Short professional development segments on topics of interest to family child care professionals.

Embracing Reggio Inspired Practice

Learn, Share, and Grow series cover a particular topic over a series of short video segments.  So if you only have 5 minutes, you can watch one, and if you have more time you can watch a whole series.  This series is about how providers Melody Robinson and Diann Gano are embracing the Reggio Emilia Approach after participating in a study tour there.   Melody Robinson is a family child care professional and owner of Parent's Helper in Oak Park, IL. Diann Gano is a family child care professional and owner of Under the Gingko Tree in Rock Island, IL.

Segments: 1234

Brain Development Basics

Learn, Share, and Grow series cover a particular topic over a series of short video segments.  So if you only have 5 minutes, you can watch one, and if you have more time you can watch a whole series.  This series is about brain development by Town Square content coordinator, Mary Quest.

Segments: 123

Excursions

Learn, Share, and Grow series cover a particular topic over a series of short video segments.  So if you only have 5 minutes, you can watch one, and if you have more time you can watch a whole series.  This series is about going on excursions and was created by license-exempt provider Thanh Shanahan.

Segments: 123

Using Technology for Your FCC Business

Learn, Share, and Grow series cover a particular topic over a series of short video segments.  So if you only have 5 minutes, you can watch one, and if you have more time you can watch a whole series.  This series is about using technology to support your family child care business and was created by family child care provider Sarah Bucio.

Segments: 1234

Writing Development

Learn, Share, and Grow series cover a particular topic over a series of short video segments.  So if you only have 5 minutes, you can watch one, and if you have more time you can watch a whole series.  This series is about writing as a developmental process.  

Segments: 1234

The Town Square Modules are Gateways approved and may be used toward your Illinois FCC Credential. Each module is 2 contact hrs and counts for 2 of the 15 hours required in a content area for the FCC Credential.

Embracing Appropriate Multi-Age Technology Experiences

Gateways Approved

Illinois FCC Credential Approved

Clock Hours: 2

This module will review the guidelines for developmentally appropriate technology use and how to choose high quality technology tools. Included are ideas and resources for both low and high tech tools that can be used to enhance children's experiences.  Ways to manage children's technology use and strategies to include and communicate with families about technology use will be shared.

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Environment Management: Making changes in your environment that make an impact

Gateways Approved

Illinois FCC Credential Approved

Clock Hours: 2

This module reviews concepts from other modules in the environment series. Stories of both small and big changes from family child care providers will be shared to show the impact of making changes in your environment.  Providers will be invited to consider changes they might make in their own environments.

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Environment Management: Using the environment to communicate and connect with families and community

Gateways Approved

Illinois FCC Credential Approved

Clock Hours: 2

In this module family child care providers will be invited to consider the ways the environment can support communication with families and the community. This module will illustrate a variety of ways to share information to communicate effectively with families as well as support your family child care business.  Providers will also learn about documenting children's learning experiences as a means of communicating children's growth to families and also for sharing your family child care business with the community.

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Environment Management: Creating a Child-Centered Multi-Age Space

Gateways Approved

Clock Hours: 2

A family child care home needs to be a high-quality, developmentally appropriate environment for children while also balancing the needs of the provider's family.  In this module providers will be invited to explore how to organize spaces to be safe and appropriate for children of different ages to learn and play together.  Considerations for choosing furniture that is appropriate for people and purpose and strategies for managing spaces with multiple uses will also be covered.

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Selecting Culturally Relevant and Anti-bias Materials for Your Environment

Gateways Approved

Illinois FCC Credential Approved

Clock Hours: 2

Creating a developmentally appropriate environment that balances the needs of your family and every child can be a challenge. This can be even more complex when you are working to be culturally respectful, representative and relevant. In this module we share some ideas and thoughts about how to embrace a culturally relevant and anti-bias environment.

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Technology for Family Child Care: Starting with a Child-Centered Approach

Gateways Approved

Illinois FCC Credential Approved

Clock Hours: 2

This module will introduce the idea of appropriate technology use for young children and explore ways it can be integrated into the family child care home in developmentally appropriate ways.  

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Selecting and Managing Materials that Support Learning Across Domains

Gateways Approved

Illinois FCC Credential Approved

Clock Hours: 2

In this module you will learn how to choose materials that support learning across age-levels as well as learning domains and areas. You will also explore how to plan for learning for mulit-age groups and within multiple learning domains and areas of learning in the family child care home.

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Selecting and Managing Materials that Support Multi-age Learning

Gateways Approved

Illinois FCC Credential Approved

Clock Hours: 2

This module will help you understand the importance of choosing appropriate materials and managing them in the family child care environment. Materials must be safe, be interesting to multi-age groups and support learning at many levels. The way you manage materials in your home is also very important and can even have an impact on children’s behavior.

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The Town Square Webinars are Gateways approved and may be used toward your Illinois FCC Credential. Each webinar is 1.5 contact hrs and counts for 1.5 of the 15 hours required in a content area for the FCC Credential.

Child Development for the Family Child Care Provider

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Gateways Approved

Clock Hours: 1.5

An understanding of child development is an essential tool for all family child care providers. This free webinar provides participants a brief overview of theories of child development, and their practical applications in early childhood care settings. Experts will discuss major themes for social and emotional development for young children, and a family child care provider will talk about responsive care giving.

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Your Family Child Care Environment: An Introduction to Organizing & Arranging Your Space

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Gateways Approved

Illinois FCC Credential Approved

Clock Hours: 1.5

Creating appropriate spaces in your home for your family child care business can be a challenge. You need to balance the needs of the children, the needs of your home business, and the needs of your family.  In this webinar we will introduce strategies that will help you provide a developmentally appropriate environment that engages children,  meets the needs of your home business, and still leaves your house feeling like a home.

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Technology as a Tool for Your Family Child Care Home and Business: An Introduction

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Gateways Approved

Illinois FCC Credential Approved

Clock Hours: 1.5

How can technology enhance your family child care business? In this webinar you’ll learn the importance of understanding developmentally appropriate practice and research on appropriate technology use. You’ll also explore ways in which technology can be used as a business resource that supports professional growth and collaboration with other family child care professionals and colleagues.

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Your Family Child Care Environment: Strategies for Selecting and Organizing Materials

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Gateways Approved

Illinois FCC Credential Approved

Clock Hours: 1.5

Environment is crucial when it comes to creating an effective learning space for children, but creating the right environment in your home can be a challenge. This webinar will discuss the ideas of organization management and materials selection that support the provider’s professional and home environments.

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An Introduction to Technology as a Tool for Learning with Young Children

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Gateways Approved

Illinois FCC Credential Approved

Clock Hours: 1.5

This webinar will introduce the use of technology devices and developmentally appropriate practice in the family child care home.  The panel will discuss how to use appropriate ebooks, apps, and communication tools with young children. We will also explore how low and high tech devices can help support problem solving skills, creative thinking, and social emotional development.

Participants will be introduced to the concepts of:

  • developmentally appropriate technology practices
  • different developmentally appropriate devices
  • digital media, screen time, ebooks, and technology explorations

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These professional development resources have been curated by Town Square and include links and materials that may be used to fulfill credentialing requirements. These resources are not directly affiliated with or produced by Town Square. See the original source materials for more information about clock hours and potential credential alignment.

McCormick Online Professional Development

The McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University offers online webinars and modules around early childhood leadership, preparing for the PAS or the BAS, and AIM4EXCELLENCE national director credential.

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ExceleRate Training

Looking to advance through the ExceleRate quality rating system? You will find all the required trainings on Gateways i-learning System.

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Looking into Family Child Care, a set of online learning modules, were created by Erikson Institute and the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation for agency supervisors to use as a guide in training staff members to more deeply understand their work within the family child care setting and to more fully support family child care providers. These webinars and modules offer foundational concepts relevant to improving family child care and practical tools for reflecting on and improving support of providers. Below are several resources for getting started with the Looking into Family Child Care modules. How to Use Module Training MaterialsNavigating the Online ModulesTips for Planning and Setting up a Training SessionImproving Support Services for Family Child Care Through Relationship-based Training

Supporting Family Child Care Providers in Supporting Children & Their Families: Understanding Social Emotional Development, Behavior, & What it Communicates

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Hear from experts and join your colleagues from around the country for an interactive webinar on examining the importance of supporting family child care providers in understanding and communicating with families around children’s social emotional development and challenging behaviors.

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Building Bridges to Family Child Care: How Town Square Can Facilitate Agency and Peer Suppor

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Hear from experts and join your colleagues from around the country for an interactive webinar on examining the importance of supporting family child care providers in understanding and communicating with families around children’s social emotional development and challenging behaviors. Learning objectives This webinar is targeted to agency and program support staff who work with family child care providers in their homes. • Participants will learn why attention to social emotional development is central to working with family child care providers, and how to help providers use the lens of social emotional development to understand children’s behaviors and what they communicate • Participants will gain understanding about how to work with providers around challenging child behaviors. • Participants will recognize the importance of relationships within the context of social emotional development and behavior • Participants will learn about the value of examining their own perspectives on child development and behavior, and how the importance of supporting the provider as the provider might support the child and family

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Supporting Family Child Care Quality: Systems, Program, and Provider Perspectives

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Hear from experts from around the country for an interactive webinar on examining what quality support looks like for family child care providers from a systems-level, national perspective, a local network perspective, and a provider perspective.

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Engaging Family Child Care Providers in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems

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Hear from experts and join your colleagues from around the country for an interactive webinar on examining provider perspectives on engaging in quality improvement systems and state-level examples of effective professional development and support strategies for including family child care providers in state-wide quality improvement efforts.

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Trauma in Children

The focus of this module is on trauma in children and why it is important for support specialists and family child care providers to have knowledge about this topic. The module raises awareness of how to recognize signs and symptoms of trauma, how it impacts health, and focuses on the support that professionals working with FCC providers need to incorporate self-care and recovery activities and strategies into their practice.

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Social Emotional Development & Behavior in Children

This module focuses on the importance of social emotional development from the prenatal period through childhood, increasing understanding of behavior as communication, and understanding how behavior and social emotional development are linked together.   At the foundation is the importance of trusting relationships when communicating around children’s challenging emotions and behaviors.

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Orientation to Family Child Care

This module orients trainers to the core elements of practice for family child care providers. It also guides the trainer in supporting staff in ongoing discussions of what they know and how they think about some key aspects of family child care.

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What is Family Child Care?

This module invites us to think about what we know about family child care, the features that make it unique and different from center- based care, the advantages in nurturing children’s development, and the role of agency staff in supporting providers.

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Engagement of Providers, Part I & II

This module focuses on provider engagement as a collaborative dialogical process that enables us to go deeply into the provider’s experience, explore our own reactions, and imagine new perspectives. We also explore the power of empathy for joining with providers and the potential of asking questions for developing shared meaning.

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Working with Mixed-Age Groups

This module discusses the benefits and challenges family child care providers might encounter when working with children of mixed-ages. In addition, it focuses on the home visitor’s perception of working with mixed-age groups and ways to engage in conversation with providers around this topic.

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Cultural Considerations

This module focuses on supporting staff in reflecting on cultural issues and perspectives that may arise in their work with FCC providers. You will work with staff to better understand how culture affects child-rearing values and to recognize that cultural differences can lead to dilemmas and conflict.

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On the Grow page you will find family child care focused professional development.  Town Square modules, webinars, and learning series’, created in collaboration with Erikson Institute, may count for contact hours and FCC credential requirements.

Please note: You do not need an account to view the Learn, Share, and Grow Series. However, you must sign up for a free Town Square account to register for Town Square modules and webinars.

The Grow page also hosts Family Child Care Support Specialist modules.