Professional Learning Alternatives, Inc.

 is a nonprofit education and advocacy resource for child care professionals, parents, and those interested in supporting the development of children and youth.

Deb Colling, MA

Executive Director

8244 177th Lane

Forest Lake,

MN 55025


Fax: 651-286-0885

"Like" us on Facebook!

Save the date!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

13th Annual Child Care Professional Institute
Forest Hills United Methodist Church
Forest Lake, Minnesota

Details to follow


August 2014

June-July 2014

May 2014

Click here to offer your insights on the
Child Care Professional Institute Survey

"Is Nature Deficit Disorder Real?"
View the interview with DON SHELBY, keynote presenter for the
10th Annual Child Care Professional Institute (2/25/12), discussing the recommendations and benefits for children and youth in spending more time in the outdoors and the research data upon which the recommendations are made.

Videography and editing by Rand Thill

If you prefer to register offline, download a Registration Form and choose the option that suits you.


Union Misrepresentation in Minnesota

Unionization Update August 27, 2014

Personal Care Attendants in Minnesota:

In the lowest percentage yet, the SEIU just won the home care union election with only 3,543 of the 27,000 PCAs voting in their favor.  Thirteen percent, a small minority just unionized them all. It's a sad day for the other 87% who did not vote for the SEIU who have now lost their freedom and will be exclusively represented by a union they don't want or need.

Visit or for details.


Doorknockers will be coming to your community soon.  So be careful about who comes into your home (a good idea anyway) and do not sign anything unless you are certain you would like to join the union.  Of course, you are certainly free to join a union if you wish, but we encourage you to be informed in advance.  Signing anything under the pretense of having "information sent to you" or "someone will contact you later" has historically meant that you actually signed a card which, when counted with the other cards obtained in various ways, can ultimately trigger an election.


Visit Facebook:  Childcare Providers Who are Happy to Be Union Free

For the very latest information on the attempted unionization of child care professionals, visit

For up-to-date information regarding the attempted unionization of personal care attendants, visit

You are already empowered.  But you must use your power for it to make any difference!

This information is not intended to be taken as an overall anti-union stance. 
For this type of independent, self-employed, small business owner, however, it is not a workable choice and may, in fact,
be illegal/unconstitutional. 


Childcare Providers Who are Happy to be Union Free

Event Flyers

Traverse County Early Childhood Coalition Licensing
Child Care Training

October 25, 2014
Wheaton, MN

Early Childhood Screening - Get Your Child Onboard!  (pdf)
(For information and locations in your community, contact your school's
Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) Department or school district office.)

Articles and Flyers


Bullying and Disability Harassment in the Workplace - What Youth Should Know  (pdf)
Youths in Military Families Since 9-11  (pdf)
Changing Perceptions of Sexual Violence Over Time  (pdf)
What You Need to Know About Prescription Drug Abuse  (pdf)

Character Counts! Poster  (pdf)

Monitoring Your Teen's Activities:  What Parents and Families Should Know  (pdf)

Eating and Emotions in Obese Toddlers  (pdf)

Community Resources

Forest Lake Area Partnership for Families (FLAPF)

Crisis Center

St. Andrew's Lutheran Church Community Resource Center  (pdf)

Community Thread Taxpayer Assistance   (pdf)

Washington County Chemical Action Collaborative   (CHAC)

Washington County Youth  (WACY)

Reach Out

Emergency Foodshelf Network

The Alliance for a Violence-Free Anoka County

Activity Ideas

Send us your ideas so we can share them here.

Don't forget to PLA today!

Geometric Shape & Sort
Seasonal Freebies for Teachers
Smack-A-Bug! Sight Word Game
St. Patrick's Day Paddy Potato Project

Crossword Puzzle  (pdf)

Family Activities
We All Need Trees
Adopt a Tree
Trees as Habitat
The Fallen Log
Looking at Leaves
Tree Cookies
Signs of Fall

Healthy Habits for Life/Sesame Street
Healthy Habits - 1
Healthy Habits - 2
Healthy Habits - 3
Guide for Parents and Caregivers

Minnesota Symbols Coloring Book

Benefits of Wind Power

Nature's Calendar

Natural Playscapes

ABCs of Environmental Education

Endangered Species Coloring Book

Kids Activities Brochure

Sammy Soil Coloring Book

Science Demonstration - Drinking Water (K-12)

Carbon Footprint Calculator

Be Water and Energy Wise! Tips

The Water-Energy Connection Activities

Kids Gardening

Natural Playgrounds


Climate Kids

The Field Museum Water Calculator

Planet Green Carbon Quiz

Going Green - Parent Further

Bird Food Feeders

Send us your ideas and we'll include them here for others to enjoy, too.

International Owl Cams

MN DNR Eagle Cam

North American Bear Center Live Webcams in Minnesota

Eagle Webcam in Decorah, Iowa

(Scroll down to view recent videos.)

Nestcams in various states

Click here for a list of suggested donation items for
military service members
and their familiesWe will accept your donations at all PLA-INC.-sponsored seminars.

Thank you to all military veterans, current service members, and their families for their dedicated service and untold sacrifices for us.

(November 11, 2013)

Quick Links to:

Seminar Schedule

Promotional Opportunities

Do you have something of interest to share in our newsletter? 
Let us know!

2011 MCN Member

Exceptional education for child care professionals who care.