Area childcare providers offered new training program

By Meagan Singletary
University News Service
July 9, 2008

For the first time, Texas State University-San Marcos’ Child Development Center and Rural Capital Child Care Management Services have collaborated on a community training project to provide training to area child care providers.

June Blades, director of the Child Development Center and assistant professor for the center, developed the training program.

“I recognized that there is a need for quality training in the area. Although some training is provided, there isn’t enough,” said Blades. “A lot of our child care centers in the area do not have degreed teachers. They need to understand how children learn and why they do things and how we can help them go to the next level.”

Rural Capital CCMS provided the textbooks and other materials for the class while Texas State provided the space for the class to be taught in the Child Development Center and Blades provided her services free of charge.

“I approached Rural Capital CCMS because I thought this would be a really good way to make Texas State University and the child development center very visible to the community and develop a partnership with the community where we could all work together on this to provide training to local child care centers,” said Blades.

The training was a 12 hour course taught in four sessions that focused on early childhood knowledge. Some of the topics approached were how teachers should interact with children, the kind of things to expect from children and how to move children to the next stage in their development. Participants also completed additional assignments which included revising their own learning centers and observing children to identify the different topics covered in class. Participants kept a journal to document their experience and findings.

“Basically, it was a way for them to take the knowledge that they were learning and really see it in action,” said Blades.

The training provided during the course meet the requirements of state mandated licensing and could also be used as preparatory training for a child development associate credential.

This course was received so well from participants that it filled within two days of opening and had 11 people on the wait list.

“I had a great response from the participants. They saw a significant difference in their children the next day when they would try these new techniques and strategies,” said Blades.

“I think a program like this is going to be a big benefit to the university and also to the surrounding community. I think it’s going to help us be friends with the community.”