eLearning Course Catalog

Discover 100+ On Demand, Mobile-First Professional Development Courses Brought to You by Think Small Institute

Online early education trainings in the area of Assessment and Evaluation, Early Childhood Development, Early Childhood Learning, Family Engagement, Health and Well-Being, Policy and Advocacy, Quality Improvement, and Professionalism. The on demand courses allow you to grow your early educational knowledge at a pace that works for you.

Sign up today to start your early education journey with early education courses from the Think Small Institute.

Premium On-Demand Courses

Quality is Good Business

In this engaging course developed by Think Small Institute experts, discover how participation in an early childhood quality rating and improvement system is most beneficial for business longevity, financial stability, and child outcomes. Explore how unique learning environments are supported. Develop a continuous improvement plan to support both your program’s quality programming and business success.

KCF: IV.C
CDA: Content Area V

Log In To Register >>

Premium, on-demand course created by the Think Small Institute.

Crafted with exceptional quality in mind for a premium experience you can access anytime for learning hours
KCF: IV.C and/or CDA: Content Area V.

Assessment and Evaluation

Child Care in Mixed-Age Groupings elearning course from think small institute

Child Care in Mixed-Age Groupings

In this course you will learn ways to provide activities, how to physically arrange the learning environment, and how to equip your family child care early learning program to support the growth and development of children of mixed ages. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1: Planning a Safe and Healthy Environment to Invite Learning, as well as CDA Subject Area 5: Strategies to Manage an Effective Program Operation. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: IV.C
CDA: Content Area V

Log In To Register >>

Developing Methods of Observation elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Developing Methods of Observation

High quality inclusion programming supports the education and care of children with disabilities alongside their typically-developing peers. Yet many educators feel that they are not equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for understanding and implementing inclusion practices for the children they care for. What does inclusion mean in an early childhood setting? Begin the inclusion conversation today. Explore the meaning and awareness needed to promote high quality inclusion practices. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum and covers CDA Subject Area 8, Understanding Principles of Child Development and Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: IV.A
CDA: Content Area VII

Log In To Register >>

Fundamental Tools to Monitor Child Development elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Fundamental Tools to Monitor Child Development

Observation, documentation, and assessment are fundamental tools used to carefully monitor a child’s development. The overall purpose is to help early care and education professionals decide how to support each child’s development. Learn about observation, documentation, and assessment to help identify and support children’s interests, developmental ability, and progress. Use assessment activities to review and build on quality care for preschoolers. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum, and covers CDA subject area 7: Observation and Assessment. It can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: IV.B
CDA: Content Area VII

Log In To Register >>

Multi-Age Learning and Interaction elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Multi-Age Learning and Interaction

Mixed-age groupings expand learning opportunities for children of differing developmental skills and stages. Adults in mixed-age child care programs can learn more about the children in their care, and can support learning in intentional ways, through observation of multi-age interactions. Explore advantages, challenges, and unique concerns of working with mixed-age groups. This course is also designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA subject area 1, Planning a Safe, Healthy Environment to Invite Learning and CDA 5: Strategies to Manage an Effective Program Operation. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: IV.C
CDA: Content Area V

Log In To Register >>

Observation and Assessment of the Learning Environment elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Observation and Assessment of the Learning Environment

Research finds that the quality of a child’s early learning environment has a significant impact on his well-being and ability to learn. This course focuses on two significant aspects of environmental quality: the relationships and rich interactions that happen in the classroom, and the physical setting and learning materials. Special emphasis is placed on observation and assessment of the learning environment to make improvements and support positive outcomes for children. The course covers how professionals who work with young children can use observation and assessment as a way to support children’s development (social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and approaches to learning), inform teaching practices, enhance interactions with children, and plan activities for young children. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum, and covers CDA subject area 7: Observation and Assessment. It can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: IV.B
CDA: Content Area VII

Log In To Register >>

Planning for and Implementing Transitions elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Planning for and Implementing Transitions

Most early childhood professionals say transitions are especially difficult times for young children. This course focuses on helping children as they move from one activity to another throughout the day. In this course, participants will: Analyze transition times during the day to determine where improvements need to be made; and Identify four tools to use to improve daily transition times with children. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 5: Strategies to Manage Effective Program Operation and may also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: IV.C
CDA: Content Area V

Log In To Register >>

Selecting and Implementing Curriculum to Support Learning elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Selecting and Implementing Curriculum to Support Learning

This course explores curriculum development for early childhood programs. Identify factors to consider when selecting activities, courses, and resources for young children. Learn strategies for effectively implementing curriculum to support children’s learning and skill development. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 5: Strategies to Manage Effective Program Operation, and CDA Subject Area 7: Observation and Assessment. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: IV.B
CDA: Content Area VII

Log In To Register >>

Supporting Children and Families Through Transitions elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Supporting Children and Families Through Transitions

A child experiences many transitions while in child care—Not just moving from one activity to another, but also moving into and out of groups and programs. This course looks at the different transitions a child may experience, such as enrolling in a new child care program, moving to a new room in an existing child care program, or leaving a program. Learn how practitioners can support children during these transitions. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 5: Strategies to Manage Effective Program Operation. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: IV.C
CDA: Content Area V

Log In To Register >>

The Relevance of the Child-Caregiver Attachment elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

The Relevance of the Child-Caregiver Attachment

Numerous attachment theorists identify the importance of children’s early, secure attachment bonds. Children’s relationships with their significant caregivers are the primary means for fostering healthy social and emotional development. This course introduces research and information focused on the attachment relationship, with special emphasis on observing and documenting teacher-child relationship quality to support positive outcomes for children. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum, and covers CDA subject area 7: Observation and Assessment. It can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: IV.B
CDA: Content Area VII

Log In To Register >>

The Six P's of Marketing School-Age Programs elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

The Six Ps of Marketing School-Age Programs

Effective marketing of school-age programs is a systematic process that involves research, analysis, assessment of market trends and needs, short-term and long-term planning, and development of effective strategies to promote school-age program services and develop a positive image of the program in the community. It is important for school-age care leaders to recognize that marketing is a far reaching process that includes, but is not limited to, advertising and publicity. When leaders take a comprehensive approach to marketing, their programs and projects have an excellent chance of success. Knowledge and understanding of the marketing process is an invaluable tool for leaders as they plan and implement new programs and projects, assess the stability and need for improvement of current programs, develop plans for new or expanded programs, and develop a positive public image of the program and its services.

KCF: IV.C
CDA: Content Area V

Log In To Register >>

Early Childhood Development

ADHD elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

ADHD

In a 2015 survey, one half of children in preschool were on medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). People with ADHD tend to be visionaries, dreamers, explorers, inventors, and trend setters. In this course, we will explore ADHD as a disorder that can negatively affect a child’s life, and as a trait that may be beneficial in helping a child grow into a successful adult. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum and covers CDA Subject Area 8, Understanding Principles of Child Development and Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: I
CDA: Content Area VII

Log In To Register >>

Brain Development in Infants and Toddlers elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Brain Development in Infants and Toddlers

Brain development has changed over the last 20 years. Early brain development focused mainly on the intellectual aspects of the brain, but over the last 10 years, more focus has been placed on the social emotional exchanges in infancy and how that affects brain development. Early experiences predispose how children see the world. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ curriculum and covers CDA Subject Area 8, Understanding Principles of Child Development and Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: I
CDA: Content Area VIII

Log In To Register >>

Building Foundations for Language and Literacy Development elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Building Foundations for Language and Literacy Development

Current brain research shows that infants’ brains are wired to learn and understand any language, but talking with infants is necessary for them to learn to speak. Discover ways to support language and literacy development in infants and toddlers. Assess current practices and determine whether improvements are needed to build foundations for language and literacy development in the early years of life. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum and covers CDA Subject Area 8, Understanding Principles of Child Development and Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: I
CDA: Content Area VII

Log In To Register >>

Developing High Quality Inclusion Practices elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Developing High Quality Inclusion Practices

High quality inclusion programming supports the education and care of children with disabilities alongside their typically-developing peers. Yet many educators feel that they are not equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for understanding and implementing inclusion practices for the children they care for. What does inclusion mean in an early childhood setting? Begin the inclusion conversation today. Explore the meaning and awareness needed to promote high quality inclusion practices. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum and covers CDA Subject Area 8, Understanding Principles of Child Development and Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: I
CDA: Content Area VIII

Log In To Register >>

Exploring the Continuum of Developmental Tasks of School-Age Children from ages 5-12 elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Exploring the Continuum of Developmental Tasks of School-Age Children from 5 to 12

Understanding the continuum of ongoing development between the ages of 5 and 12 provides the foundation for planning and implementing successful school-age programs. When staff know and understand the developmental tasks of school-age children, they can work with children and colleagues to design effective environments, plan engaging activities, set appropriate expectations and limits, and guide children’s behavior effectively.

KCF: I
CDA: Content Area VIII

Log In To Register >>

The Importance of Stimulating and Focused Interaction elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

The Importance of Stimulating and Focused Interaction

Quality interactions set the stage for how children experience learning and supportive relationships with teachers and their peers. How early care and education (ECE) professionals interact with children, and provide instruction within their programs, matters to children’s growth and development. Research shows the importance of stimulating, focused interactions starting in infancy. Learn effective strategies to promote meaningful interactions and positive outcomes for children. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum and covers CDA Subject Area 8, Understanding Principles of Child Development and Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum

KCF: I
CDA: Content Area VIII

Log In To Register >>

Understanding Learning Theories  elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Understanding Learning Theories

This Course explores what it means to understand and apply various learning theories in the classroom and in teaching. Discover what concepts to consider when determining activities, courses, and materials that are appropriate for an age group and for individual children. In this course, learners will: Identify the learning theory in action in three examples; Understand the important role research plays in understanding children’s learning; and Implement any changes needed to assure all children are provided with positive growth experiences. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum and covers CDA Subject Area 8, Understanding Principles of Child Development and Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: I
CDA: Content Area VIII

Log In To Register >>

Early Childhood Learning

Benefits of Connecting Seniors and Young Children elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Benefits of Connecting Seniors and Young Children

This course focuses on involving senior adults in child care and education programs. Discover the benefits to the children, senior adults, your program and you when seniors are involved. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 3: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development and may also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.C
CDA: Content Area III

Log In To Register >>

Children's Temperament: A practical Approach to Meeting Individual Needs elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Children’s Temperament: A Practical Approach to Meeting Individual Needs

Every child comes into this world as a unique individual, with unique ways of responding to the world in the expression of their emotions and actions. This is called temperament. Being able to recognize and understand differences in temperament differences is crucial for nurturing a child’s social emotional health. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 3: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.C
CDA: Content Area III

Log In To Register >>

Creating a Supportive Classroom Community elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Creating a Supportive Classroom Community

Learn ways to bring out nurturing, caring behaviors in children and youth to create a classroom community where children and youth support each other. Learn how to use non-competitive games to foster acceptance of all children and youth. Identify the strengths and weaknesses for both you and the children and youth in your program, and how to put the strengths to good use creating a sense of acceptance and community. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 3: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development and may also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.C
CDA: Content Area III

Log In To Register >>

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School-Age Environments elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School-Age Environments

Keeping school-age children healthy is a major priority for school-age programs. This requires giving careful attention to setting up the environment in a way that promotes healthy habits, and using effective strategies for monitoring and maintaining a hygienic environment. Because school-age children are growing towards independence, it is also important to help them develop habits and behaviors for living a healthy life-style.

KCF: VII.A
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Developing Activities that encourage creativity and cognitive development  elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Developing Activities That Encourage Creativity and Cognitive Development

Children who regularly attend school-age programs need many opportunities to engage in activities that will help them develop their creative potential and apply their emerging thinking abilities and skills. To support children’s needs, it is essential for school-age staff to understand the creative process, and the relationship of cognitive development to creativity. With this knowledge and understanding, staff can design and implement a program that encourages a sense of wonder as children explore their environment, fosters creative imagination, and enhances children’s ability to apply reasoning skills appropriately as they develop ideas and encounter challenges, problems, and opportunities.

KCF: II.B
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Developing Activities That Support Character Development and Promote Social Interaction elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Developing Activities That Support Character Development and Promote Social Interaction

School-age programs can provide children with many opportunities to work on character development. Staff who are knowledgeable about character development can create program experiences that help individual children bring out their best inner qualities as they interact with peers and adults outside the family. Staff can also use this knowledge to help children make positive contributions to the program, their school, their community, and to the world beyond their community.

KCF: II.B
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Developing and Implementing Effective Indoor Interest Areas elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Developing and Implementing Effective Indoor Interest Areas

In order to operate an effective school-age program environment, it is essential for staff to know how to design, set up, and operate a variety of different interest areas that meet the developmental needs of school-age children. Effective interest areas are multi-dimensional; they provide a wide variety of activity options within the area. Effective interest areas provide children with opportunities to work and play independently on their own or with others. They also provide a setting for focused, staff-led activities designed to introduce children to new concepts and skills. Staff in quality school-age programs know how to work with colleagues and children to define, develop, and manage a wide variety of interest areas.

KCF: II.A
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Developing Important and Successful Communications Skills elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Developing Important and Successful Communications Skills

Communication is critical in helping children develop language and social emotional skills, and connects to all other domains of learning. This course provides child care practitioners with communication tips for infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children. Good communication skills help children adjust to transitions, enhance their play and learning experiences, build relationships, and help children learn to solve problems. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 3: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.C
CDA: Content Area III

Log In To Register >>

Enhancing Emotional Literacy in Children Ages 3 Through 5 elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Enhancing Emotional Literacy in Children Ages 3 Through 5

Supporting children’s social and emotional development is key to school readiness and overall healthy growth and development. This course introduces evidence-based social emotional practices for use with preschoolers suggested by the Pyramid Model and resources from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL). This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 3: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.C
CDA: Content Area III

Log In To Register >>

Enhancing Emotional Literacy in Children from Birth to Age 3 elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Enhancing Emotional Literacy in Children from Birth to Age 3

Supporting children’s social and emotional development is key to school readiness and overall healthy growth and development. This course introduces evidence-based social emotional practices for use with preschoolers suggested by the Pyramid Model and resources from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL). This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 3: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.C
CDA: Content Area III

Log In To Register >>

Guiding the Behavior of Individual Children elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Guiding the Behavior of Individual Children

This knowledge and understanding will help students develop strategies for creating programs that encourage individual children to develop self-discipline and self-direction, establish positive relationships with others, and exhibit respect for program materials and equipment and the rights of others.

KCF: II.B
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Hands-on Math Learning Activities elearning course from Think Small Institute's online courses and professional development catalog

Hands-On Math Learning Activities

Math learning for young children encompasses much more than being able to recognize and count numbers. In this course you will see demonstrations of math-related activities that can be used with infants and toddlers and more advanced activities to use with preschool children. Discover why hands-on learning is the best way for children to learn about math. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 2: Steps to Advance Children’s Physical and Intellectual Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.B
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Incorporating Physical Activity Into Every Day

Child care providers face unique challenges to offering and participating in physical activities with the children in their care. This course provides practical, economic solutions to barriers that can influence a child care provider’s ability to lead successful physical activities whether the issue is space, cost, or provider ability. Learn from a leading physical education expert about fun ways to incorporate more physical activity into every day. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 2: Steps to Advance Children’s Physical and Intellectual Development, and will fulfill 2 hours of the 120 hours of formal early childhood education training required before you may sit for the CDA exam. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.D
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Management of Effective Preschool Child Care Environments

To promote healthy development and learning, preschoolers need access to environments and routines that are interesting, appropriate, and supportive to each child. In this course, you will learn ways to create and manage effective environments and routines that work for young children; identify how developmental milestones, abilities, and culture influence the preschool environment; assess your current learning environment; and plan strategies to improve and maintain the working preschool environment. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1: Planning a Safe, Healthy Environment to Invite Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.A
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity

Research indicates that 25% of children do not get MVPA during their regular day. This Course explores the importance of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in order to promote healthy habits in children. For happier, healthier, and stronger children, plus to maintain healthy body weight, discover ways to encourage children to get moving, and be physically active. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 2: Steps to Advance Children’s Physical and Intellectual Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.D
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Planning and Implementing Everyday Physical Activities

Physical activity is as important for the growth and development of young children as the establishment of healthy eating habits is. Successful introduction of movement to children requires well-organized, fun, inclusive activities that have clear instructions and planned transitions. Children enjoy outdoor physical activities that enable everyone to participate. In this course you will learn how to: Describe the benefits of physical activity; Identify goals for physical activity movement for young children; Determine essential elements for successful leadership of physical activities with young children; Understand the importance of role modeling physical activities with young children; and plan at least one new activity to implement with children in the child care setting. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 2: Steps to Advance Children’s Physical and Intellectual Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.D
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Positive Guidance Toward Problem-Solving

Early stages of exploration and interactions among infants and toddlers include common behaviors such as when a child grabs toys, pulls hair, hits, pushes, pokes, and bites. This Course shares why young children resort to these behaviors, and how professionals can use positive guidance to help children learn to solve problems without hurting others. Assessments of current guidance practices are included to determine if improvements are needed to enhance the quality of care for infants and toddlers. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 3: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.C
CDA: Content Area III

Log In To Register >>

Prompting Executive Function Skills

Executive function skills are a broad set of skills that support the process of thinking and learning. Growing research shares the importance of executive function skills as critical building blocks in learning and as predictors of school achievement. Early childhood teachers play a central role in promoting executive function skills. How? Think play. Complex and intentional play, such as dramatic play and partner play, can be the springboard to inviting many executive function skills to be practiced and mastered. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 2: Steps to Advance Children’s Physical and Intellectual Development, and CDA Subject Area 8: Principles of Child Development and Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.B
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Respecting the Child’s Perspective

Children and adults see the world very differently, and understanding child development helps you gain valuable insight through a child’s eyes. In this course, you will look at common situations and the ways children and adults may see them, taking into consideration what is developmentally appropriate for the children involved to find solutions that work for the children in care. This course is also designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 3: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development, Subject Area 4: Strategies to Establish Productive Relationships with Families.

KCF: II.C
CDA: Content Area III

Log In To Register >>

Social Emotional Development – Problem Solving

This course takes a step-by-step approach to helping children learn to solve their own problems. Topics include recognizing emotions, identifying methods for dealing with conflict, and techniques to use with children as they develop socially and emotionally. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 3: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development, as well as CDA Subject Area 8: Principles of Child Development and Learning and may also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.C
CDA: Content Area III

Log In To Register >>

Strategies for Dealing with Anger

Important life skills for children include learning effective ways to handle their anger. This course takes a developmental look at anger. Examine the common roots of angry feelings in children, infants, preschoolers, and in adult caregivers. Learn strategies to handle anger in positive ways and to reduce anger triggers in your program. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 3: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development and may also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.C
CDA: Content Area III

Log In To Register >>

Successfully Implementing STEAM into the Curriculum

STEAM—Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math—are all important components of a quality early learning program. Providers will learn best practice strategies to implement these early investigative and expressive experiences in order to make preschool exciting and to prepare children for elementary school tasks. In this course, you will view practical examples from preschool practitioners and learn many programming tips and curriculum ideas. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 2: Steps to Advance Children’s Physical and Intellectual Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.B
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Take it Outside!: The Importance of Outdoor Play

This course explores the importance of outdoor time and outdoor play in order to promote healthy habits in children. Research shows that children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation. For happier, healthier, and stronger children, plus to maintain healthy body weight, discover ways to encourage them to get outside, get moving, and connect with the natural world. It covers CDA Subject Area 2: Steps to Advance Children’s Physical and Intellectual Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.D
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

The Importance of Sensory-Rich Play

Adventurous play goes by many names—messy play, nature-based play, big body play. It is exciting to children and meets important development needs, but facilitating this type of play can be a challenge to the staff of regulated early care programs. Learn the research behind, and strategies for, supporting young children as they make choices and assess risks during highly physical, sensory-rich play. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 2: Steps to Advance Children’s Physical and Intellectual Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.E
CDA: Content Area II

Log In To Register >>

Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Studies show that well-educated, skilled caregivers are the basis for quality care and learning programs. The CDA (Child Development Associate) Credential is one of many ways to build knowledge and expertise as an early childhood professional. This course provides an introduction to understanding the CDA Credential, the CDA process, and its possible fit as a professional development path for the early educator. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 6: Maintaining a Commitment to Professionalism. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.C
CDA: Content Area III

Log In To Register >>

Family Engagement

Cultural Competency for Children and Families

Culture influences every aspect of a child’s development and learning. As classrooms and society become more culturally diverse, there is a need for early educators to embrace cultural understanding–to be culturally aware, culturally sensitive, culturally responsive, and culturally competent. This course explores how we can reflect on and cultivate practices to build cultural understanding and culturally competent approaches to working with children and families. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 4: Strategies to Establish Productive Relationships with Families. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: III
CDA: Content Area IV

Log In To Register >>

Daily Schedule Development with Child-Centered Activities

High quality care and learning for young children includes a well-ordered and predictable daily experience where children can feel confident and secure. This course explores: Why structure and flexibility are important in early learning environments, how to create a daily schedule that meets young children’s needs, and how to plan child-centered learning opportunities. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 5: Strategies to Manage Effective Program Operation. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: III
CDA: Content Area IV

Log In To Register >>

Family-Teacher Relationships

How do you view the families of the children in your classroom? If you were to generate a list of words to describe families, what kinds of positive and negative feelings would they convey? When we see ourselves as partners with the families we serve, the quality of care and nurturing children receive is greatly enhanced. Establishing such partnerships and building relationships is our responsibility. Communication strategies, such as practicing active listening, are key to this process. In this course, participants will describe the importance and benefits of establishing meaningful relationships with families and identify strategies for establishing meaningful relationships. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 4: Strategies to Establish Productive Relationships with Families. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: III
CDA: Content Area IV

Log In To Register >>

Individualized Care and Routines

Caregiving routines provide us with opportunities to build close, personal relationships with each of the children we care for. When carried out responsively and without haste, these routines also create learning opportunities. To support a child’s need for consistency and predictability, the routines we carry out should reflect families’ caregiving practices at home. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject area 4: Strategies to establish productive relationships with families, as well as area 5: Strategies to Manage Effective Program Operation. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: III
CDA: Content Area IV

Log In To Register >>

School-Age Care as a Family Service: Emphasis on Relationship Building

Strong, positive, cooperative relationships with parents and families are at the heart of quality school-age programs. Unfortunately, positive relationships with parents and families are not always easy to achieve because parents, like children, have widely varying personalities; some are easier to reach than others. Parents in school-age programs have different ideas, values, concerns, knowledge, pressures, lifestyles, plans, dreams, resources, and constraints. Staff who are successful in building positive relationships begin by recognizing the importance of accepting parents as the most important people in children’s lives, regardless of differences among them. They understand that staff attitudes toward parents can have a strong effect on whether or not staff can establish positive relationships with parents. Staff in quality programs make a commitment to learning as much as possible about parents’ needs, interests, wants, and concerns and develop effective strategies for making positive connections with parents.

KCF: III
CDA: Content Area IV

Log In To Register >>

Strengthening Relationships for Families with the Community

Community-based services provide families and children with needed resources and information. Early care and education (ECE) professionals who learn about their community’s resources, and connect families with these resources, provide an important bridge to services. Family engagement is foundational to supporting this process. ECE professionals who build relationships with families are better able to communicate and collaborate with families, and to help families access important information. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 4: Strategies to Establish Productive Relationships with Families. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: III
CDA: Content Area IV

Log In To Register >>

Understanding Poverty and Practical Strategies

Awareness of issues related to poverty and use of effective communication strategies are essential for early care and education professionals to be able to build relationships with families and connect them to the supports they need. This course focuses on understanding poverty, and practical strategies that can improve communication with families living in poverty. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject area 4: Strategies to establish productive relationships with families, as well as area 3: Supporting Children’s social and emotional development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: III
CDA: Content Area IV

Log In To Register >>

Health and Well-Being

A Critical Look at Family Child Care Spaces

When play problems occur over and over, child care practitioners need to be able to step back and look critically at their space arrangement to see if that is the source of the problem. Explore some key elements to consider in child care space arrangement that include types of spaces and their uses, and arranging activity areas in a room to meet the goals of your program. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1: Planning a Safe, Healthy Environment to Invite Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VII.A
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Assessing and Implementing a Safe Child Care Environment

When families enroll their child in a child care program, they trust that the professionals working with their child will keep him safe. As curious infants and toddlers develop, their desire to explore presents unique safety challenges. This course guides professionals who work with infants and toddlers to assess play spaces, children’s experiences, and current practices to maximize children’s safety. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1: Planning a Safe, Healthy Environment to Invite Learning, and CDA Subject Area 5: Strategies to Manage an Effective Operation. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.B
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Coping with Crying

Babies cry to communicate. In fact, sometimes it’s the only way babies can communicate. Coping with crying can be a challenge, especially for people who have little or no experience care for infants. Learning to cope with crying is critical, as infant crying is the number one trigger for shaking a baby. In this course, we will learn about Shaken Baby Syndrome, and about ways to cope with a crying infant. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1, Planning a Safe and Healthy Environment and CDA Subject Area 3: Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VII.B
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Coping with Food Allergies in Child Care Spaces

A food allergy is a reaction within the body’s immune system. It can be anywhere from mild to severe, and in some cases, it may be life-threatening. We must understand the symptoms and triggers of food allergies, the ways to prevent accidental exposure to prohibited foods, how to care for a child experiencing symptoms. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1: Planning a Safe, Healthy Environment to Invite Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VII.B
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Creating and Maintaining Safe School-Age Environments

Keeping school-age children safe during out-of-school hours is a top priority for school-age programs. This requires giving careful attention to setting up the program environment in a way that promotes safety, and using effective strategies for monitoring and maintaining a safe environment. Because school-age children are growing towards independence, it is also important for staff to help them develop habits and behaviors that will keep them safe from harm as they participate in program experiences. Promoting and protecting children’s safety is one of the major responsibilities of staff in school-age programs.

KCF: II.B
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Food Safety Practices

A family child care early learning program that supports the growth and development of infants and toddlers needs nurturing caregivers, a healthy and safe environment, good relationships between family and caregiver, and appropriate activities to offer good quality care. This takes planning and knowledge of the growth and development of infants and toddlers. Find ways to enhance your family child care environment and build quality relationships with the infants and toddlers in your care. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1, Planning a Safe and Healthy Environment. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: II.A
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Growth and Development of Infants and Toddlers

A family child care early learning program that supports the growth and development of infants and toddlers needs nurturing caregivers, a healthy and safe environment, good relationships between family and caregiver, and appropriate activities to offer good quality care. This takes planning and knowledge of the growth and development of infants and toddlers. Find ways to enhance your family child care environment and build quality relationships with the infants and toddlers in your care. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1, Planning a Safe and Healthy Environment. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VII.A
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Identifying Essential Components of Child Care Supervision

Supervising children is an essential part of a child care professional’s job. In this course, professionals will identify and analyze key components of quality supervision practices. Opportunities are available throughout the course to compare current supervision methods with best practices to determine areas for improvement. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1: Planning a Safe, Healthy Environment to Invite Learning, and CDA Subject Area 5: Strategies to Manage an Effective Operation. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VII.B
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Reduce the Spread of Germs in Child Care Programs

Colds, stomach viruses, and ear infections top the list of common illnesses for young children. Young children in child care centers and homes tend to get these common illnesses more frequently than young children who are not in group care. In many child care settings, illness moves quickly from one child to another. This course examines how to reduce the spread of germs in child care programs and establish ways to keep young children and the adults who care for them healthy. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1: Planning a Safe, Healthy Environment to Invite Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VII.A
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Serving Nutritious Meals and Snacks Using CACFP Meal Patterns

This course covers recently revised CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program) meal pattern changes. Participants will learn how to identify whole grain-rich products and low-sugar yogurts through label reading, practice planning infant meals and snacks utilizing the new meal pattern requirements and brainstorm nutritious substitutions for grain-based desserts as part of a CACFP reimbursable breakfast or snack. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1: Planning a Safe, Healthy Environment to Invite Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VII.C
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

SIDS and Safe Sleep

Based on national standards representing the best evidence, expertise, and experience on health and safety policies and practices, and, focused on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ best practice recommendations, this course provides information on reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and for promoting safe sleep in infant care settings. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 1: Planning a Safe, Healthy Environment to Invite Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VII.B
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Sleep is Essential to Good Health

Sleep is as essential to good health as is nutrition and physical activity. Researchers continue to discover the ways in which sleep affects health in children. Recent connections have been made between sleep and hormone regulation as it relates to the risk of obesity. Other areas of interest include the association between brain development, and cognitive and behavioral effects. This course explores the relationship of sleep and health, and includes helpful tips and recommendations for age-specific requirements. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers Subject Area 1: Planning a Safe, Health Environment to Invite Learning. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event, or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VII.A
CDA: Content Area I

Log In To Register >>

Policy and Advocacy

Advocating for Early Childhood Care

This course is about exploring advocacy to deepen your understanding of the early childhood system, and to deepen your role as an early childhood professional. Find out about the variety of advocacy roles and multiple resources that help to prepare you for, and to learn about, advocacy. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA subject area 6: Maintaining a Commitment to Professionalism, and can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: I
CDA: Content Area VIII

Log In To Register >>

Quality Improvement and Professionalism

Commitment to Quality in School-Age Programs

School-age child care programs were prevalent during World War II. Many mothers worked outside the home to support the war effort and needed care for their children. When the war ended, school-age childcare programs disappeared almost overnight as mother chose to stay at home. School-age programs emerged again in the late 1960s in response to the vast numbers of mothers across the nation who were re-entering the workforce. National surveys in the 1970s indicated that at least two-thirds of mothers with school-age children were again employed outside the home. The divorce rate was increasing, as well as the number of households headed by a single parent. As a result, many elementary school children spent hours alone from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM when school was out. Clearly, there was a growing need for out-of-school support services for school-age children. In the 1970s, programs were commonly known as school-age childcare or extended day programs. Those establishing programs gave their attention to increasing the availability and affordability of after-school services for working parents. By the mid 1970s, childcare advocates also emphasized the importance of providing quality programs. Childcare advocates, parents, educators, public policy experts, and representatives from a wide variety of childcare and community organizations began a national dialogue to explore and identify the components of quality school-age childcare services. Today, national, state, and local organizations are working to educate the public about quality school-age childcare services and to assist school-age childcare professionals achieve quality programming in their communities. It is essential for today’s school-age professionals to be aware of the national and state organizations, research, and practices that focus on the development of quality school-age childcare programs. This makes it possible for school-age professionals to learn about the dimensions of quality programs and to participate in the important process of continuous improvement of their own programs.

KCF: V
CDA: Content Area VI

Log In To Register >>

Developing Your Professional Philosophy Statement

Developing a professional philosophy statement helps to communicate your professional views and values toward early education, teaching, and learning. During your professional career this can be valuable, such as when applying for a position of work, applying for the CDA (Child Development Associate) credential or other academic positions. A professional philosophy statement can also serve as a tool in reaffirming what important professional roles and responsibilities you want to embrace in your teaching. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 6, Maintaining a Commitment to Professionalism. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VI
CDA: Content Area VI

Log In To Register >>

Foundation for School Success

What does the term “school readiness” mean or not mean for young children? Early care and education professionals can support young children’s development and learning from infancy through preschool age to give children a strong foundation for success as they enter kindergarten. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA subject area 6: Maintaining a Commitment to Professionalism, and can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VI
CDA: Content Area VI

Log In To Register >>

Quality is Good Business

In this engaging course developed by Think Small Institute experts, discover how participation in an early childhood quality rating and improvement system is most beneficial for business longevity, financial stability, and child outcomes. Explore how unique learning environments are supported. Develop a continuous improvement plan to support both your program’s quality programming and business success.

KCF: IV.C
CDA: Content Area V

Log In To Register >>

The Purpose for Ethical Commitment

Each individual who works in the field of early childhood care and education has responsibilities and moral obligations toward children, families, colleagues, and the community. Learn how the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct can be applied to work with young children and their families and how it provides a common framework for the moral, ethical commitments of educators. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 6: Maintaining a Commitment to Professionalism. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VI
CDA: Content Area VI

Log In To Register >>

Understanding the CDA Credential and Process

Studies show that well-educated, skilled caregivers are the basis for quality care and learning programs. The CDA (Child Development Associate) Credential is one of many ways to build knowledge and expertise as an early childhood professional. This course provides an introduction to understanding the CDA Credential, the CDA process, and its possible fit as a professional development path for the early educator. This course is designed to be part of a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential curriculum. It covers CDA Subject Area 6: Maintaining a Commitment to Professionalism. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone learning event or as part of a broader early childhood education curriculum.

KCF: VI
CDA: Content Area VI

Log In To Register >>

Online early education trainings in the area of Assessment and Evaluation, Early Childhood Development, Early Childhood Learning, Family Engagement, Health and Well-Being, Policy and Advocacy, Quality Improvement, and Professionalism. The on demand courses allow you to grow your early educational knowledge at a pace that works for you.