ChildCare Education Institute June Newsletter
The Outdoor Classroom 
In This Issue...
Outdoor Learning is Essential!
Creating an Outdoor Learning Environment for the Early Years
I'm a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here!
Transportation and Field Trip Safety Online Training
Family Child Care Course by CCEI Provides General Training for Family Care Providers
Learn to Minimize Safety Hazards in Outdoor Child Care Settings
Alumni Profile: Lizabeth Rodgers
Annual Professional Development Subscriptions - Individual + Center-Based Options
CDA Coursework, Director's Certificates, & Early Childhood Credential
Volume 7, Issue 6  
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Outdoor Learning is Essential!


These days, all parents and early childhood educators are aware of what many health experts refer to as an "obesity epidemic" in the United States. Also, anyone who follows educational trends and issues knows that students in the United States are pretty far behind their counterparts in other developed nations when it comes to science, math, and reading skills. This month's newsletter theme of Outdoor Learning can help solve both problems!


Let's start with a little science and basic human development. The human body evolved in the wilderness, eeking out a living in hunter-gatherer societies and, later, through subsistence agriculture. Our ancient ancestors were really, really, really hard workers. They also knew a lot about surviving and succeeding in nature. They ran, walked, lifted, dragged, and dug for a living. And they survived, explored, and conquered the globe using nothing other than their muscles, five senses (or six, if you include spatial awareness), and their enormously creative cognitive powers.


Of course, most children in today's United States will not grow up to be farmers or hunter-gatherers, but that's not the point. (On the other hand, some might!) The main point is that outdoor play provides the very best environment for ensuring optimal growth and development of the human body and mind. If this sounds absurd or unlikely to you, then consider Finland, a relatively small Scandinavian country where the winters are very long, dark, and frigid. There, the basic early childhood curriculum is dominated by outdoor play and learning, in all seasons, until age 7 or beyond. Now, consider that Finland ranks #1 in science, math, and reading scores worldwide. Think there might be a connection?

Children's bodies want to move! They want to run, jump, climb, crawl, skip, lift, and leap. They want to explore, imagine, solve problems, experiment, take risks, and just have lots of fun! Their eyes want natural sunlight, and their lungs want fresh air. The outdoors offers all these things, and much more. What can you do to put more outdoors in your curriculum? No matter where you're based, whether it's urban, suburban, or rural, a great outdoor classroom is possible. It could make all the difference in a young child's life.  



Creating an outdoor learning environment for the early years

By: Jan White


When we analyze what it is that motivates young children's explorations and activities, especially outdoors in the real and natural environment, we find that they are asking some big questions about the world: how does the world work; what and who is in it; who am I; how do I fit in and belong; what do these things do; what can I do with them? The following six major ingredients make up a full menu of rich and satisfying outdoor provision for young children hungry to find out about and understand their physical and human world.


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Resource Courtesy of Teaching Expertise

I'm a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here!

By: Juliet Robertson


Creative Star Learning (based in the UK) is one of many terrific blogs you can find if you search the Internet for "outdoor learning, early childhood" or "outdoor classroom." The site has a great motto: "The emergency exit to outdoor learning..." This article should inspire you, but make sure you use materials that are approved in your area and-as always-safe and develop- mentally appropriate.


Read Post

Post Courtesy of Creative Star Learning Company 


Transportation and Field Trip Safety Online Training


New course ADM103: Basic Transportation and Field Trip Safety for Child Care Centers has been added to the online child care training course catalogMotor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for persons age 5 through 29 years of age according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but most deaths and injuries are preventable if caregivers apply proper, recommended safety practices. Basic Transportation and Field Trip Safety for Child Care Centers presents recommended practices and policies for safe, developmentally appropriate transport of young children to and from child care centers and/or field trips. Topics include staff training and support; recommended vehicle types and maintenance routines; child passenger restraint systems; operating procedures and practices; safe loading and unloading procedures; field trip safety, and more. ADM103 is a two-hour, beginner level course and is available for purchase through online enrollment on the CCEI website. There is no additional cost to current individual or center-based subscription account holders.

Family Child Care Course by CCEI Provides General Training for Family Care Providers


CCEI is proud to announce the addition of ADM102: Family Child Care Basics to the online child care training course catalogThe family (or home-based) child care industry has grown considerably in recent years. While licensing and other regulations vary widely from state to state, certain standards or "best practices" have surfaced to help ensure that children everywhere get the best care and early education possible. CCEI's Family Child Care Basics course was designed to provide information, resources, and advice to family child care providers. Course participants will receive training regarding the business and regulatory side of family child care, as well as a basic overview of health, safety, child development, and educational issues relevant to those who use their homes to care for children. ADM102 is a three-hour, beginner level course and is available for purchase through online enrollment at, or at no additional cost to current individual or center-based subscription account holders.

Learn to Minimize Safety Hazards in Outdoor Child Care Settings


New users to CCEI may take the trial course CCEI110B: Outdoor Safety in the Early Childhood Setting at no cost in June in recognition of Great Outdoors Month. Outdoor play is essential for good health and should be a major part of any effective, high-quality early childhood program. Children need a chance to run, climb, and explore in the outside every day. CCEI110B promotes safe, secure outdoor learning through a comprehensive presentation of potential hazards on playgrounds and in other outdoor settings. Participants will learn basic policies and practices designed to prevent injury and exposure to pollutants or toxins, along with strategies for teaching children about safe conduct in the outdoor environment. This is a one-hour, beginner level, self-paced online course and certificates with documentation of 0.1 IACET CEU credit are available upon successful completion. CCEI110B is available at no cost to new users who have never enrolled in a CCEI course and to account holders with an active, annual individual or center-based subscription. This course is also available for purchase through online enrollment.


Lizabeth Rodgers 

Concord, VT


Congratulations to Lizabeth Rodgers for successfully completing CCEI's Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate!


Lizabeth first worked with children through babysitting while growing up and has now opened her own family child care center. She is motivated to help children achieve and reach new milestones and she loves cheering them on in the process. Lizabeth is able to learn new things from the children in her care as well. The children in Lizabeth's center love to play outside, and when they're inside, they enjoy crafts, dancing, and listening to music.


Lizabeth enjoys spending her spare time with family and friends, especially outside. She sees herself continuing to work with children in the future and after receiving her CDA Lizabeth will pursue admission to Vermont STARS program, a quality recognition system. Lizabeth recommends CCEI's Online CDA program to others and says, "I think this online coursework is great. My advisor was absolutely wonderful. I want to thank her for everything she did to help me complete this program."


Congratulations, Lizabeth! CCEI is proud to call you a graduate!

Individual Professional Development Subscriptions for only $99 per year!
CCEI offers over 100 IACET CEU-awarded child care training online courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has professional development offerings in English and Spanish, and courses are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from any computer with Internet access.

Center-Based Subscriptions
Center-Based Subscriptions are a great way for directors to manage and administer continuing education for staff members. CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions, available for small and large centers, allow directors to provide training for as little as $20 per teacher for the entire year!

Online CDA Coursework
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs of study meet the clock-hour training requirement of The Council for Professional Recognition, which is needed in order to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CCEI's CDA Certificate programs focus on the six CDA Competency Goals established by The Council and contain the required hours in each of the eight specified content areas.

Online Director Programs
CCEI offers several online programs for directors including the Online Director's Certificate and Renewal, Georgia Director's Certificate, Texas Director's Certificate and Renewal, and Florida Director's Certificate Renewal. These programs provide the professional development required for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. Each student receives support from an Education Coach (EC) and CCEI's technical support Help Desk.

CCEI Early Childhood Credential

The CCEI Early Childhood Credential is designed to give a basic framework of early childhood theory and application through online content-based coursework, reading assignments, practical application exercises, essays, parent interviews, classroom observation and oral and written exams. The instructional units and the 180 hours of coursework cover major topics in early childhood education including the Principles of Child Growth and Development; Safe, Healthy Environments; Social and Emotional Development; Motor, Language, and Cognitive Development; Principles of Child Assessment; Program Management, Families, and Professionalism. The credential awards 18 IACET CEUs, and is recognized by NAEYC to meet a part of the Alternative Pathways for directors to achieve educational qualifications. The ECC is a clear pathway toward higher education and raising the knowledge and skills of the early education workforce. Holders of the CCEI Early Childhood Credential can be considered qualified for Head Start positions that require a minimum of a CDA or other certificate.


CCEI coursework is eligible for college credit through articulation with one of CCEI's articulation partners, and has received college credit recommendations by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (National CCRS), which has more than 1,500 schools willing to consider credit. Contact Admissions at 1.800.499.9907, or visit the ChildCare Education Institute website for more information or to enroll online.

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