Early Childhood Professional Development & Resources



including Health & Safety

Karen Rucker, M.S.
ECE Master Trainer


​​​Interested in a topic not listed? Contact the instructor, Karen Rucker, regarding the possibility of customizing a session to address your center's specific professional development needs or to address a specific age group. For additional information, click on the Contact tab or send an email to krucker@RespectingChildren.com  or call 717-314-8368.


It's Not All About You... Functioning as a Member of a Team (2 hrs / C2)  Teams cannot be mandated by management. There is no book or article; there is no activity; there is no formula to make you a team. Groups of individuals become a team when members choose to be one. This session will examine elements of a team, the payoffs and how to move toward harmony in the workplace.

​​Leave It at the Door:  Managing Personal Stress in the Workplace (2 hrs / C2)  Got stress??!!?  Everyday ECE professionals dedicate themselves to nurturing children, youth, and families.  Often they are so dedicated to serving others, they neglect their own needs.  When this happens, staff can experience stress that impacts job satisfaction and personal health.  Join us as we explore tools to manage stress in the classroom and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. 

Not Just a Babysitter - What It Means to Be an ECE Professional (2 hrs / C1)  Early care is so much more than just babysitting!  Children deserve practitioners who understand the importance of quality care and are committed to professionalism.  Join us as we take a look at some child care myths and discover why working in ECE can be incredibly rewarding as you leave your positive imprint on the lives of children and their families.

​NOTE: Formerly titled "Not 'Just a Babysitter!' - Committing to Professionalism in ECE

What Is a CDA? Exploring National Certification in Early Care by Earning a Child Development Associate (1 hr / C1)  Are you or a staff person thinking of pursuing a CDA credential?  Taught by a long-time CDA instructor and prior CDA PD Specialist, discussion will cover types of CDA certificates available and the CDA process which consists of 120 hours of training, a professional portfolio, parent surveys, the CDA Verification Visit and the CDA exam.  Tips and hints for success in achieving the CDA will be included.

CDA Portfolio Completion and Preparation for the CDA Visit & Exam  
(6 hrs / C2)  Designed for the CDA candidate who has either completed the 120 hours needed to apply for a CDA or is near completion.  Led by a seasoned CDA PD Specialist with considerable experience assessing CDA candidates and teaching CDA classes. This class prepares the participant for completion of the CDA portfolio tasks including the required resource collection items, competency statements, parent survey and the philosophy statement.  Guidance will also be provided in completing the CDA Application process, including finding a CDA PD Specialist and preparing for both the CDA Verification Visit and the CDA exam. 
IMPORTANT:  Participant must already own/purchase a copy of the CDA competency standards book from the CDA Council which applies to the CDA they plan to pursue (Infant/Toddler or Preschool or Family Child Care).  This source is available from www.CDACouncil.org


The Importance of Supervision:  Indoors & Out (2 hrs / C1)  As early childhood professionals, we ensure families that their children will be appropriately supervised while they are in our care - both indoors and outdoors.  Discussion of the consequences of inadequate supervision, legal responsibilities, strategies for effective supervision, and the role of a supervision policy.  

The Daily Dozen: 12 Important Components to Promote Playground Safety (2 hrs / C2) More than 200,000 children are injured each year on playgrounds.  Learn how to detect hazards on your playground and take steps to prevent injury.  Information includes the importance of frequent playground checks, age-appropriate equipment, dangers that need to be addressed and a brief discussion on the critical role of supervision.


KEYNOTE ONLY - Essential Ingredient of a High Quality Care Program: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (1.5 hrs / C2) All children deserve to be treated in a way that respects who they are and who they have the potential to become.  Truly respecting children means that we talk with them, not at them; that we handle their bodies and minds with care, not carelessness; and that we afford them no less than we would want afforded to ourselves.  Join as we discuss the important role of respectful relationships in promoting positive outcomes for children.