The men and women who staff child care centers, preschools and elementary schools play a vital role in shaping children’s futures. In our Early Care & Education of Young Children program, students learn how to meet youngsters’ most basic needs while providing a safe environment that fosters growth along with emotional, intellectual, language, physical and social development.
As they prepare to pursue careers in education or the daycare industry, students practice the following skills:
- Performing infant and child CPR, as well as providing pediatric first aid
- Implementing infection control and illness prevention policies by sanitizing toys, etc.
- Planning and preparing nutritious, age-appropriate meals and snacks
- Supervising children and using positive reinforcement to guide their behavior
- Communicating with parents about children’s activities, interests and progress
After studying the developmental characteristics of children at various ages, students team up to draft daily lesson plans based on short- and long-term curriculum goals. Under the supervision of staff, they present their lessons to youngsters at LCTI’s daycare center, World of Imagination. Lesson activities may range from storytime and sing-alongs to puppet shows and science experiments.
Students also learn how to observe, record and analyze children’s behavior, a habit that can help caretakers improve the effectiveness of their lesson activities, for example, or identify developmental problems. Passing a physical, obtaining the required state clearances for working with children and securing letters of recommendation are important elements of the program, too.