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