Grand County " Grand Beginnings offers Infant/Toddler Class through Colorado Mountain College |

Grand County " Grand Beginnings offers Infant/Toddler Class through Colorado Mountain College

Grand Beginnings is offering a free course, Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Care (EQ), for parents and childcare providers. Participants can earn three college credits from the Colorado Mountain College’s Steamboat Springs campus. Offered for the first time in Grand County, the 48-hour course (ECE 111) is based on the understanding that infants and toddlers grow and learn through relationships.

The class runs from March 15 to May 30, evenings and weekends, at Learning Hands Childcare, 43 Ten Mile Drive, Granby. Free childcare is available.

Grand Beginnings Director Kelly Stern says she’s excited to bring the EQ class to Grand County.

“This class has something for everyone ” new moms, parents with toddlers, and childcare providers,” Stern says. “It’s a very child-centered curriculum based on what makes children feel happy and secure, and much of the class applies to older children as well. Plus, it’s a great chance for childcare providers to further their knowledge and skills, and earn college credits for free.”

Started in 1999, the statewide EQ initiative increases the quality and availability of infant and toddler care throughout Colorado. It’s a collaborative endeavor between the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Human Services. Designed for people working with infants and toddlers in groups, the course’s 16 modules cover topics such as: emotional development; responsive caregiving; Importance of family partnerships; how babies and toddlers learn through exploring; learning to talk; literacy; babies in motion; importance of culture; and children with special needs.

“With the growing demand for quality childcare in the county, we hope this class encourages people to further their skills and take the steps toward becoming licensed providers,” Stern says.

Individuals who successfully complete the EQ class meet training requirements specific to Nursery Supervisor and the specialized family childcare licenses.

The class will be taught by Stern, who holds a master’s degree in education and has been in the education field for the past 10 years; and Grand Beginnings’ coach Judy Schroedl, a certified environmental ratings specialist.

Research shows high quality early childhood programs help children succeed in school and life. The Ounce of Prevention and Zero to Three organizations recommend looking for childcare centers that provide:

– Warm, sensitive caregivers trained in infant development.

– Caregivers who understand the importance of children’s early relationships and are able to form effective partnerships with parents.

– Low staff turnover, ensuring continuity in caregiving.

– Small groups of 6-8 infants, or 8-10 toddlers.

– Low child-to-teacher ratios, with no more than 3 infants per adult.

– Each infant assigned to only 1-2 primary caregivers who feed, change, and play with the baby, allowing the baby to form meaningful, secure relationships with those that care for him/her.

– Caregivers should not change each year, but should stay with the same infants for at least 3 years.

Call Grand Beginnings at (970) 531-3134 for more information or to register for the EQ class. Grand Beginnings enhances the quality of early childhood in Grand County by supporting young children, families and childcare providers. The non-profit organization collaborates with local agencies, governments, schools and childcare providers to promote programs and education for children from birth through 8 years.

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