Topic outline

  • Is this career right for me? (2.5 hrs)

    Are you considering a career in child care? Do you know what the possible jobs are in this field? Do the jobs require training?

    You need to do some exploring to make sure this is the right job for you. Defining career interests, setting career development goals, and investigating training requirements can help.


  • Health and Safety (4.5 hrs)

    Health and safety are basic concerns for everyone who cares for young children. One of a teacher's most important jobs is to make sure that we give the children under our care a place that is safe and healthy.

    In this topic you can learn:
    1. how to help children to stay healthy and get good nutrition
    2. how to make sure your classroom and playground areas are safe
    3. ways to keep children safe in your classrooms


  • Supporting Children's Literacy (3.5 hrs)

    Children's books and other materials to help improve children's listening, speaking, reading and writing.

    In this topic you can learn:

    1. how children learn to read and write
    2. about emergent literacy
    3. what kinds of language skills preschoolers have
    4. the best ways of reading books aloud to children
    5. to read aloud to children in a way that keeps them interested in the characters and helps them understand the story
    6. how children naturally begin to write
    7. what a print-rich environment is and how it can help in a child's development

  • Development and the Role of Play (3 hrs)

    Children learn when they play. The Role of Play can help you understand the value of play in children's learning and development. It can also help you understand your role in supporting children's play.

    In this topic you can learn:
    1. the value of play
    2. the developmental stages of play
    3. how children learn in the different kinds of play
    4. how adults can extend and facilitate children's play


  • Parents as Partners (2.5 hrs)

    Parents are their children's first teachers and they know more about their child than anyone else.

    Parents as Partners can help you understand the importance of building relationships with parents so that you can provide the best care for children. It can also provide you with some suggestions to help you improve your communication with parents.

    In this topic you can learn:

    1. the important part that parents play in their children's growth and development
    2. the benefits for children when their parents participate in their school activities
    3. the ways to increase both your formal and informal communication with parents

  • Observing and Recording Children's Behavior (2.5 hrs)

    Observing children's behavior and play and then writing down what you see is one of the important jobs of an early care and education teacher. If we observe children carefully, we can then begin to understand their needs, interests, and abilities. When we collect this information, we can plan and put into action a curriculum that will help meet the needs of the children in our classroom.

    In this topic you can learn:
    1. to understand why carefully observing children is important
    2. to describe what you are seeing without including opinions
    3. the uses of portfolios and how to organize evidence of children's progress

  • Curriculum Development (3.5 hrs)

    It takes a lot of thinking and creativity to plan for the needs of all of the children in our classrooms. We know that in order to create a good curriculum for preschool-aged children, it must be developmentally appropriate. This means that first we must consider the developmental stages of the children we are teaching. We can then organize our classrooms, the materials and equipment we use, and the activities we do in ways that will meet the needs of each child.

    In this topic you can learn:
    1. how to set up your room so that it is a place where learning occurs
    2. the parts that make up a curriculum for young children
    3. the kinds of activities that go into a daily schedule
    4. materials that give opportunities for learning


  • Program Management (4 hrs)

    There are a lot of details to keep track of when providing child care. You need to keep in mind the needs of the children, their parents, and the community. You need to pay attention to what's going on in your center at the same time that you're keeping track of learning and professional development opportunities outside of it. You need to be responsible and ethical when making both small and large decisions.

    That's a lot to do! Fortunately, there are also a lot of resources to help you. You can find some right here.


  • Guidance (2 hrs)

    This topic will explain how to understand and respect a child's needs and desires and work with them to become a kind, confident, and well-developed person.

  • Infant Development (3 hrs)

    What do you know about the early development of children?

    In this topic you will learn about the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development of the youngest children.

    You will be able to identify typical behaviors of newborns, 6-month-olds, 9-month-olds, and 1-year-olds. You will learn the basics of how to care for infants in a childcare setting.

    Different groups define infants as birth to 12 months or birth to 2 years. In this topic you will learn about the developmental changes that occur in the first 1-2 years of a child's life.

  • Toddler Development (3 hrs)

    What do you already know about toddlers? 

    As children move from crawling to walking, they experience the world in many new ways, and their needs change as they grow.

    In this topic you will learn about the developmental changes in children in the years between infancy and preschool.

  • Preschool Development (3 hrs)

    Preschool children are preparing to enter the world of school. They are interested in doing more and more things independently.

    In this topic you will learn about the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development of preschool children.

    You will learn typical behaviors to expect from preschoolers and the basics of caring for children of this age group in a childcare setting.

  • School-Age Development (3 hrs)

    In this topic you will learn about the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development of school-age children through age 8 (second grade).

    You will learn typical behaviors of school-age children and how to care for them in a childcare setting (including before/after school programs and summer childcare programs).