear. Stress in moderation supports the learning process as it can be motivating and increase productivity. However, when stress causes imbalance in a child’s life, it can have life- long negative consequences. Children react in many ways to stress.
In this 5-hour training, we will identify some of the causes of extreme stress in children, such as grief, illness, poverty, abuse, witnessing violence, and other traumas. During this training, participants will learn more about children under stress and strategies to help young children cope with chronic stress. Once successfully completed, you will earn .5 CEU's.
During the first years of life, infants are growing exponentially in all areas of development. During this time, a baby’s brain will grow and develop more than any time in his/her life. Experiences and interactions influence the quality of this growth and development.
During this 5-hour training, participants will explore multiple ways to support an infant’s development through the provision of relevant and engaging learning experiences, materials, and responsive interactions. Once successfully completed, you will earn .5 CEU's.
In this self-paced 5 hour course, participants will learn strategies for supporting school age children in their development of social and emotional skills. Once successfully completed, you will earn .5 CEU's.
A supervisor’s role in an organization is central and complex. This role requires certain abilities and qualities including the capacity to reflect and connect including reflection on current strengths and areas for growth. In this session, participants will consider the current climate of their program, reflect upon their qualities and approaches to leadership, discuss their role in improving organizational climate, and steps to move toward a more cohesive and healthy program.
This is a 5-hour, self-paced training. Once successfully completed, a .5 CEU certificate will be awarded
There are numerous benefits to reading to infants and toddlers. Some of these benefits include bonding, social/emotional development, and language development.
This 2.5 hour training outlines literacy development and the importance of reading to infant and toddlers. Participants will learn how to identify indicators of good books for this age group.
Articulating a vision for one’s work is the first step in the process of focused leadership. This process includes engaging in ongoing critical self-reflection, assessing one’s vision in relation to practice, including staff and families, and designing a process to achieve the vision. To work towards a vision, leaders must consider the dimensions involved which include; recognizing differences and supporting diversity in communication, interaction styles, and expectations. The path to attaining a vision for one’s work is an ongoing process involving internal and external steps. This training will assist leaders in defining, critiquing, and moving toward their vision for their work with children and families. This is a 5-hour, .5 CEU'd training.
Every infant and toddler needs positive early learning experiences to foster their intellectual as well as social and emotional development (Zero to Three, 2014). During this time, experiences and interactions lay the foundation for later school success. In order to offer a high-quality program, infants and toddlers need individualized, responsive and stimulating developmentally appropriate experiences that occur throughout the day.
In this training, participants will revisit infant/toddler development and explore providing sensory learning experiences based upon each child’s needs.
This is a self-paced 5-hour course which will award a .5 CEU to those who successfully complete the training.
The Strengthening Families approach was developed by The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) after conducting research on early care and education programs across the country. This 5-hour training will include a history of the Strengthening Families Approach, risk and protective factors, strategies to support families, and the early childhood educator self- assessment. Once successfully completed, you will earn .5 CEU's.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is a spectrum disorder that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. With a 15 percent increase in the prevalence of autism in young children, or 1 in 59 of children in the United States , it is important for educators to learn about ASD and strategies to support a child with ASD in in his/her program.
During this 5-hour, .5 CEU'd training, educators will learn about supporting children with ASD in out of school time settings. Participants will learn about ASD, explore ways to collaborate with parents/families and schools, and consider strategies to meet the unique needs of a child with ASD in the OST setting.
 The Autism Society. (2016). What is autism? Retrieved from http://www.autism-society.org/what-is/
 Autism Speaks. (2018, April 26). CDC increases estimate of autism’s prevalence by 15 percent, to 1 in 59 children. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2C03c91.
In this two-hour, self-guided course, educators of toddlers will learn about the social and emotional development of toddlers and identify the unique needs and strengths of this age group.
Exploration of art, music, dance, and drama bring us and our children joy. We all know it, but now research confirms and suggests that the arts can bring so much more to children. A recent study  showed Head Start children whose daily experience included music, dance, and visual arts demonstrated more cognitive gains overall than children who did not attend an arts-rich program. Equally important, the children also showed greater gains in social/ emotional development as well. Hold on to your paintbrush Picasso; this 5-hour training will review the ECE research emphasizing the importance of arts education for healthy child development. Participants will reflect on their practice and create arts activities that support development across domains, integrating an arts curriculum design.
 “The art of Head Start: Intensive arts integration associated with advantage in school readiness for economically disadvantaged children”, Brown, E.D., Garnett, M.L., Velazquez-Martin, B.M., Mellor, T.J., 2017, Early Childhood Research Quarterly.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It is a happy talent to know how to play.” In this very hands-on workshop, adapted from the NAEYC publication From Play to Practice, by Marcia L. Nell and Walter F. Drew, teachers will have the opportunity to engage in play experiences with open-ended materials. Participants will use reflective practices surrounding their play, embarking on a journey to rethink their approach to supporting children’s learning. We will discuss the role of play in children’s development, examine the relationship between preschool learning standards and play, and explore how celebrating the play experience can enhance curriculum and enrich the classroom experience. We will also discuss the role that “loose parts” and open-ended play materials can enrich a learning environment and the experiences we present to children. This workshop is intended to inspire, rejuvenate, and strengthen the vision of early childhood teachers and administrators, while reinforcing the importance of play in early childhood development and learning.
 Nell, M. and Drew, F. 2013., From Play to Practice: Connecting Teacher’s Play to Children’s Learning, NAEYC
Relationships form the framework of quality early education and care programming in a setting where children feel safe and secure. Use of respectful collaboration results in continuity of care for the child. Throughout this 5-hour training, participants will explore strategies to form productive relationships with families, and within their community, which benefit the child, family, educators, and members of the community. Once successfully completed, you will earn .5 CEU's.
Maria Montessori, la pionera teórica del desarrollo infantil, dijo sobre los niños y su forma de aprender: "Las cosas que [ellos] ven no solo se recuerdan, sino que forman parte de [su] alma". Montessori, como muchos otros profesionales en el campo de la educación temprana, vio el valor de incorporar el juego con la naturaleza en la vida de los niños. Ella creía que los niños deberían tener la oportunidad de "correr afuera cuando llueve, ... descansar en paz cuando un árbol los invita a dormir bajo su sombra, y gritar y reír cuando el sol los despierte por la mañana". Esta filosofía refleja la profunda comprensión de la relación entre el juego con la naturaleza y el bienestar socioemocional de los niños, que sigue siendo confirmada por la investigación psicológica moderna.
La investigación actual sobre el impacto del juego con la naturaleza en los niños encuentra que el tiempo que pasan en la naturaleza les brinda muchos beneficios, como mejorar las relaciones sociales, la autodisciplina, la creatividad y la resolución de problemas, y amortiguar los impactos del estrés de la vida.  En este taller, los educadores pueden explorar la investigación actual sobre los beneficios del juego en la naturaleza para los niños pequeños, actualizar sus conocimientos sobre las mejores prácticas para apoyar el desarrollo socioemocional y aplicar sus conocimientos para crear un currículo rico para apoyar el desarrollo en la naturaleza. entorno de aprendizaje al aire libre o al aire libre
Children notice differences in others starting at birth. This includes awareness of variances in physical appearance and abilities, gender, culture, and families (Derman-Sparks, L., 2009 & York, S., 2016). Teachers may notice that children use stereotypes and social labels when interacting with others (or avoiding them). As cognitive abilities advance, children question differences regarding race and culture. During this time, a child’s experiences and perceptions influence the development of acceptance or prejudice.
In this workshop, we will explore stages of children’s developing awareness of differences from infancy through age 5. This will include discussion on children’s developing awareness of diversity, attitudes toward race and culture, and their tendency to exclude and include others based upon certain stereotypes. Participants will explore strategies to teach children about diversity and a respect for differences.
Curriculum should offer experiences that help children learn about themselves and the world around them. Planning for the curriculum is based upon the educator’s observations of and conversations with children regarding their needs, strengths and interests. This is the foundation of curriculum development that serves to engage children in learning. This shifts the role of the educator from the one imparting the knowledge to the one enhancing learning by working with the children and guiding them!
In this 2.5-hour workshop, we focus on the importance of helping children build confidence in their abilities and increase engagement in learning using a child-centered approach in afterschool program planning. A child-centered approach focuses on planning based upon children’s interests and unique needs as well as integrating the educator’s talents and interests in planning. Join us as we weave together strategies to support learning by exploring children and educator’s strengths and talents, interests and needs, and program goals. We will also explore how to engage families and access community resources as a comprehensive approach to curriculum planning.
Once the training is successfully completed, a 2.5-hour training certificate will be issued.
As more early education and care programs include children with special needs, it is important for educators and staff to understand who these children are, the needs of the child and family, and the educational and therapeutic services they typically receive. This course offers an overview of children with special needs and is especially suited for early education and care providers who have not yet included children with special needs in their programs. Information will be offered on Early Intervention and the IFSP, Special Education and the IEP, and the impact on families of having a child with special needs. Resources for learning about specific diagnoses will be offered and specific internet sites will be explored.
Challenging behavior can be a result of a need for social and emotional skill development. Using the Pyramid Model, participants will explore the importance of establishing and maintaining positive relationships and designing an environment and activities that promote social and emotional skill development. During this training, participants will learn and practice techniques that promote positive behavior and prevent challenging behavior. Resources adapted from The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) will be shared with participants for use supporting children’s social and emotional development.
Food allergies affect 1 in 13 children in the United States, with young children being affected the most. Food allergies, food intolerances and other feeding issues are an increasing concern for early education and care programs. Participants will learn how to address the needs of children with food allergies or intolerance; and be introduced to the health and safety needs of children with special dietary needs and ways to support these children and collaborate with families and health professionals. Participants will become familiar with an individual health care plan for children with special diets, allergies, and specialized feeding issues in their program and how to use a child’s IHP within their program.
The Institute for Education and Professional Development, Inc.
298 N. Main St., PO Box 366, N. Uxbridge, MA 01538
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