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Common Online Courses about Infants and Toddlers for Professional Caregivers
Here are some descriptions of common online courses for professional caregivers of infants and toddlers.
- Family, Culture and Community Course: Students consider the roles of various external influences in the lives of children. Factors such as class, race, ethnicity, language and religion are examined in terms of how they come together to form diverse identities. The importance of developing positive and empowering relationships with families and communities is discussed as caregivers are taught skills to foster these connections. This course may require PowerPoint in order to view and create presentations.
- Infant and Toddler Growth and Development Course: Patterns of physical, cognitive, emotional, social and language development from birth to three years of age are the focus of this online course. Students learn about theories of nature and nurture and ways to provide opportunities that encourage development. Additional topics include assessment techniques for identifying atypical behaviors and how to integrate exceptionalities in the childcare setting.
- Infant and Toddler Health, Safety and Nutrition Course: This course provides a broad understanding of the physical and nutritional needs of infants and toddlers. Students learn to promote healthy eating and sleeping patterns and provide a supportive environment for potty training. Ways to maintain a safe environment by eliminating hazardous conditions through childproofing practices and decreasing the transmission of common childhood illnesses are discussed. Tools for recognizing and reporting neglect and abuse are also provided.
- Behavior Management and Socialization Course: Reasons for misbehavior in children and appropriate attitudes and responses from adults are the focus of this course. Students learn to employ developmentally appropriate intervention methods for modifying negative behaviors while encouraging positive interactions between individuals and within groups. The importance of documenting observations is discussed along with topics such as understanding temperament, attachment disorders, the development of trust and the promotion of positive self-esteem.
- Early Education Course: This online course covers developmentally appropriate learning activities for infants and toddlers. A basic understanding of brain development is taught, and students discuss ways of learning at each stage. Students also study how to create a learning-rich environment that utilizes appropriate materials and activities to encourage the development of sensory-motor and language skills.
- Creative Expression and Play Course: Children learn through play. Students enrolled in this course learn how to create fun learning activities for children. The course also stresses the importance of play to help encourage creativity and necessary social skills.
- Special Needs Course: In this course, aspiring teachers learn how to care for children with physical and/or mental disabilities. They also learn how to foster inclusive childcare facility groups that meet the needs of all children, whether they are disabled or not.
- Cultural Diversity Course: Students in this course gain an appreciation for cultural diversity and how it influences the behavior and development of young children. They also learn how to work with children from particular backgrounds in a culturally sensitive manner.
Requirements for professional caregivers of infants and toddlers range from on-the-job training to certificates, associate's or bachelor's degrees in child development or early childhood education. Online courses are available in topics such as early developmental milestones, age-appropriate techniques for behavior modification, creating a learning-rich environment and the impacts of family and culture on development. Caregivers of infants and children work in a variety of settings, including employers' homes, homes of private providers and childcare centers.
There are many undergraduate courses online that can help aspiring professional caregivers understand the principles of early childhood development and learning, which they can apply in their future careers.