Volume 6, Issue 1
In This Issue
Creating a Healthier Lifestyle in the Early Child Care Environment
Why Motor Skills Matter
Physical Activities to Build Your Preschooler's Motor Skills
CCEI News: CCEI Students Complete Over 400,000 Online Professional Development Courses!
This month only - Take CCE121: Motor Development and Physical Fitness in Early Childhood, at No Cost! If you've never tried online learning, now is a perfect time to start!
Alumni Profile: Julie Haffner
Professional Development - Individual Annual Subscriptions only $99 per year
Certificate Programs - CDA, Director's Certificate, FCCPC and more

Welcome to the ChildCare Education Institute January Newsletter! This Month, CCEI Discusses Creating a Healthier Lifestyle in the Early Child Care Environment through Physical Fitness.


Happy New Year from CCEI! Each January, the top New Year's Resolution on many lists is to improve physical health. Fitness is the key to creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This month, in recognition of Family Fit Lifestyle Month, we are focusing on helping young children get the most out of physical activities and on building a lifelong foundation of fitness.


In 2011, one in three American children is either overweight or obese. However, studies have proven that children who are active at an early age are much less likely to be inactive, unhealthy, or overweight as adults. To reduce childhood obesity rates, child care professionals should promote healthy habits and lifestyles by integrating a wide range of movement activities into the curriculum.


Physical exercise and play develop children's motor skills. When planning physical activities, it is helpful to think of movement in terms of locomotor skills (which require the feet to get from one place to another, such as walking, running, hopping, etc.)and non-locomotor skills (which require mainly the upper body, such as twisting, turning, and bending).In addition to promoting physical fitness, a well-planned movement and exercise curriculum  will develop children's self-confidence, self-identity, spatial awareness, and general wellbeing.

This month's promotional course, CCEI121: Motor Development and Physical Fitness in Early Childhood, explains the elements of movement and offers practical, detailed ideas for bringing effective, energizing movement to the classroom. The course describes five fitness categories around which to organize and plan a fitness curriculum: 

  • Cardiovascular Endurance
  • Muscular Strength
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Body Composition 

Activities involving vigorous physical movement can also help promote cognitive development and early academic skills. A thoughtful, well organized early childhood curriculum will incorporate movement and active play into elements of social studies, language arts, math, word comprehension, listening skills, and more.

Children should not exercise as long or as vigorously as adults often do. Early childhood experts do not recommend strenuous, monotonous workout routines for young children. Rather, early care professionals are encouraged to think of new and creative ways to incorporate movement at various points throughout the day to help ensure that children are engaged in developmentally appropriate yet effective physical activities.

*In addition to the no-cost promotional course we are offering this month (see below), CCEI offers a variety of courses related to children's health and the importance of active play in the curriculum. For a list of our courses, view our course catalog.


Why Motor Skills Matter
By: Rae Pica

The speaker tells the group of early childhood professionals that, just as reading and other skills must be taught in early childhood, so too must motor skills be taught. Nobody comments, but the speaker imagines she can hear their thoughts: "I've already got so much to do! Now I have to worry about motor skills, too?" "They're just motor skills. It's not as though we're talking about something important, like language skills." "But I don't know anything about motor skills; movement wasn't part of my pre-service training."

Those of us who work to make movement a bigger part of children's lives and education have heard similar comments - out loud - for years. They're valid concerns, especially considering our society's belief in the separation of mind and body and the equally powerful belief that the functions of the mind are superior to those of the body.

I don't know why the idea of mind and body as separate entities took hold or why it's lasted as long as it has. But, more and more, we have evidence that this is a false notion. And while I'm delighted with all the research pointing to the body's role in cognitive development and learning, as a children's physical activity specialist, I feel quite strongly that the body matters, too - that physical development and physical fitness deserve equal respect and attention!

Article Courtesy of Moving and Learning
Physical Activities to Build Your Preschooler's Gross Motor Skills 

By: Catherine Holecko

Even at the tender age of 3, 4, or 5, your child needs lots
of opportunities for physical activity, both for
good health and for skill-building. At this age, kids are busy developing gross motor skills-learning to use the large muscles in their legs, arms, and trunk to run, jump, throw, catch, and kick. They are also working on fine motor skills, although those develop a bit later than gross motor skills. Still, you'll want to provide your preschooler with plenty of time to work all her muscles, big and small. Try these playful physical activities:


Gross Motor Skill Activities for Preschoolers

  • Dancing, either freestyle of through songs with movements, such as "I'm a Little Teapot," "The Wheels on the Bus," or "Popcorn": I'm a piece of popcorn, put me in a pan/Shake me, shake me, as fast as you can (child shimmies, shakes, and jumps)/And I...will...(child crouches down low)...POP!" (child jumps as high as he can).

Read Article

Article Courtesy of About.com Family Fitness

ChildCare Education Institute Students Complete Over 400,000 Online Professional Development Courses!

CCEI is proud to announce that CCEI students have completed over 400,000 courses of online professional development. For more than five years, ChildCare Education Institute has offered child care professionals a convenient online option to meet state and center training requirements, access an extensive professional development course library and accredited certificate programs, and articulate coursework into a degree program with one of our college partners. Students appreciate that courses are available online, accessible any time and any place with an Internet connection. Annual subscriptions are only $99 and allow unlimited access to a wide range of topics, including Classroom Management, Social/Emotional Development, Health and Safety, and Director Management Development, and many others. "We are proud to have hit this milestone and provided quality training to so many early care professionals. We will continue to add new, relevant courses that help educators improve the level of care they provide," said Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of ChildCare Education Institute.

In January only - CCEI121: Motor Development and Physical Fitness in Early Childhood -
at no cost!

During the month of January, child care staff can log in to CCEI's learning management system at www.cceionline.edu and take CCEI121 Motor Development and Physical Fitness in Early Childhood, at no cost. The skills taught in CCEI121 provide an understanding of the importance of motor development and physical fitness in the early childhood years and the ways in which they can become part of the curriculum. It is very simple to set up an account if you don't already have one. Click here for details and remember to use promotion code 010111 when prompted.

Julie Haffner

San Angelo, TXeadline

Congratulations to Julie Haffner for successfully completing the CCEI Online Maryland

Communication Certificate!

Julie always knew she wanted to work with children and began her career in high school by taking a Child Development program. She is currently a Training and Curriculum Specialist and ensures her teachings abide by NAEYC accreditation guidelines and Air Force Regulations. Julie feels it is very rewarding to help children recognize their feelings, and to allow them to get messy and have plenty of time to utilize open-ended materials. A motivating factor for Julie is that "so much of later life is influenced by what the child experiences through developmentally appropriate practices."

In the future, Julie would very much enjoy building her own childcare center and being a training consultant. She has her Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and continues to take several professional development courses though CCEI each month. In her spare time, Julie volunteers for a Hospice, as well as a Crisis Intervention Unit.

Julie plans to continue her education with CCEI and to go on to earn her Master's degree. She would recommend ChildCare Education Institute to anyone and says "I have displayed information on our training bulletin board for all our staff to consider."

Congratulations, Julie! 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 three 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.

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.
January 22 - 24th Annual Southern Conference on Children in Statesboro, GA

February 7 - 10 - Region IV Head Start Annual Training Conference in Atlanta, GA
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