Resources for Early Childhood Educators

Growing Minds is a team of former early childhood educators and directors with many years of collective experience in center-, home-, and school-based early childhood care and education settings. We are available for training, consultation, and coaching. Our goal is that all children, regardless of their family resources, have access to high quality child care and preschool programs that help them thrive. Drawing upon research-based information, we partner with early childhood professionals to generate their own unique goals, solutions and strategies. Group care and education with young children is enriching but also can be challenging so we offer a variety of services and supports for caregivers and teachers seeking to develop and advance their skills.

Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential Training Program

The CDA is a widely recognized, national credential for early childhood educators. The ReadyKids CDA is a self-paced study program to obtain the CDA credential. It is designed for adults working in early childhood care and education settings who want to further their education but may not choose or have access to online CDA classes, or who do not wish to enroll in community college classes. Contact Suzanne McDonald to learn more.

Virginia Infant and Toddler Specialist Network (ITSN)

The ITSN works to increase the knowledge level and skills of those who care for infants and toddlers in group settings. Services include free, individualized on-site program supports as well as community-based trainings. Scholarships, education incentives, and materials are also available. Contact Jamie Morris to learn more, or visit www.va.gapitc.org. The VA Infant and Toddler Specialist Network is a program of Child Development Resources and is supported by the with funds made available to Virginia from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Virginia Quality Technical Assistance and Coaching

The self-paced Virginia Quality system is designed for family-, center- and school-based early care and education programs that serve children birth-five to improve the quality of their services. Licensed programs and all programs that participate in Virginia’s Child Care Subsidy Program are eligible. Virginia Quality’s free supports include online webinars, group trainings, learning communities, and on-site consultation and coaching. Each quality level creates an opportunity for growth and mastery based on Virginia’s early childhood standards. Mini-grants for scholarships and classroom materials are available to Virginia Quality participants. Contact Gail Esterman to learn more. Please also visit www.virginiaquality.com to learn about Virginia Quality Standards and to find out which programs in your area participate in this quality improvement initiative.

Trainings and Workshops for Early Childhood Educators

Growing Minds offers trainings and workshops throughout the year for groups of family-, center- and school-based early childhood educators and caregivers. Sessions are designed to help educators and caregivers learn the skills needed to provide high-quality activities and interactions that align with Virginia’s early learning standards and best practices. Contact Gail Esterman to learn more.

Voluntary Registration (for Family Child Care Providers)

Voluntary Registration is a form of regulation available to family day homes (home-based child care providers) that are not required to be licensed. These homes have four or fewer children in care, at any time, not including the providers own child(ren) and any children who reside in the home. Being registered promotes you as a professional and has additional benefits such as being eligible for the USDA Food Program. ReadyKids can help you with the Voluntary Registration application process. After you have your certificate, ReadyKids offers trainings and incentive programs. Contact Suzanne McDonald to learn more.

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