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October 29, 2003

Purdue Extension offers child development classes to caregivers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Childcare providers in Indiana have new Purdue University Cooperative Extension resources for learning more about working with young children including professional development classes and a new Web site.

Dee Love, a Purdue Extension specialist in the Department of Child Development and Family Studies, said the classes provide an opportunity for caregivers to improve their skills.

"Research confirms that the most important factor in quality childcare is the person providing the care," Love said. "Understanding child development and building supportive relationships with children is key. These classes can be the first steps toward doing that."

The classes also should help participants successfully complete the assessment process to receive a child development associate (CDA) credential. The CDA is a nationally recognized credential based on demonstrated competency. Recent changes in Indiana regulations require the CDA for childcare providers in licensed family childcare and center care settings.

"Purdue Extension is well suited to deliver CDA instruction, providing basic child development information as the first step in entering the early childhood profession," Love said. "The goal is to nurture children's physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth in a child development framework."

Purdue Extension's childcare classes will begin in November and continue through the spring in Benton, Carroll, Clark, Floyd, Fountain, Warren, White and Washington counties. The sessions will cover 13 competency areas including health and safety, communication, guidance, working with families, and program management.

"A grant from the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children lowered the cost to $25 per class, making them more affordable for childcare providers who need this credential," Love said.

Purdue is one of several groups awarded IAEYC grants for CDA training. Additional information about grant recipients is available at http://www.iaeyc.org/.

In addition to the classes, Love has put together a Web resource for Indiana childcare professionals. The Web site highlights interdisciplinary resources and professional development opportunities offered by Purdue Extension, as well as providing other childcare related news and resources.

For more information or to enroll in the classes, contact Love at (765) 494-2933, loved@purdue.edu.

Writer: Kay Hagen, (765) 494-6682, kjh@purdue.edu

Source: Dee Love, (765) 494-2933, loved@cfs.purdue.edu

Related Web site:

ChildCareInfo@purdue.edu: http://www2.ces.purdue.edu/childcareinfo

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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