Child Care Provider Education

Impact Reports | Plan Details

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Plan Goal

Deliver educational workshops which provide continuing education credits and increase the knowledge level for child care providers in collaboration with Early Childhood Training & Technical Assistance Centers and Regional Early Care Education Conferences.

Situation Statement

Child care providers in New Mexico need assistance in acquiring continuing education credits in order to keep their jobs and to insure the likelihood that they can provide quality care. Child care licensing regulations in New Mexico stipulate that providers need 6-24 hours of continuing education annually depending upon the type of center or family day care home in which they work (New Mexico Kids, 2006).

There are 8,794 licensed small family child care homes in New Mexico; this number includes voluntary registered homes. Small family child care homes care for 5-6 children. In addition, there are 8,986 large family child care homes, which care for 7-12 children, and there are 630 licensed child care centers (Family Child Care Center Licensing Study, 2004). These numbers do not include the number of unregistered homes that care for young children. Lists of licensed child care centers in the state can be found by clicking child care centers at: http://www.newmexicokids.org/Family/.

Information regarding licensed or registered child care homes in a specific area can be obtained from the local Training and Technical Assistance Centers at: http://www.newmexicokids.org/Resource/TTAP/index.htm.

By calculating that each family day care home has at least one provider and that child care centers have 2 or more providers, it is estimated that there are about 19,000 to 25,000 child care providers working in New Mexico. In addition, staff turnover is high, thus there is a need for continual staff training for new providers. There are a large number of child care providers who need continuing education but too few training opportunities exist, especially in a provider’s home town. Traveling to professional conferences which usually occur in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, or Santa Fe, imposes a hardship on providers who live in other parts of the state, in terms of money and time. New Mexico’s Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance Centers as well as Regional Early Care Education Conferences (RECEC) work to provide child care provider training, but they do not have the capacity to address the needs of all the providers statewide.

Extension can help fill this educational gap, particularly in remote and rural areas, by providing local educational workshops. County Extension Agents can deliver educational workshops sponsored solely by the County Extension Office or in collaboration with RECEC and/ or New Mexico’s Early Childhood Training & Technical Assistance Centers. In order to meet New Mexico licensing regulations, County Agents must contact their county licensing agency to verify that the workshops are certified to be counted as continuing education and that each workshop session meets one of seven recognized competencies.

The competency areas are 1) child growth, development, and learning; 2) health, safety, nutrition, and infection control; 3) family and community collaboration; 4) developmentally appropriate content; 5) learning environment and curriculum implementation; 6) assessment of children and programs; and 7) professionalism (2006 New Mexico Kids, Licensing Regulations, p17). http://www.newmexicokids.org/caregivers/?view=/Resource/regs/index.cfm#NewProposedRegulationChanges)

If County Agents choose to collaborate with New Mexico’s Early Childhood Training & Technical Assistance Centers, they can contact the center nearest them. There are eight training centers in the state: Portales, Las Cruces, Roswell, Albuquerque, Silver City, Taos, Santa Fe, and Farmington. http://www.newmexicokids.org/Family/index.cfm

County Agents may also want to work with RECEC. The Regional Early Care Education Conferences (RECEC) are a collaboration between state agencies and community organizations that provide an educational venue for adult learners to improve child development practices and increase compliance with state and federal program regulations and policies. They strive to improve the quality of care, overall health and safety of the child care environment and to empower communities to educate and support New Mexico’s childcare providers. http://www.newmexicokids.org/caregivers/?view=/Resource/EarlyCare/FamilyNutrition/recec.htm

Continuing education for child care providers is not only required for continued employment, but it also increases the likelihood that child care workers will provide quality care for young children. Studies show that children in quality care are better adjusted emotionally and have higher level cognitive functioning than children who experience poor quality care. Quality care indicators are: educational and sensitivity level of provider, number of children in group, teacher-child ratio, and quality of the environment (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2002; NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2003)

References
Family Child Care Center Licensing Study (August 2004) Children's Foundation and the National Association for Regulatory Administration. http://nccic.org/statedata/statepro/newmexic.html

New Mexico Kids (2006) Website on Pre-Kindergarten Education in New Mexico sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth, and Families. http://www.newmexicokids.org

NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (2002) Child-care structure>process>outcome: Direct and indirect effects of child-care quality on young children's development. Psychological Science, 13. http://secc.rti.org/abstracts.cfm?abstract=25

NICHD Early Child Care Research Network & Duncan, G. J. (2003) Modeling the impacts of child care quality on children’s preschool cognitive development. Child Development, 74. http://secc.rti.org/abstracts.cfm?abstract=55

Target Audience and Actions

The target audience is child care providers who will earn continuing education hours and increase their knowledge level by attending educational workshops.

County Agents can coordinate and present educational workshops on a variety of subjects such as nutrition education, child development and guidance, and child health and safety, as long as they are approved for continuing education credit and meet one of the child care competencies set by the licensing agency. http://www.newmexicokids.org/caregivers/?view=/Resource/regs/index.cfm#NewProposedRegulationChanges)

The New Staff Orientation Program for Child Caregivers, which is produced by Penn State Extension, can also be used as an activity to meet program goals. This program is used for continuing education for child caregivers in Pennsylvania and meets their licensing regulations for training http://betterkidcare.psu.edu/page11a.html.

Five of the programs from Penn State Extension have been adapted by the New Mexico Child and Family Specialist to meet New Mexico’s needs. Each program topic consists of a 15 minute video, print resources for workshops, pre and post tests, forms to collect data from workshop participants 6 weeks and 6 months after the initial workshop. Adapted programs are on the following topics: Play and the Young Child, Child Development, Job Stress, Behavior Management, Communicating with Parents.

These program materials are available free of charge from the State Child Development and Family Life Specialist ddelcamp@nmsu.edu.They are also posted at the departmental website www.ehe.nmsu.edu

Short-Term Objectives

80% of participants will increase their knowledge level on a variety of subjects which meet child care licensing regulation competencies, such as nutrition education, child care and guidance, child health and safety, or one of the topics in the New Staff Orientation Program.

80% of participants will acquire necessary continuing education hours to keep their employment as child care providers.

Medium-Term Objectives

Six weeks after attending workshops, 60% of providers will be using techniques learned, with children in their care.

Six weeks after attending workshops, 60% of providers will have kept their jobs as a result of earning continuing education credits.

Long-Term Objectives

Six months after attending workshops, 40% of providers will be using techniques learned with children in their care.

Six months after attending workshops, 40% of providers will have kept their jobs as a result of earning continuing education credits.

Evaluation Plan

Pre/ post knowledge tests will be used to determine level of knowledge gained or lost from educational workshops.

The number of providers who keep their jobs as a result of earning continuing education credits and the number of hours of continuing education credits earned will be documented from surface mail surveys, or email surveys of providers or center administrators 6 weeks and 6 months after initial workshop.

Surface mail or email surveys of participants or center administrators will be used 6 weeks and 6 months after educational programs to determine behavior adoption of child care providers. Forms to use in collecting evaluation data are available from the State Child Development and Family Life Specialist ddelcamp@nmsu.edu. They are also posted at the departmental web site www.ehe.nmsu.edu

Plan of Work Signature Page

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I, Department Head for faculty member  , have reviewed this Plan of Work and agree that it includes:

  • Goal Statement
  • Situation Statement
  • Target Audience and Actions
  • Measurable Short, Medium, and Long-Term Objectives
  • Evaluation Plan


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