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A long term objective was met. A day care center director in Lea County uses the Better Kid Care series as a new employee teaching tool and believes that the school has a higher teacher retention rate because of the initial training teachers receive, versus no training at all.
Short term goals were met. 89% of participants (of counties reporting evaluation data) increased their knowledge level on the following topics: child development ages & stages; immunization & infectious diseases; reducing stress; child abuse prevention; Child & Adult Care Food Program; encouraging healthy eating and physical activity; community resources; special needs children; marketing your business, food allergies, infants & toddlers; literacy; scheduling & transitions; toys; school age programming.
These topics met state child care licensing regulation competencies.
451 child care providers from Lea, Chaves, Eddy, Otero, San Juan, McKinley, and Roosevelt counties attended workshops at 6 centers and 2 Regional Child Care Conferences. They acquired 43 continuing education credits, thus a total of 19,393 continuing education hours were provided by Cooperative Extension.
Programs and child care centers served include: the Navajo Nation Child Care & Development Program; Kidz First Child Care Center; Fort Defiance Regional Child Care Providers Agency; Connections Agency Day Care Providers; Project Success (Gallup/ McKinley County Schools Child Day Care Providers). Collaborators included local Training and Technical Assistance Programs and Regional Early Care and Education conferences.
In 2011, provided an educational workshop to 57 child care providers at the Regional Early Care and Education Conference. The educational workshop assists providers in obtaining certificates to meet child care licensing and registration requirements. The workshop focused on how adults can encourage healthy eating and promote physical activity among children. Ideas were provided to child care providers for ways to make food fun and for supporting the physical growth and development in children. Evaluation statistics for the workshop indicate that 75% of participants increased their knowledge of how to choose moderate food portion sizes; 70% of participants increased their knowledge of how to make smart choices from every food group; 65% of participants increased their knowledge of how to eat a variety of foods from the food groups each day for good health; 55% of participants increased their knowledge of how to promote physical activity among children; and 54% of participants increased their knowledge of why physical activity is important for maintaining a healthy body. In addition, 100% of participants reported that they will prepare the recipes they obtained from the workshop for children; 100% of participants reported that the information covered in the workshop was useful to their jobs; and 97% of participants will use the physical activity ideas for children learned from the workshop. Some of the participant comments included: “ I was able to get a lot of ideas and information out of this workshop”, “the class was very entertaining and the instructor was knowledgeable”, “it was a good presentation, I have learned a lot”, “it gave us a lot of good ideas to get our kids eating healthy and exercising right”, and “Educational and useful class that I can use in my day care and my family. I liked how Ms Knight went into detail about how nutrition and physical activity is important to our health! Handouts were very helpful!”
As a result of networking with Lea County Family Center, Economic Development Corporation of Lea County, New Mexico Department of Health and Family Resource and Referral, Lea County Extension Service has become a recognized source for educational programming and training for child care providers. 27% of providers have returned to the annual workshop for educational credits towards their license.
From 2006-2010 childcare providers in Lea County attended educational workshops. Workshop content ranged from “I CAN” nutrition education programs to general child care and guidance topics. Requests for programs came from the center itself or were requested by a licensing agency, such as Family Resource and Referral.
Six weeks after attending workshops, child care providers in Lea County visited the Lea County Extension Service to borrow equipment, curriculum, or receive additional training on a technique or program that was taught during the 2010 workshop such as the “Glo-Germ Hand Washing Activity” and “The Animal Trackers Physical Activity Curriculum”. The center based providers who have used the Better Kid Care Series for their new employees, reported that there is a higher retention rate with new hires. The providers seemed to be staying in their job because of the initial training they received from the Penn State series versus no training at all.
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