Blogs

April 28, 2021

Why CDA?


I love to reflect back on 1989 when I entered the early childhood field.  I was living in what was called ‘base housing’, which is a term used on military installations where housing is provided to servicemembers and their families.  One day I was babysitting my neighbors’ children and received a knock on my door.  The kind woman who was at the door informed me that I had been reported for illegal childcare.  ‘Not to worry’, she said, as she continued to explain to me that the Military Child Care Act had recently been passed and anyone caring for children in their homes needed to become a ‘Certified Family Child Care Provider’.

As a stay-at-home mom at that time, I was already enrolled in school part-time and studying early childhood education.  Yet, the new requirement was that I would have to become CPR and First Aid qualified, learn about child abuse prevention and reporting, and allow for the Family Child Director to conduct monthly inspection visits to my home.  The visits would focus on health and safety and would also allow for conversation about what curriculum should look like for children ages birth-age 5.   I became a proud Family Child Care Provider, continued on to earn my Associates Degree, and fell in love with my work with young children and their families.

Fast forward to 1992, I decided that Family Child Care was not for me as my spouse received orders to Naval Air Station, Keflavik, Iceland.  Upon arrival, I thought it would be best for me to get out of the house during the day when my daughters went to school, and I accepted a teaching position at one of the Child Development Centers.  My first day at work, the ‘Training and Curriculum Specialist’ met with me to review my qualifications and handed me thirteen books (yes, this was prior to the time when we used computers for e-books or training), which were referred to as my ‘Modules’.   ‘What’, I stated…. ‘I already have an Associate Degree.  I felt for sure that I had already learned more from my two-year degree program in ECE than I would ever learn in from a set of training modules.  Boy, was I wrong!

I took my Modules home and decided to approach the training with an optimistic mindset.  About a year after starting my training, completing the required observations to demonstrate my competencies, and passing each assessment, I was awarded my training certificate.  I was so proud of this certificate because I knew that the training I had completed advanced my job qualifications.  I actually learned what I needed to so that I could best support children and their families. What I came to realize is that CDA Training is actual ‘job training’. 

The Department of Defense Child Development Program was modeled after the CDA Credential.  Though I am no longer part of this exemplary worldwide program, the training program I came to love in 1992 became the training program that I would use to develop teachers that I would work with over the course of my career as a program director.   As I advanced to the position of program administrator in Iceland, then moved on to accept the same position at an installation in California, then on to Bahrain and eventually to Guam, I knew that CDA Training was job training.  Whenever I transferred to a new installation, I knew that I and the teaching team that I worked with would be ‘speaking the same language’.  Health and safety requirements, design of learning environment, understanding of the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of young children was the same.  Working with families had the same relevance from one installation to the next, as did the need for writing effective classroom observations and continue to develop as professionals in our newly emerging field.

The DoD commitment to quality in child development came with me once I left my work as a program director in Guam.  During my time as a center director in Connecticut, I continued to use the CDA Training model as the model of quality for working with new teachers who needed to learn about developmentally appropriate practices.

So, though I remain a strong advocate for the advancement of college degrees for teachers in our field, I remain steadfast in my commitment to promoting the CDA as a training model.  Training on the 13 Functional Areas of the CDA has helped DoD to achieve its goal of high quality for all children of servicemembers around the world.  If DoD can find a way to create a model that works worldwide, then the model can certainly work for individual states or programs who may commit to developing their early childhood workforce.

Atlas Training, Inc. is a newly accredited training program for child development that is modeled after the original CDA, similar to the model I experienced as a teacher when I first worked for DoD.  The training program does not offer one-at-a-time workshops that do not allow for transfer of learning, but rather, requires participants to advance from one module to the next by reading, watching videos, participating in discussions, creating activities related to each of the functional areas, and completing assessments.   The participant that completes the Atlas Training Program will be knowledgeable of best practices in early childhood education and will be able to transfer the training to practice.

As I reach out to facilitate training in an online format for teachers and family childcare providers, my goal is to continue to develop Atlas Training so that directors know that when they hire someone to fill a vacant teaching position, that the applicant is well trained and ready to do the work of teaching and caring for young children.  We hope that in time, directors will be able to call us and to ask, ‘do you have any teachers preparing to graduate?”, or ‘I have a new teacher and she needs to enroll in training’. 

If we can all get on the same page and begin to train teachers, first, when they do not yet have a college degree, then we can do so much to improve the outcomes that we all desire in our work with young children.

Questions about Atlas Training?  Email us at info@atlastrainingcenter.com or call (860) 788-3646.



March 25, 2021

CDA or college? Which is the right path?

As a professor and academic advisor, I often meet with early childhood teachers
to learn about their background and professional goals and tailor their learning plans accordingly. What I have learned throughout my career as an educator is that choosing your education path wisely can make all the difference. But that path looks different for everyone, and different paths address different knowledge and career needs. 

For example, while a higher education degree should be a long-term goal for most educators, it is not always the best starting point. It is my view that someone new to the field should not have to wait three semesters to learn about health and safety or child development. These are
skills that matter on the first day of teaching and all teachers should have a foundational understanding of early childhood when they work with children.

State priorities have shifted considerably over the past twenty years, with more
spending devoted to college credits and degree obtainment across most states. For
many teachers, this shift is hugely beneficial, enabling members of the ECE community to advance professionally without absorbing huge costs in a field that does not pay well in the first place.

While I applaud the advocates and political leaders who have worked tirelessly to provide funding for these college programs, I believe that this orientation should be tempered with
caution in the name of practicality. The reality that seems to get overlooked is that college is not necessarily the right choice for every teacher, and even if it IS the right choice, it is not always the best place to start.

Consider, for example, that it can take six or more years for a full-time teacher to earn an associates degree in early childhood. In the mean time, there may be significant attendance gaps - sometimes even years - in which a teacher does not advance. In the intervening
period, the teacher's level on the state's registry may reflect very little in the way of qualifications. 

I also challenge the assumption that college is the best educational format for everyone. During my career as a director, I knew MANY teachers who performed exceptional work with children, but who have had difficulty completing college courses for various reasons. Should the quality of these teachers' work be overlooked and undermined by our existing college orientation, or can we, as a field, consider, that alternative pathways, such as the CDA, provide an acceptable level of skills validation?

Another consideration is that some teachers never complete their degrees or, as is becoming increasingly common, they leave the classroom entirely once they do obtain one. This adds additional complexity to the important issue of investment in professional development,
as those who invest in training options must consider the long-term fiscal benefits of degree v college investment.

Thankfully, I believe the field is beginning to return to a more moderate perspective on professional development. CDA credentials are now accepted for college credits, and funding for them continues to grow. While I agree that college coursework contributes to better outcomes for children, I believe that this is not the only path that should be available, and that
entrance into a degree program is not always a logical starting point for entry level  teachers.

As you move forward, please take time to reflect on what path is best for you. If you believe that you are ready for a college commitment, we encourage you to begin as soon as possible! If it's the CDA, we hope to see you in our programs, where we believe the CDA is the best place to start!


Celebrating Black Authors

This month, we would like to recognize five lesser-known children’s books by Black authors to celebrate black authorship in our field. Black authorship is important because it ensures that the voices, experiences, and stories of various black communities and cultures are recognized and that these experiences are depicted authentically.

These texts help non-Black children explore black lives and to develop an emerging awareness of and appreciation for new cultures, dialects, and communities. These texts can also affirm black children’s sense of identity and self-worth.

Hair Love, by Mathew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison is a wholesome, delightful story about Zuri, a girl who is on a mission to create a fabulous hairstyle. When she has difficulty doing her hair, her father steps in to help! One of the reasons this book is so enjoyable is because of the fun, loving relationship between the girl and her father throughout the story. The illustrations are simple and cheerful and the message of self-love is easily conveyed.

Whose Knees Are These? is a book written by Jabari Asim and Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. This is an extremely simple book that is perfect for mobile infants and toddlers who are beginning to explore their bodies.

I Got the Rhythm is a book that was written by Connie Schofield-Morrison and illustrated by Frank Morrison. This book follows a young black girl as she sees, hears, feels, and smells rhythm throughout her daily experiences. The story depicts common daily activities, but the powerful poses of the characters transform seemingly mundane experiences to ones rich with passion, expression, and movement.

Firebird, a book written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers, tells the story of a ballerina who explores her self-doubt and discovers the importance of perseverance. The story is poetic and lightly philosophical, but the illustrations are captivating and dramatic. This book is also an Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book and the illustrator is a Caldecott-winning artist.
Sulwe is a book by Lupia Nyong’o that addresses issues of self-esteem and self-love related to skin color. The main character, Sulwe, is darker than the members of her family and tries to turn herself lighter because she perceives lighter skin color as more beautiful. A magical adventure unfolds and Sulwe comes to appreciate her unique beauty.


February Early Childhood Education Open House

Atlas Training is a CDA Training program in Child Development. It offers Competency-Based Education (CBE) to participants on an interactive learning platform and is an alternative to the traditional online model of watching videos and taking a multiple choice quiz to demonstrate knowledge.

Participants enrolling in Atlas Training work through one module at a time and demonstrate that they understand and can apply what they learn prior to moving on to the next module. Progress is based on demonstration of proficiency and/or mastery of the 13 functional areas of the national CDA and is measured through assessments that include discussions, assignments, reflections, and multiple choice quizzes.

Though Atlas Training is a nine-month program, students have flexibility within each month to complete work at their own pace. Content mastery is the focus, rather than students completing training just to earn hours to use towards the credential.

Join us for a virtual open house and learn how you can earn your CDA Credential in as little as nine months.


CDA vs College

As a professor and academic advisor, I often meet with early childhood teachers to learn about their background and professional goals and tailor their learning plans accordingly. What I have learned throughout my career as an educator is that choosing your education path wisely can make all the difference.

But that path looks different for everyone, and different paths address different knowledge and career needs.

For example, while a higher education degree should be a long-term goal for most educators, it is not always the best starting point. It is my view that someone new to the field should not have to wait three semesters to learn about health and safety or child development. These are skills that matter on day 1 of employment, and all teachers should have a foundational understanding of early childhood when they work with children.

State priorities have shifted considerably over the past twenty years, with more spending devoted to college credits and degree obtainment across most states. For many teachers, this shift is hugely beneficial, enabling members of the ECE community to advance professionally without absorbing huge costs in a field that does not pay well in the first place.

While I applaud the advocates and political leaders who have worked tirelessly to provide funding for these college programs, I believe that this orientation should be tempered with caution in the name of practicality.

The reality that seems to get overlooked is that college is not necessarily the right choice for every teacher, and even if it IS the right choice, it is not always the best place to start.

Consider, for example, that it can take six or more years for a full-time teacher to earn an associates degree in early childhood. In the mean time, there may be significant attendance gaps – sometimes even years – in which a teacher does not advance. In the mean time, the teacher’s level on the state’s registry may reflect very little in the way of qualifications.

I also challenge the assumption that college is the best educational format for everyone. During my career as a director, I knew MANY teachers who performed exceptional work with children, but who repeatedly failed college courses due to challenges with writing. Should these teachers’ quality be overlooked and undermined by our existing college orientation, or can we, as a field, consider, that alternative pathways, such as the CDA, provide an acceptable level of skills validation?

Another consideration is that many teachers never complete their degrees or, as is becoming increasingly common, they leave the classroom entirely once they do obtain one.

Thankfully, I believe the field is beginning to return to a more moderate perspective on professional development. CDA credentials are now accepted for college credits, and funding for them continues to grow. As you move forward, please take time to reflect on what path is best for you. If it’s the CDA, we hope to see you in our program. Learn more by emailing us.

-Maureen Hogan PHD


Five of the Best Online Resources for Early Childhood Educators

Being an early childhood educator is a rewarding career but can be extremely challenging. This year has brought a variety of new challenges because of COVID-19. Educators have had to restructure many aspects of their day to day interactions with their students. Since Atlas Training offers several learning choices on CDA Credential training, we have a vested interest in helping all educators succeed. There are many organizations out there that are designed to help early educators. Teachers who are facing challenges can explore the websites of these organizations and find several resources on age appropriate lesson plans, activities, and subjects.
Five of the Best Online Resources for Early Childhood Educators

  1. The National Association for the Education of Young Children: NAEYC is the largest organization in the world strictly dedicated to the betterment of young children. Early childhood educators will find a plethora of information on relating to children and understanding their development.
  2. The National Association for Child Development: This association offers several resources on educating children of all ages. Their website is broken down into several smaller sites about specific types of problems and concerns of teachers. It has been hailed as one of the best sites for early childhood teachers that want their students to reach their full potential.
  3. Resources for Early Learning: This website offers several different learning activities for children from birth to five years old. Whether you’re a new or experienced educator, you will find many ideas on how to encourage children to learn, grow, and have fun. Their activities include math, music, play, reading, science, communication, and art.
  4. The Gryphon House: This site was created by a distributor of children’s books. They have an excellent resource blog that covers current events that effect early childhood education. Besides having several free activities for students, they also offer lesson plans for each age and subject. Their store has several top selling books on early childhood education resources.
  5. The National Education Association: This association has more than 3 million members who are educators, students, activists, workers, parents, neighbors and friends. They believe in the power of public education to transform lives and create a just and inclusive society. NEA’s edcommunities is a place for teachers, parents, and other education professionals to share ideas and resources. There are several conferences and summit that the NEA has every year. The events include information on leadership, social justice, and training.
    Thank you for reading our blog on the best online resources for early childhood educators. Atlas Training is a CDA Training program in Child Development. It offers Competency-Based Education (CBE) to participants on an interactive learning platform and is an alternative to the traditional online model of watching videos and taking a multiple choice quiz to demonstrate knowledge. Contact us today to learn more.

The Importance of Early Childhood Education in 2021

2020 has been a challenge for all of us. Parents, teachers, and students have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a vaccine finally on the way, many see this as a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s why we must focus on the importance of early childhood education in 2021. Early childhood education bolsters economic development and creates a foundation for a child’s lifelong learning. With so many opportunities lost in 2020, early childhood educators must focus on creating the best educational opportunities for our smallest citizens in 2021.

Research has shown that the investment in early education improves cognitive abilities and behavioral traits. With so many opportunities lost in 2020, educators must make up for the lack of sociability, motivation, and routines that children need. This is especially important for disadvantaged children who benefit from the investment in early childhood education. 

Even with a global pandemic raging, the United States still trails other countries in early childhood education. We are significantly behind in enrollment, funding, and the quality of resources that we have access to. With the economy so negatively impacted by the pandemic, early childhood education must be advocated for. It affects school readiness and provides the essential learning needed so that children can contribute to successful economy. It also allows parents to return to work while their children are learning in a safe environment. 

Early childhood education also combats social inequality by providing all families with quality learning and care. It closes the opportunity gap of race, location, socioeconomic status, and allows all students to reach the best of their potential. Children who are disadvantaged by poverty experience a greater benefit of early childhood education because it minimizes gaps between low income and more economically advantaged children.

Children who experience quality early childhood learning are 25% more likely to graduate from high school and are four time more likely to earn a college degree. They are also more likely to earn up to 25% more in wages as an adult. Research has shown that major brain development occurs before the age of 5 or 6. Parents should use this opportunity to begin educating their children at younger ages. With hectic work schedules and pandemic related worries, parents may forget the importance of educating their children at such a young age.

In conclusion, the research drawn about early childhood education shows a huge need for it in 2021. Individuals and societies are made better because of early childhood education’s social and economic development. With 2020 robbing many children of quality social and educational opportunities, an emphasis must be placed on the importance of early childhood education in 2021. 

If you are interested in a potential career in early childhood education in 2021, Atlas Training Center has an easy to learn Childhood Development Associate Credential course that can be completed in as little as nine months. Our training courses are all online so if earning your credential is your New Year’s resolution contact us today to earn your CDA Credential online.


Why Training in Special Education is so Important to your Career in Early Childhood

Special needs learners are a special population of learners in our programs. Thanks to the self-advocacy of those with disabilities, as well as the advocacy of their parents, friends, and educators, our country has slowly evolved to be more responsive to the diverse physical, social, and cognitive needs of young children with disabilities.

Due in large part to enhanced screening systems, as well as increased awareness of age-appropriate milestones among parents and educators, more children are being diagnosed with disabilities or Special Health Care Needs (SHCNs). As early childhood educators, one of our many responsibilities is to contribute to early intervention by monitoring child development and supporting parents to make referrals if concerns are identified.

Your ability to recognize developmental delays is a critical part of the early intervention process, and can have life-altering impacts on the children you care for. When disabilities or developmental delays are identified early in infancy or early childhood (the time at which the human brain is most malleable) interventionists can utilize appropriate strategies to help children form critical neural connections and strengthen existing skills. While children who are diagnosed later in childhood may still benefit from targeted interventions, the impact of these efforts is likely to be less substantial.

As a teacher, you have received training on many aspects of child development, and likely have an understanding of developmental milestones for the ages that you serve. However, specific coursework in the area of exceptional learners/special education will benefit your career in several ways. Through specific training/schooling on this topic, you will:

Understand the types of screening methods used to identify delays in different developmental domains
Learn how to effectively partner with parents to share your concerns and to learn about their perceptions/experiences with their child’s development
Learn referral procedures, including screenings, referrals to state Part B and Part C EI agencies, observations, PPT meetings, and IEP/IFSP development and utilization
Understand laws protecting students with disabilities, as well as your responsibilities under those laws
Explore how to individualize learning experiences to meet the identified needs of students with identified or suspected delays
Learn how to embrace the differences of your students, and to create environments that reflect your commitment to and respect of students with disabilities.

These skills are valuable to your teaching and are desirable to employers. As students with disabilities are entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), Inclusion has become the ideal to which programs and educators strive. According to the CDC, “inclusion means understanding the relationship between the way people function and how they participate in society, and making sure everybody has the same opportunities to participate in every aspect of life to the best of their abilities and desires.”

Under this philosophy, students with disabilities are encouraged to participate in school settings with non-disabled peers to the farthest extent appropriate and possible.
As inclusive classrooms become the standard, it will become an expectation that all teachers know how to work with students who have disabilities, and that they have training or college coursework to verify they have these skills/understandings.

We highly encourage any early childhood educator – regardless of role – to engage in training and/or coursework to enhance their knowledge of special education!


What we have to be thankful for this year!

This has undoubtedly been a year full of unique challenges for everyone… the children we serve, their families, our employers, and ourselves. Teacher experiences in the time of COVID have varied tremendously – some teachers have remained in-school teaching throughout the duration of the pandemic; some have made the difficult transition to remote teaching; and yet others have lost their work entirely due to closings.

While our struggles have been great, the one thing we can take comfort in is the incredible resilience of our field. Watching our early childhood champions navigate these times has been a source of ongoing pride for me.

Few fields have experienced as many complications as early childhood education. While people working in many white collar jobs have been able to opt to work remote, that has not been an option for many early childhood providers, who are responsible for not only the education of children, but also their health and safety. Even within the larger umbrella of education, it has been the early childhood providers who have had to overcome the greatest hurdles, and who have done so at the risk of their own health and safety.

While COVID has been exhausting for our profession, it has also been a unique opportunity to explore new systems, protocols, and strategies to support learning. As a result, our field now benefits from increased performance in several areas, including:

  • Communication: While effective communication has always been a cornerstone of a quality early childhood environment, programs and teachers have learned new ways to communicate with parents, including mobile apps, teleconferencing, email, and phone trees. These improved communication protocols will only serve to enhance programs in a post-COVID world.
  • Screening Procedures for Communicable Diseases: While state and local governments have long had requirements to prevent the spread of communicable diseases in Early Childhood settings, program protocols have been strengthened over the past year, including contact tracing procedures, detailed health checks (some including temperature checks), and more strongly enforced quarantine requirements. As we move to a post-COVID world, our programs will benefit from our robust screening systems.
  • Health Procedures in the Classroom: Programs have also greatly enhanced their health/safety systems by increasing sanitation procedures and limiting the extent to which materials are shared. While we will certainly be happy to see some of these health procedures relaxed over the next year – such as social distancing of children – others will contribute to more healthful environments in our programs.

-Home-School Connections: COVID has shown us the critical role parents/families play in their children’s education. Many EC teachers have needed to rely heavily on parent support to ensure that students practiced the skills identified in state standard frameworks. Our gratitude to families is immense!

While these are all positive takeaways from the pandemic experience, the thing I am most grateful for of all is the incredible resilience, commitment, and professionalism of our workforce. I remain thankful for our steadfast educators who have enabled young children to continue to receive the care and education they so deserve.


Eight Subject Areas of the Childhood Development Associate Credential and what you will be Studying in Each

Obtaining a Childhood Development Associate Credential is contingent on passing an exam based on eight subject areas. You must also complete 120 hours of formal childcare training and at least ten hours of training in each subject area. Atlas Training is a program in child development that is based on the national CDA Credential. To help prepare our students for their exams, this article will focus on the eight subject areas of the Childhood Development Associate credential and what you will be studying in each.

CDA Credential Subject Areas

Planning a safe and healthy learning environment

This subject area focuses on learning how to provide a safe and healthy environment for young children. When studying this subject, you’ll be studying several aspects of safety. These may include but are not limited to, indoor/outdoor safety concerns, safe food handling, disease prevention, and even reporting child abuse. You’ll be studying the process of strengthening the family bond which will lessen the risk of child abuse and neglect. There is also a focus on minimizing children’s exposure to toxins and poisons.

Advancing children’s physical and intellectual development

In this subject area, you will be studying the cognitive, physical, language, emotional, and social development of children who are three to five years old. Part of the studying process is also learning the typical needs and characteristics of children at each age level. Observing motor skills, growth patterns, and language development are all apart of learning how to advance children’s physical and intellectual development.

Supporting children’s social and emotional development

This subject usually focuses on children from birth to six years of age. You will learn how to use positive guidance to teach the child routines and schedules. Developing an age-appropriate curriculum and activities is also a large part of children’s social and emotional development. After studying this subject, you will be able to recognize certain behaviors that can signal developmental delays and disabilities.

Building productive relationships with families

When you are studying any type of early childhood learning, you will have to learn how to develop positive relationships with the child’s family. Learning how to communicate effectively, respect diversity, and handle difficult situations ensures harmony between you, the child, and their parents. You will also learn how to make a positive first impression on parents who are looking to enroll their child at your facility. Part of making this impression is being able to communicate your facility’s policy and philosophy to prospective parents.

Managing and effective operation

In this subject, you will be studying the standards of creating a high-quality child care environment. You will learn how to display professionalism and recognize the characteristics of developmentally appropriate child care. This subject also includes areas on developing a problem-solving process and learning how to respect the diversity of children, their families, and the facility staff. You will also learn the purpose of early childhood education and what choices you have for various jobs in the childcare field.

Maintaining a commitment to professionalism

This subject area is for an early childhood professional who plans on working in an early childhood learning facility or in a home. You will examine the standards for high-quality childcare as well as how to show respect for the diversity among children and their families. There is also a section on how to have a harmonious workplace. Most of this focus is on recognizing stress in staff and learning how to identify the sources of it. You will also focus on your own stress management skills and learn how to help children develop their own coping skills in difficult situations. Another big part of this subject is to create a five-step problem-solving process for staff to follow.

Observing and recording children’s behavior

This subject area applies to children of all ages. You will learn how to observe children and assess their development. There are various types of observation records and purposes for these observations. This subject area covers how to plan observation, what to look for in observation sessions, and ways to use observation in the early childhood development program. You will also learn about the types of records that can be used to document the child’s development and how to include the parents in the observation process.

Understanding the principles of child development and learning

This subject area will teach you the basic principles of children’s development and learning. You will study the different ways children learn as well as the role of play in children’s learning and development. The role of social and cultural context also plays a big part in learning and development. There is also a section on the ways adults can apply the principles of early childhood learning to provide a high-quality early childhood program.

Atlas Training recognizes the CDA to be a pathway to professional development and fully supports early childhood teacher degree attainment. Atlas Training is intended to support those working with young children to increase their skill level in working with either infants and toddlers, preschoolers or in family childcare homes. Contact us today for more information.


CDA Credential Subject Areas that Help with Running an Early Learning Facility in a Pandemic

COVID-19 has led to significant changes in all aspects of business and education. Though many elementary, middle, and high schools have switched to a hybrid model of learning, many early learning centers have remained open. Parents who cannot work remotely still need a place to bring their child for daily care. Because of this, you should still consider getting your Childhood Development Associate Credential, especially during a pandemic.

When you are studying to pass your CDA Credential, you will notice that there are several aspects that are very relevant to child care during a pandemic. There are six subject areas that have to be studied when getting your CDA Credential.

  1. To establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment.
  2. To advance physical and intellectual competence.
  3. To support social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance.
  4. To establish positive and productive relationships with families.
  5. To ensure a well-run, purposeful program responsive to participant needs.
  6. To maintain a commitment to professionalism.

CDA Subject Areas that help with running an early learning facility in a pandemic.

Planning a safe and healthy learning environment

Health and safety are always important but with COVID-19 around, they are now more important than ever. Children feel more secure if they are being taken care of in a healthy and safe environment. Practicing rigid sanitization protocols and encouraging hand washing are both very important but a healthy learning environment may also include the following.

• Encouraging healthy eating and practicing food allergy safety.

• Making sure children have access to water and are hydrating throughout the day

• Keeping dangerous items such as electrical cords and sharp scissors out of reach.

• Make sure children are aware of what to do in an emergency such as a fire drill.

• Clearing the floors to minimize trips and falls.

Supporting children’s social and emotional development

Young children are experiencing a different social situation in the pandemic. Early childhood learning centers might be the only way for them to interact with their peers outside the home. There have been and still are several restrictions in place for social gatherings. Young children need to be able to socialize to help with their emotional development. Early childhood learning teaches social and emotional development by practicing the things listed below.

• Teaching children to listen and follow directions.

• Developing close relationships with their peers and caregivers.

• Teaching children to acknowledge the feelings of others.

• Preparing children for grade school by developing routines.

• Gaining access and participating in group activities.

Managing an effective program operation

With so many social distancing and sanitization guidelines, early childhood teachers need to have a clear and concise daily procedure at their facility. Teachers must know ahead of time how they will safely plan all of their student’s activities and daily routines. These activities must all be developmentally appropriate to each child enrolled in the program. In order to effectively manage a program operation, the following items will need to be practiced on a regular basis.

• Thorough organization must be practiced.

• Records must be constantly kept up to date.

• Open communication must be practiced.

• There should be cooperation between staff, parents, and students.

• Planning must be practiced in all activities.

Atlas Training is a training program in child development that is based on the national CDA Credential. The program’s interactive, competency-based model supports learners to acquire knowledge and develop skills that will enable them to apply best practices to their work with young children between the ages of 0-5 in licensed childcare settings.


Last modified: Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 11:34 AM