Student Spotlight – Marilyn Colella

I began my career in early childhood by substitute teaching in the nursery school my daughter, Katie, was going to when she was 3. When she was 4, the Director asked me if I wanted to work full time.

My favorite time of the day is when the children arrive in the morning. They do their morning work at their seats. I like this time because they are excited when they come to school to start the day. Motivation for me is watching the children grow and develop new skills. I most enjoy teaching the children to read and write. It’s amazing how much they learn in 10 months. The boys love to play basketball. They even have me on a team with them. The girls love the dramatic play center. They love to play house.

I currently live in Pleasantville, New York. My mom is in a nursing facility and I visit her every day. My daughter, Katie, is 15-years-old and she is a competitive gymnast. I take her to practice every day, go to her competitions, and I’m active at her gym.

I just finished my CDA renewal with CCEI and sent in all my paperwork to the Council of Professional Recognition to renew my CDA. I would like to continue my education and receive further CCEI coursework and credentials in the future. I would recommend CCEI to my co-workers and friends.

It’s amazing to see how the children start the school year eager to learn. By the end of the year, the children all grow in height and in their ability to read, write, and express themselves. I plan to continue working in the nursery school setting to help children learn and grow.

Two New CCEI Online Professional Development Courses!

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), a distance training institution dedicated exclusively to the child care industry, is proud to announce the addition of two online professional development courses.

ADM100: Five Steps to Building a High Performance Team, is a course focusing on the development of ‘team esteem’ through communication, motivation, productivity, attitude, and appreciation. Take this course to develop a greater understanding of the importance of effective communication and how it can enhance your experience as a child care professional and aid in the development of a motivated and happy team. In addition, learn listening skills and key motivators that will increase productivity and leadership effectiveness. ADM100 was authored by Dale Brown M.A., C.E.C., a child care consultant, who has spent over 30 years in the child care industry as a coach, teacher, trainer, manager and vice president.

CCEI also introduces HLTH101: Preparing for an Influenza Pandemic. This course, based on information from the Department of Health and Human Services, USA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provides an overview of how to prepare for an influenza pandemic. Complete HLTH101 to learn the definition of pandemic, identify the planning and coordination required to prepare for a pandemic, identify infection control actions and learn the values of communication during a pandemic. Being knowledgeable and prepared in the event of a pandemic is important for the health and safety of you and your students!

Register Online for Professional Development Courses by selecting online enrollment!

Courses are $15 each and individual professional development subscriptions are just $99.

Vote for “Every Child Deserves a Well-Trained Teacher” and Give Child Care Teachers Access to Free Professional Development Courses

Duluth, GA/ September 1, 2010 – ChildCare Education Institute’s “Every Child Deserves a Well-Trained Teacher” campaign needs your votes. The Pepsi Refresh Project is an initiative sponsored by Pepsi-Cola Company that awards grant funds to projects focused on affecting a positive impact in their communities. CCEI’s initiative, “Every Child Deserves a Well-Trained Teacher”, will provide six (6) hours of free online training to child care providers nationwide.

In the United States, 550,000 staff members in child care centers provide early care and education to 2.4 million children under the age of 5. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 1.3 million work in the informal child care workforce. Many child care providers lack the education and training necessary to provide high-quality child care. Formal education attained by a child care provider is the strongest predictor of that provider’s ability to engage children in valuable, developmentally appropriate activities.

“ChildCare Education Institute is committed to creating, administering and delivering quality online training to child care providers nationwide,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI. “Students completing CCEI’s online courses increase their knowledge of child development, health and safety, nutrition, discipline and other topics associated with high-quality care. The Pepsi Refresh Project Grant is an opportunity for CCEI to provide online training to child care providers who otherwise may not have access to training.”

Help child care teachers and children in your community by voting today and every day throughout the month of September for “Every Child Deserves a Well-Trained Teacher”! Every vote helps providers nationwide receive access to free training and increases the quality of care provided to children.

Exploring Books: Valuable Language and Literacy Experiences

It is commonly said that “It’s about the process, not the product” when children explore art and construction materials. In other words, the learning that takes place as children explore the materials, work with the tools, and learn from their experience is more important than what the final product looks like.

The same can be said for when exploring books with young children.  Reading a book, uninterrupted, from cover to cover is a wonderful experience for children, but there are many ways to add rich language and literacy experiences for children beyond listening to the words of the story.  When exploring books with young children, consider some of the following practices:

  • Multiple reads – Plan to explore a book multiple times within a week, month, or project.  This allows children to activate prior knowledge when interacting with the book.
  • Book Walks – Book walks are activities where children get to walk through the pages of the book, exploring the pictures, making observations and predictions, without reading the words on the pages.  Book walks can occur prior to reading a book, or after the book has been read a few times.
  • Ask questions – Preview the book prior to reading it to children to create a list of questions that you will ask during the reading of the book.  You might ask questions about the characters actions or feelings, the conflict, or the end of the story.
  • Plan for discussions – Understand that when you ask questions, several children may have ideas to share.  This will add to the length of time that reading the books will take.  Keep in mind the attention span of the children in your care and be one the lookout for body language telling you that they have been seated for too long..  You may want to plan a stopping point where you can pause, place a book mark in the book, and move on to the next activity.  Pick up the book again later in the day and ask children to tell you the last thing they remember.
  • Alternate endings – Create an activity that encourages children to come up with their own ending to the story.  Children can draw pictures, use clay, or in some other way represent their new ending to the story.
  • Act it out – Add story related props to the dramatic play area and encourage children to act out the story with their friends.
  • Retellings – Create puppets or felt characters that children can use to retell the story.  You can create, or have children create, sequence cards containing important elements of the story.  Children can then use the cards to retell the story in order.
  • Compare stories – You might read several similar stories, or stories by the same author, and make comparisons of the books.

What other engaging activities have you used to explore books with young children? Share on our Facebook page here.

New Course from CCEI on Building Social and Emotional Competence

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, is proud to introduce SOC107: Building Social and Emotional Competence to the online child care training course catalog.

As an early childhood education professional, it is important for providers to recognize that responsive relationships are essential for providing effective, meaningful guidance and care. These relationships exist between the provider and each child, along with the child’s family. To build a responsive relationship, the ECE professional must identify and respond to individual needs and interests. Responsive caregiving is based on not only recognizing the individuality of each child, but also honoring it through interactions with each child.

Identifying and responding to children’s needs is one of the most important roles early childhood education professionals perform. Not just physical needs (hungry, thirsty, tired), but also the children’s social and emotional needs. At times, these needs may be challenging to identify, especially when children are young and have limited language skills. Without adequate language and other coping skills, young children’s behaviors are likely to be driven by their emotions. The goal of this course is to help providers figure out ways to focus less on the behavior itself and more on what is causing the behavior. That’s really what responsive relationships are all about.

This course explores how social and emotional skills develop over time and ways that early childhood education professionals can use their understanding of this development to create an environment that supports children’s individual needs. Participants will learn recommended strategies and practices for supporting the development of social emotional skills, with the intended goal being a reduction in negative behaviors related to emotional reactions and social conflicts. Children will be exposed to new strategies that will help them build their skills in the area of social and emotional development, which will support the development of relationships and feelings of competence and self-confidence.

“Healthy, positive social-emotional development could make all the difference in a child’s life, and the path to that outcome is paved with strong adult-child relationships and meaningful conversations,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI. “Building relationships and promoting language development are the two enduring themes early childhood education providers should carry away from this course.”

SOC107: Building Social and Emotional Competence is a two-hour, beginner-level course and grants 0.2 IACET CEU upon successful completion. Current CCEI users with active, unlimited annual subscriptions can register for professional development courses at no additional cost when logged in to their CCEI account. Users without subscriptions can purchase child care training courses as block hours through CCEI online enrollment.

For more information, visit or call 1.800.499.9907, prompt 3, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST

ChildCare Education Institute, LLC

ChildCare Education Institute® provides high-quality, distance education certificates and child care training programs in an array of child care settings, including family child care, preschool, prekindergarten, childcare centers, and more. Over 100 English and Spanish child care training courses are available online to meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start Requirements. CCEI also has online certification programs that provide the coursework requirement for national credentials including the CDA, Director and Early Childhood Credentials. CCEI is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), is accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), and is authorized under the Nonpublic Postsecondary Educational Institutions Act of 1990, license number 837.

11 Critical MegaSkills© a Child Needs to Succeed

This month, CCEI Radio features an interview with Rae Pica and Dorothy Rich, Ed. D., ’11 Critical MegaSkills® a Child Needs to Succeed’. This interview defines MegaSkills® and the long term effects they have on the success of a child. MegaSkills® are the catalysts for building motivation and achievement in school and in life. Listen today to learn how you can develop a child’s MegaSkills® and create successful learning experiences that last a lifetime.

Rae Pica, Executive Director – Moving & Learning, is an internationally recognized educational consultant specializing in early childhood physical activity. Rae is also a contributing author of CCEI professional development coursework. Dr. Dorothy Rich is founder and president of Home and School Institute (HSI), a non-profit organization dedicated to building achievement in school and beyond. Dr. Rich is the author of the original MegaSkills® publications and the creator of the MegaSkills® training programs, used by more than four thousand schools across the United States and abroad.

Listening to CCEI Radio Is Easy!
Go to and click the CCEI Radio button on the right hand side of the website.

Make sure to check CCEI’s website every month for a new interview that is relevant to your career in the early childhood industry.

About ChildCare Education Institute
ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI) is a distance training institution dedicated to providing the child care industry with professional development courses and programs to meet their education requirements. Over 100 online child care training courses are available to meet annual training and licensing requirements, as well as continuing education options including the Child Development Associate (CDA) Programs of Study, Director’s Certificate Program of Study and others. CCEI is approved by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) to award IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs). CCEI is authorized under the Nonpublic Postsecondary Educational Institutions Act of 1990, license number 837.

For more information, visit or call 800.499.9907.

ChildCare Education Institute is Honored to Earn the CDA Gold Standard

As a participant in the CDA Gold Standard pilot, ChildCare Education Institute successfully demonstrated that its early childhood education training is based on the Council’s three industry-leading principles:

  1. Alignment with the CDA formal education coursework found in the CDA’s Eight Subject Areas.
  2. Sound business policies and practices.
  3. Quality student services that meet their educational and professional needs.

“We believe that our new CDA Gold Standard adds value and integrity to the early childhood profession by verifying connections between the Council’s proven teacher competencies and the quality of training resources available to CDA students,” said Valora Washington, chief executive officer, Council for Professional Recognition.

In addition to offering high-quality training, CDA Gold Standard applicants must provide evidence that they serve the CDA student community with excellence, which includes professional development that prepares students for successful completion of their training program.

“It’s exciting to think about the many young children, families, and communities that will benefit from the high-quality education and training students will receive from ChildCare Education Institute, a CDA Gold Standard organization,” Washington added.

For more information, visit or call 1.800.499.9907, prompt 3, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST

The Council for Professional Recognition

For more than 30 years, the Council for Professional Recognition has been the leader in promoting improved performance and recognition of professionals in the early childhood education of children ages zero to 5 years old. The Council recognizes and credentials professionals who work in all types of early care and education settings – Head Start, pre-k, infant-toddler, family child care, and home visitor programs. As a non-profit agency, the Council sets policies and procedures for assessment and credentialing, including the CDA® and the new CDA Gold Standard; publishes the industry leading training books and workbooks, including its CDA Competency Standards and Essentials textbook and workbook (2nd edition). Visit:

CCEI Offers No-Cost Online Course Examining The Mentoring Process: Developing Professionalism from Within

ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, offers ADM108: The Mentoring Process: Developing Professionalism from Within as a no-cost trial course to new CCEI users January 1-31, 2018.

The word mentor comes from Greek Mythology. Mentor was the name of a close advisor and trusted friend of Odysseus, the legendary Greek king. According to the myth, before Odysseus left for war he asked Mentor to work with his son, Telemachus. Mentor became Telemachus’s teacher and guided him to manhood. Since this time, the word mentor has come to signify the role played by a close and trusted guide. Today, the word mentor is applied in many contexts. Some mentor relationships begin informally, while some are initiated through formal mentoring programs. Mentor programs are used with great success in high−poverty areas to help disadvantaged or troubled youth, or anywhere a young person needs some guidance and support from a responsible, stable adult. There are companies and websites devoted to matching mentors to mentees and designing workplace mentoring programs.

A good center director should possess qualities of a good mentor. As the leader of a group of employees, the director often acts as a trusted guide. However, the director is certainly not the only qualified or necessary mentor in the center. There are many opportunities for other employees to step into the role of mentor, to support coworkers and help orient new employees to the center. This frees the director to focus on other aspects of the business and remain in a position of authority.

This course examines the benefits of mentoring in the development and maintenance of a high-quality early childhood program. In particular, participants will learn how to manage a formal mentoring system to aid in the professional development and retention of highly qualified teachers and a collaborative approach among staff.

“Mentoring brings benefits for mentors and mentees alike, and there are really no serious drawbacks or risks to encouraging mentoring in the workplace, whether on a formal or informal basis, as part of a serious “continuous improvement” philosophy in a high−quality early childhood program,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI.

ADM108: The Mentoring Process: Developing Professionalism from Within is a one-hour, beginner-level course and grants 0.1 IACET CEU upon successful completion. Current CCEI users with active, unlimited annual subscriptions can register for professional development courses at no additional cost when logged in to their CCEI account. Users without subscriptions can purchase child care training courses as block hours through CCEI online enrollment.

For more information, visit or call 1.800.499.9907, prompt 3, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST