Early childhood educators are specialized teachers who work with children under the age of eight in schools, preschools, early education centers, day care centers, child care settings and other similar environments. Proper training in child development and teaching techniques is essential for maintaining best practices in the work environment. Educators can find a variety of early childhood workshops through colleges/schools, child development agencies and even online.
Workshops at Colleges and Schools
Many colleges, universities and technical schools offer early childhood education workshops for educators. These may focus on a specific topic such as increasing pre-literacy skills or a more general subject such as child development in the toddler years. Community and technical schools frequently provide educators with the opportunity to freshen skills and learn knew knowledge through workshops and seminars. For example, the Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin offers monthly continuing education workshops in early childhood education topics. Workshops at colleges and universities may differ from other early childhood trainings in terms of the depth of the subject matter and/or the presenter. These workshops often feature nationally known researchers or professors as guest lecturers.
Early childhood educators wishing to continue their education or brush up on skills may want to try an online version of the traditional child development workshop. These workshops allow the participant to complete the training in the comfort of their own home and on their own schedule. This is especially important to the busy educator who may work a 40 or more hour week. A variety of different professionals and organizations such as the Perpetual Preschool website and The Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood provide online training opportunities
Other Organizations and Agencies Offering Workshops
Child care, child development, early education and professional educator organizations and agencies all offer early childhood education workshops for teachers and child development specialists. These may be statewide organizations such as the Pennsylvania Child Care Association or local AEYC (Association for the Education of Young Children) chapters. Additionally, some states' departments of education offer regular teacher training workshops for early childhood educators. For example, the New Jersey Department of Education maintains a list of available professional development workshops in early childhood topics that range from language arts to teaching math to preschoolers.
Reasons to Particpate in Early Childhood Education Workshops
Depending on what type of educator you are and where you work, there may be many different reasons for participating in early childhood workshops. Preschool teachers who work in schools and centers licensed by state regulatory bodies may need to complete a mandatory number of continuing education hours per year. Accredited or approved workshops will count toward these continuing education credits. Other reasons to participate in early childhood education workshops include learning new knowledge and teaching methods, connecting with other professionals in the field and developing best practice techniques.
- child image by Renata Osinska from Fotolia.com