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Training provided to child-care professionals

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Two speakers provide insight for caregivers

By Theresa Howard

The LaRue County Early Childhood Council sponsored six hours of training for local child-care workers Nov. 14 at the Extension Service office. Two topics were covered: Elizabeth Lancaster presented Kentucky’s early childhood standards and field guides. She is the early childhood special education coordinator for Hardin County Schools. Kathy Crawford, retired from LaRue County Public Library youth programs, shared information on bringing books to life.

Lancaster shared the field guide was created for anyone who works with young children, birth to four years. It is intended to support early childhood professionals who work in the following settings: home settings, early intervention settings and center-based care.

She emphasized why early childhood education is important with an example about stress. She shared most people under stress will react exactly how they saw their early caregivers react. Think about it, when you are upset and stressed, who do you react like? Is that someone who helped raise you or influenced you as a young child?

She encouraged the training participants to always see themselves in their jobs as early childhood professionals and not just be labeled as babysitters in their jobs as child care providers.

The mission of the LaRue County Early Childhood Council is to maximize resources and encourage collaboration to improve local early childhood education. Whether a child is being cared for at home, in a center, or in an early childhood program, the council is dedicated to helping local children through training, materials, advocacy and collaboration.

This year the council is using $14,250 in grant funds to help pay for quality training for local child-care providers. The council also offers mini-grant funds to local centers to help them improve their education materials and equipment. The centers must be participating in the state’s Stars Quality rating system.

A new Web resource for parents or those working with children is part of the Extension Web site.

This is a collaboration of all land grant universities across the nation, such as the University of Kentucky. Specialists across the U.S. help provide information on a variety of topics such as parenting.

You can even submit questions on this Web site through their Answers tab or “ask an expert” feature.

You can find the Extension parenting information at www.extension.org/parenting.