Catch Some Rays (and Professional Development Hours) this Summer!

May 19, 2022

Professional development is absolutely critical to your success, as well as the success of all the children in your care. Not to mention in most states, you’re required to complete a minimum number of training hours each year to fulfill continuing education requirements for licensing, quality improvement systems, accreditation, and certification.

I’m Leslie Coleman, the education director of ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), a leader in online professional development for early childhood education (ECE) professionals. Throughout my 25+ year career, I’ve been responsible for creating professional development curriculum for thousands of teachers across the country.

Taking professional development courses ensures you’re keeping up with the latest trends, helps you sharpen your teaching chops and ensures you’re always a step ahead when it comes to focusing on the needs of your students and their families.

And regardless of whether you get a summer break or teach in a year-round program, it’s important not to let your professional learning slip during the sunny season. Here are a few of my favorite tips to help keep you on track during the summer:

  • Be intentional: Reflect on the past few months of working with children and families in your program. Make a list of things that worked well and a second list of areas you want to strengthen or learn more about. Prioritize this list and seek professional development that targets one or two of the topics on your second list.
  • Stay focused: Even if you don’t get a summer break, your own children, friends, and family likely do, which could mean lots of distractions. That’s why it’s important to set realistic expectations for what you’ll have time to accomplish. Identify the times of day and spaces that are the least distracting and set yourself up in that space when it is time for your learning.
  • Stay on track: If you have personal time off planned (as you should – you deserve a break!), make sure you give yourself ample time to complete your coursework. Luckily, there are plenty of options for taking courses remotely and at your own pace.
  • Change up the scenery: Just because you’re “working” doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy time outside in your yard or at a park soaking up the sun while completing coursework. Take advantage of the nice weather, just make sure there aren’t too many distractions around you.

In addition to fulfilling requirements to keep up with training requirements, summer might also be a good time to consider earning (or renewing) your Child Development Associate Credential® (CDA).

The CDA® is the most widely recognized credential in our industry. When a person earns it, they establish a foundation for delivering high quality care for young children and demonstrate they have the expertise needed to work with fellow educators, children, and families.

When you complete professional development hours, you’re ultimately investing in yourself and career. And if you decide to undertake your CDA Credential, your future will certainly be so bright, you’ll need to wear shades!

If you’re ready to begin your CDA journey, ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI) has you covered. We offer 150+ courses in English and Spanish that you can take anywhere 24/7/365. Additionally, we offer a number of CDA certification training options so you can choose the right one for you.

So, what are you waiting for? Click here to get started today!

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