Professional Development

Agency staff arrange on-going training for our day home educators in a variety of ways including: in their homes, at monthly meetings, conferences, and in office training opportunities.

Our Family Day Home Educators are expected to achieve, at a minimum, their Child Development Assistant Certificate within one year of contracting with the Agency.  They are encouraged to pursue their Child Development Worker and Child Development Supervisor Certification during their career with our Agency.

As part of an Educator’s commitment to professionalism in the field it is expected that Educators will attend training sessions, conferences, and agency meetings to meet requirements for professional development.

Brain Sketch

September 1, 2020

Brain Architecture Game

The Brain Architecture Game is a tabletop game experience that builds understanding of the powerful role of experiences on early brain development – what promotes it, what derails it, with what consequences for society.

Your goal is to build a brain that is as tall as possible, which represents functionality, and as sturdy as possible, which represents the ability to withstand stresses.  After the initial period of early childhood brain development, weights must be hung from the structure of the brain when life hands out stressors.  Will the foundation withstand these weights, or will it collapse?

Girls Playing in Snow

January 12, 2021

Brain Development - Seeing & Supporting Children's Active Bodies & Minds

This training supports educators in creating learning environments in which children can exercise their developing large motor abilities. 


Concepts Discussed:

  • The connection between children's bodies and brains and appreciate the need to incorporate large muscle experiences into the classroom

  • Children's movement needs and practices that will meet these needs in the day homes.

  • How to incorporate large muscle experiences into the day home spaces.

Boy Playing with Blocks

February 23, 2021

Pedagogical Partners - Exploring the Dispositions to Learn

Dispositions to learn are not taught to children; however, what educators do matters. When you respond to each child’s dispositions to learn—extending and expanding their playing, seeking, participating, persisting, and caring, you value and acknowledge each child’s learning potential. 

We use the combination “I/we” intentionally to remind us that care, play, and learning are always both individually and socially constructed.


For example,

I/we are playing and playful

I/we are seeking

I/we are participating

I/we are persisting

I/we are caring

The five dispositions to learn reflect the image of the child described within this curriculum framework—the image of a capable, strong, and resourceful child who is an agentic and active learner—a mighty learner and citizen.

Drawing Time

April 24, 2021

Pedagogical Partners - Time & Space 

Time for play, for inquiry, for thinking, and for pursuing an interest alone or with friends and educators is important if learning is to become meaningful for the learner. Rigid daily routines can create imbalances in daily experiences and minimize the importance of play and learning that children are engaged in. When children experience fluid time that reflects their rhythms in care and play, they are able to develop their ideas alone and with others.

Space for play, for alone time, for social play with others, and for focused opportunities to pursue an interest are important for children as learners and as citizens. Through the organization of space, educators consider both familiar and novel play spaces that can ignite possibilities for children’s exploration, imagination, creativity, and decision-making.

Playing with Wooden Alphabets

June 3, 2021

Communication with Families Using the ASQ

Regular Ages & Stage Screening (ASQ) provides a fast and helpful look at how children are doing in important areas like communication, social skills, motor skills, and problem-solving skills. Screening can identify a child’s strengths, uncover new milestones to celebrate, and reveal any areas where a child may need support. It helps parents and educators understand a child’s development and know what to look for next.

The great thing about ASQ is that it’s strengths-focused—the emphasis is really on what a child can do. It’s the perfect way to keep track of milestones and celebrate them as a child grows and develops.  And, it helps parents work with doctors and educators to plan next steps when it makes the most difference — a child’s critical first years of life.

ASQ is a screener, not an assessment tool, so it does not diagnose a disability. It can help determine if a child needs further assessment or support in one or more areas. A big benefit of ASQ is that it helps catch potential delays or issues early — so if a child does need some extra support, follow-up, or intervention, they can get it now, when it makes the most difference.

Kids Blowing Bubbles

November 2, 2020

Kids Have Stress Too! ® 

​Even the most nurturing home and school environment includes a range of stressors that can both challenge and motivate children. While stress is a necessary part of development and learning, it’s clear that Canadian families now face more stress than ever before.

Kids Have Stress Too!  Provides a comprehensive introduction to key aspects of early childhood and brain development, as well as the crucial role caregivers and educators play in helping children learn effective stress-management strategies. Designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators and kindergarten teachers, the program contains practice and curriculum-based strategies to help young children learn how to manage stress.

Ux mobile app

January 19, 2021

Pedagogical Partners - Exploring the Planning Cycle

The reflection and planning guide assumes a strong, capable image of the child and family. Within the Alberta curriculum framework, content begins with the experiences of children and engages educators as co-learners, co-researchers and co-imaginers of possibilities. In these roles, educators are encouraged to make use of a co-inquiry process and emergent curriculum planning in ways that notice and name what children are doing in their play, learning and development; reflect and interpret using the curriculum goals and children’s dispositions to learn; and then, co-imagine possibilities with children, families and colleagues for further exploration and play.

Boy Playing with Abacus

March 24, 2021

Pedagogical Partners -Open Ended Child Led Play & Learning

Child-led play relies on the child to make the majority of decisions when engaging in play. Simply put, the child will choose the activity, toy or location for which to engage in play. It is all about giving the child choices instead of leading them in activities.

Open-ended play prioritizes fun and creativity. The perfect opportunity for engaging your child’s imagination and enhancing their social and emotional intelligence, open-ended play presents a world of benefits for your child’s learning and intellectual growth.

There’s no “wrong” way for children to engage in open-ended play. When children have the ability to play without instruction, they become less concerned with doing the activity correctly. Open-ended play instills confidence in your child to experiment with new concepts as they realize there’s no right or wrong way to engage.

Holding Hands

May 19, 2021

Let’s Talk about Empathy & Compassion!

When engaging with children and families there are many dynamics to consider.  As ECE’s we facilitate opportunities for children to learn about, practice with, and refine their socio-emotional competencies.  And embedded within this exploration is the element of compassion!  These same skills that we embrace with children are also skills that we can use to engage with parents and guardians.  

Although compassion is something that is often talked about within early learning and education, what is compassion?  What is empathy?  Are these the same or different?  If compassion is embraced, does that mean that boundaries and expectations are more flexible or even forgotten?  Compassion can encourage creativity, connection, reciprocity, and mutuality by making relationships a priority.  Join Shauna on May 19th to explore more about what compassion is and how this can support your role as an ECE within your interactions and relationships. And…you may even find that there is opportunity for this to transfer outside of your professional practice into your personal life as well!

Mother and Baby on Floor

June 17, 2021

Pedagogical Mentors - Learning Stories

Everything children do has meaning for them. Curriculum decisions in early learning and child care begin with children. These goals help early learning and child care educators think about and describe what children are experiencing in the early childhood environment and consider further possibilities that can enrich children’s care, play, learning, and development.

The four holistic play-based goals can be used to reflect on and interpret the experiences of children, including infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Each goal is expanded into three facets—aspects of the broader goal. Each goal facet is further expanded into a list of descriptors. Goal descriptors can be used to describe what children are doing in their care, play, learning, and development. In this way, educators can begin to talk to one another and to families about children’s experiences using a common language.

Kid Playing Outdoor

December 8, 2020

Utilizing the PLOT Survey to Inform Planning

The Physical Literacy Observation Tool (PLOT) is used as a guide for observing early years fundamental movement skills to enhance program planning, activities, and play-based environments.  

PLOT is not a child development assessment tool, rather a tool to support Fundamental Movement Skills that are necessary prerequisites to being physically active for a life time.

Brothers Playing

February 9, 2021

Hard Joys:  Managing Behaviour with a Creative Mind & a Playful Spirit

This training introduces six teaching tools for reshaping trying behaviors in young children. It will help educators individualize their teaching responses to each child.

Training Outcomes:

  1. Educators will understand that most children experience behavioural difficulties at some time.

  2. Educators will identify the variability and uniqueness of each child's experience with behavioural difficulties.

  3. Educators will apply six tools for reshaping difficult behaviours.

  4. Educators will investigate behaviors as signals of underlying developmental issues.

  5. Educators will recognize children's different energy zones and how they apply to behavioural difficulties.

  6. Educators will select solutions for difficulties caused by different energy zones from an array of solutions.

Woman Preparing Food

April 8, 2021

Nourishing Beginnings

A free online early childhood nutrition program created for Alberta educators by leaders in nutrition and early learning and child care.

Presented by Registered Dietitians for Alberta Educators & the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Mealtimes can be one of the most enjoyable parts of your day! Discover how with Nourishing Beginnings, a free online nutrition program created for Alberta educators by leaders in nutrition and early learning and child care. 

Nourishing Beginnings is currently available for early childhood educators working in child care centres, day homes, or attending post-secondary training programs. 

Contact the agency for your password to participate in this learning opportunity!

May 25, 2021

Pedagogical Partners - Materials & Participation

Materials open up possibilities or limit possibilities for young children’s care, play, and learning. Offering materials in a beautiful, thoughtful, clean way and using light and shadow to bring attention to the shapes, colours, or contrasts in the materials inspires the child’s participation.

Participation of educators, children, and families is central to a practice of relationships and is revealed through the early childhood environment. A Practice of Relationships describes the complex and dynamic role of the educator within multiple relationships that can contribute to the well-being and sense of belonging for each child and family in the early childhood community.


October 1, 2021

Making Happy Happen: Building Resilience in Children

This training helps educators understand specific characteristics or elements in a child's life that most contribute to resilience. Developing these resilient tendencies will give a child the essential life skills needed to cope with challenges, adopt a positive perspective, and develop self-confidence and self-worth — all essential ingredients for happiness.


Training Outcomes:

  1. Educators will be able to describe the 7 characteristics and elements that contribute to a child's resilience.

  2. Educators will be able to differentiate between encouragement and praise.

  3. Educators will be able to list at least 5 ways to support children's development in nurturing resilience.