Volume 6, Issue 4    
In This Issue
The Eco-friendly Child Care Environment
Earth-friendly Cleaning
Creating Eco-friendly Art Projects at Home
New Online Professional Development Course on Bullying in the Preschool Classroom
This month's trial course is CCEI112A: Child Abuse Signs of Abuse and Reporting Requirements for Early Childhood Professionals. New users can take this course at no charge to explore the benefits of online learning.
Alumni Profile: Vicki Barrett
Professional Development Annual Subscriptions - Individuals only $99 per year + Center-based Options
Certificate Programs - CDA, Director's Certificate, FCCPC and more
Welcome to the ChildCare Education Institute April Newsletter!
This Month, CCEI Discusses
the Eco-friendly Child Care Environment.

It's April and time to join the "Green" team!  April is an opportune time to focus on the environment, both at home and in the child care center. Not only is it "Keep America Beautiful" and "Lawn and Garden" month, it's also home to Earth Day (April 22) and the first full month of Spring! Early child care providers should consider adopting eco-friendly practices in order to reduce environmental hazards, including toxins and other pollutants, and increase conservation of resources - all with the goal of making the world safer for young children and helping to preserve our environment for future generations. Spring is also a great time to focus on environmental education, encouraging children to discover the wonders of nature and all the things they can do to become little environmental stewards.  


Children's health is a major reason  to incorporate greener practices into early care programs. A number of health and safety issues arise from environmental hazards found in everyday life, and children are even more susceptible to the harmful effects than adults. Everyday cleaning products, foods, and the air we breathe all pose potential environmental risks. Child care providers and parents can do a lot to reduce these risks!


Arts and crafts materials are culprits that many parents and educators don't realize can be harmful. Markers, paints, glue, rubber cement, and certain types of clay are all potentially toxic. Make sure to use only nontoxic materials that are safe for children. Proper hand washing after working with arts and crafts should also be stressed among preschoolers.  


Another focus for the green child center is waste reduction; which is accomplished through recycling and reusing, as well as by choosing products with minimal packaging. Many children enjoy active participation in recycling programs. Not only does this reduce waste, it's a great sorting exercise. Be sure to have your bins clearly labeled and designate a specific bin color for each recyclable material. Some materials are great for reuse, such as recycled paper for collages; scrap cloth used to hone scissor skills and create doll clothing, and "misfit" buttons or other safe, developmentally appropriate materials for sorting and craft projects.


Energy and resource conservation should be introduced and consistently reinforced while children are young. Turning off lights, fans and electronics when leaving the room and shutting off running water while washing one's face or brushing teeth will make huge differences in electricity and water conservation. As with many habits, introducing conservation methods early on will increase the likelihood that they will take root and be incorporated into children's lifestyles.


To aid child care centers in the "green" transition, CCEI offers the course ADM100: Eco-friendly child care center, Part 1: Green Lifestyle and Environmental Health to prepare the child care workforce with the pertinent tools to create the healthiest and safest environment for today's youth. This course defines what constitutes an eco-friendly child care environment, details the hazards of environmental exposure and provides recommended practices for maintaining a safe, healthy early childhood environment. Completion of this course earns the participant 0.1 IACET CEU. 

Earth-friendly Cleaning 
By: Melanie Lasoff Levs   
When it comes to keeping your home free of dirt and germs, the term "household cleaners" shouldn't be an oxymoron. But, as scientists over the years have discovered, many of the products commonly associated with home hygiene instead pollute air, humans and animals with harsh - and sometimes dangerous - chemicals. So much for earth-friendly cleaning.


Just what is in some of those household cleaners? For starters,  

many products that list "fragrance" as an ingredient are made with synthetic (i.e. petroleum-based) materials called phthalates, which have been found in studies to cause cancer and harm the reproductive systems of rodents. Other common but potentially harmful chemicals in cleaners include:

  • Formaldehyde, which can irritate the lungs and mucous membranes, and may cause cancer;
  • Chlorine, especially used in small, poorly ventilated rooms like bathrooms, which can irritate the lungs;

Read Article

Article Courtesy of Mother Nature Network

Creating Eco-friendly Art Projects at Home 
By: Cheryl Gabbert   

Creating eco-friendly art is a great way to recycle a lot of items you use at home every day. Art projects are fun for kids, and make a nice way to spend time together. The following eco-friendly arts and craft projects are easy to make and fun to do.


Art from Recycled Household [Items] 


Creating eco-friendly art is easy when you choose recycled materials. Giving used household items another use is a great way to do your part to recycle, with many fun arts and craft projects as the result. Why not create something from used items in your home with the kids? You'll model how important it is to take care of the environment, which the best way to teach your kids about living green. The following art projects give a second life to many household items that are typically thrown away.


Read Article

Article Courtesy of Bright Hub Environment

New Online Professional Development Course on Bullying in the Preschool Classroom 


ChildCare Education Institute is proud to announce the addition of a new course, Bullying in the Preschool Environment. Bullying is one of the most concerning social interactions facing children and schools today. While the media picks up stories of bullying in high school, researchers have shown that bullying behaviors are learned much earlier in life. This course helps caregivers identify the signs of bullying, as well as the short and long-term effects these behaviors can have on bullies and their victims. This course also outlines helpful strategies for guiding young children through socially challenging scenarios to create a "bully-free" classroom. "It is often difficult to know the difference between normal early childhood behaviors and bullying that can cause lasting impacts on victims and bullies alike. This and the other courses in the CCEI library are designed to give valuable information to educators that will ultimately improve the quality of education provided to our young children," said Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI.

This month's trials course is CCEI112A: Child Abuse: Signs of Abuse and Reporting Requirements for Early Childhood Professionals. New users can take this course at no charge to explore the benefits of online learning.

During the month of April, CCEI112A is available to new CCEI users. As mandated reporters, child care providers are legally responsible for identifying and reporting signs of child abuse and neglect. To take this  

trial course, click on the Take a Trial Course and Earn CEU Credit! icon located along the left side of the homepage at www.cceionline.edu. Users with an existing CCEI F.A.M.E. account who do not have an active, annual individual or center-based subscription may purchase this course for $15 as an individual hour by selecting Professional Development for Individuals here.

Vicki Barrett  

Jacksonville, FL 

Congratulations to Vicki Barrett for successfully completing CCEI's Florida Child Care Professional Credential Certificate program of study!


Vicki first joined the child care workforce in 2005 when her friend, a center Director, called and asked if she was interested. Vicki enjoys guiding children in outside play, art, and free time, when they can color and play games. She says, "I love the look on their faces when they learn how to do something that they didn't know how to do before."


When not teaching, Vicki enjoys working on projects and spending time with her husband. Vicki also loves to read about a variety of topics and is a self-labeled bookworm. One day, Vicki aims to direct and/or own a child care center. She will renew her FCCPC through CCEI, and may pursue her Director's Certificate. Vicki says she also recommends CCEI to coworkers.


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

Individual Professional Development Subscriptions for just $99
CCEI offers over 100 online, IACET CEU awarded professional development courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has course 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!
For more information, contact Admissions at 1.800.499.9907 or click here to enroll online.

Complete CDA Coursework Online with CCEI!
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs 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. Each hour of completed coursework is awarded 0.1 IACET CEU.

CCEI offers several CDA programs. The CCEI Online Self Study CDA is designed for students who are comfortable with an online learning environment and can successfully complete work independently. The Instructor Supported CDA Certificate, available in English and Spanish, provides students with extra support from a CCEI Education Coach (EC). Each EC is an early childhood specialist with previous experience working in a child care center or school. Students interested in college credit should enroll in the Online College Credit Eligible CDA Certificate program for the opportunity to articulate credit with one of our college partners. CDA renewals are also available.

Online Director's Certificate
CCEI offers an Online Director's Certificate that provides professional development for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. The program is composed of nine instructional units that focus on the core areas of competency required to manage a child care center. Each student in the Online Director's Certificate receives support from an Education Coach. Click here to enroll online and for renewals.
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