Seminar Information

Click here for a current schedule of seminars and information on how to register.

More information and options are listed below the seminar descriptions.

Seminars vary from 2.0 hours to 8.0 hours, depending upon the topic, audience, and location.  Group discussion is a critical component of all seminars; be prepared to participate in some meaningful way. 

Nearly all PLA-INC. seminars have been approved by MNCPD and will be accepted by licensors (Rules 2 and 3) for annual licensing requirements.  If you are awarded a grant through your CCR&R, many of these seminars will also count toward those in-service requirements as well.  But, to avoid unpleasant surprises, always check with your licensor or grants administrator, respectively, FIRST if you have any concerns.

Key:  Center for Inclusive Childcare (CICC)

         Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers (PITC); formerly known as Infant Toddler Training Intensive (ITTI)

If you would like a seminar about a topic you do not see here, please contact us.  We want to be your professional alternative.

As of July 1, 2016, what we have known as the Core Competencies has been replaced by the Knowledge and Competency Framework.  Competencies for individual courses have (or will be shortly) converted to the new Knowledge and Competency Framework.  Over the next few weeks, we will make those revisions on this site as well.  Thank you for your patience as we make these updates.  If you need the information immediately, visit  Click here for the Core Competency, Knowledge and Competency Framework and CDA alignment.

Seminars will no longer have a Core Competency but will be aligned with the Knowledge and Competency Framework.

~Child Growth and Development seminars will now be under MN Knowledge and Competency Framework Area 1 (KCF 1). ~Behavior Guidance seminars which were previously CC I or CC IV have now become KCF 2c.

Please contact your licensor if you have questions as to what seminars are required.

Active Supervision:  Out-of-Home Safety Issues  (2 hours)  (MNCPD)

This meets the Family Child Care provider annual supervision training requirement. This curriculum will identify potential hazards or safety issues children are exposed to when participating in out-of-home activities, events, and transportation; assist participants in determining needed resources and adult assistance required for out-of-home activities depending upon the event, the ages and characteristics of the children enrolled, and recognized potential safety issues involved; and, using tools provided and practiced during the training, assist participants in creating a plan to address safety concerns when taking children out of the home for activities.     KCF:  VII.A; CDA:  1; PA:  N/A  

Are You MediaWise(TM)? (Overview)  (Level 2)  (2 hours)  (MNCPD)

Those who live or work with children have the power to change the media environment in which those children grow up.  Learn techniques to help support healthy media habits, how media habits can help or hurt a child’s behaviors and school success, help kids monitor their own media environments, and enlist parent support.  KCF:  2c; CDA:  3; PA:  4, 8

Autism - Including Children with Social, Communication, and Behavioral Needs (MNCPD)

This seminar will explore the key characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder and give early childhood practitioners tools to more effectively include a child with Autism in their child care setting.  Included in this interactive workshop are myths and facts about Autism as well as practical strategies and tips for inclusion.   (2 hours)  (CICC)  CC:  IV; CD:  3, 8; PA:  

Building Blocks of Early Literacy (MNCPD)

Reading outcomes relate to school and life opportunities.   Learn components of early literacy and how to analyze your environment, create a literacy-rich environment using everyday materials, and enlist family support.  Resource list included.  CC:  II, CDA:  2;

Caring for Children with Physical Disabilities (MNCPD)

This informative seminar will provide participants with a better understanding of children with physical disabilities by exploring a range of typiclal and atypical physical development as well as suggestions for safe and appropriate positioning and handling of children with special needs.  Participants will examine concrete strategies regarding the use of adaptive equipment, learn how to create an appropriate environment, and learn safe lifting techniques so that children will be inclusive participants in all aspects of their child care setting.  (CICC)  (2 hours)  CC:  II; CDA:  2; PA:  N/A

Child Development: 
Executive Functions
Through the Developmental Domains  (Level 2)  (8 hours)  (MNCPD)

This course provides information on the core skills and dimensions of the development of executive functioning in young children; what happens when there is a disruption to the development of executive functioning skills; how to identify vulnerable populations at risk for toxic stress, relationships and resilience; and understanding the techniques for creating a child care environment that provides safety and calm to those children who have experienced trauma.  KCF:  1; CDA:   ; PA:        This seminar has a corresponding participant guide. To access the guide, please use the following under “DHS Trainings – Participant Guides” at  You may choose to print out this guide prior to your class, or download the guide onto your computer or tablet to bring to class. Instructors are not responsible for providing individual guides for this seminar.

Creating Cultural Connections in Child Care  (Level 1)  (6 hours)  (MNCPD)

Families and communities provide the foundations children need to be successful.  This course will address the resources and reflective skills child care professionals need to work successfully with diverse families.  Methods to find and promote the strengths of families as a way to promote child development will also be discussed.  KCF:  3; CDA:  4; PA:  9

Creating a Positive Multicultural Environment for All Children  (MNCPD)

This course has been designed to help early care and education providers think deeply about their work with diverse children and families. We will be exploring how to address our own biases and celebrate differences in teaching and caring for young children. We will talk about our role as educators, the development of children, and plan a program that integrates the diversity of cultures and languages into our daily interactions so they become a source of learning for all children and adults.  (Series - 8 hours)  CC:  IIc, V; CDA:  2, 3, 4; PA:  4, 8, 9

CPR (Pediatric) (MNCPD)

Cost includes in-service certificate and wallet certification card (mailed separately) from the American Heart Association.  Suitable for Rule 2 & 3 requirements.  CC:  VI; CDA:  1; PA:  N/A

A Different Point of View (MNCPD)

Increase your sensitivity to disabilities and develop an understanding of personal safety issues.  Each person brings unique strengths and needs to your setting.  Learn to observe carefully in order to meet each child’s needs.  Be prepared to actively participate; dress comfortably.  (CICC)

Early Childhood Screening:  What's it all About?  (Level 1)  (2hours)   (MNCPD)

Everything you need to know about early childhood screening so you can properly inform child care providers and parents.

KCF:  4a; CDA:   ; PA:  10

Exploring the Family - Caregiver Partnership (MNCPD)

In this interactive seminar, participants will examine the importance of building quality relationships with families of children with special needs as an essential element in successful child care placements. Specific strategies will be developed for building parent-provider partnerships including open communication, trust, respect, and other key components necessary for achieving the goal of successful inclusion and retention of all children.  (CICC)  CC:  V; CDA:  ; PA:  7, 9

Farm to Child Care  (MNCPD)

Hands-on education for child care professionals on how to source local foods, prepare quick, healthy, and safe meals and snacks for children, and understand the importance of purchasing local foods and offering fruits and vegetables. This seminar includes hands-on food preparation training.  (4 or 5 hours)  CC:  VI: CDA 1; PA:  5

First Aid (MNCPD)

Cost includes in-service certificate and wallet certification card (mailed separately) from the American Heart Association.  Suitable for Rule 2 & 3 requirements.  CC:  VI; CDA:  1; PA:  N/A

Floor Time:  Tuning In to Each Child  (Level 2)  (2 hours)  (MNCPD)

This seminar will help participants examine the Floor Time model developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan to ‘tune in to’ all children in their programs. The seminar will explore the 5-step process that supports the emotional and social development of a child by helping adults be aware of and to build on their intuitive understanding of children’s emotional growth while building self-esteem at the same time. (CICC)  KCF:  2c; CDA:  ; PA:  4, 8

Focus on Core Concepts (Level 1)  (4 hours)  (MNCPD)

Recognize the interrelationship between physical, social, emotional, mathematical, and literacy development in young children in this course.  Learn how early experiences shape their development and our role in supporting children.  Strategies for early childhood professionals are an integral part of this course.  You must attend all sessions to receive credit.  KCF:  2a; CDA:   ; PA:  4, 8 

Getting to Know You

During this interactive seminar, you will learn strategies to uncover the hidden strengths in others, increase your awareness of stereotypes, and discuss implementing various approaches to help each child be successful. Be prepared to actively participate; there will be plenty of moving around. Bring teen-age helpers who are or want to be leaders, e.g., faith groups, scouting, schools.  (CICC) 

The Importance of Going Green  (MNCPD-expired)

This overview module focuses on the rationale for using the Go Green Rating Scale for Early Childhood Settings, provides definitions of how “green” applies to early childhood programs, and addresses some of the benefits a program might expect and how participants can work to improve their setting’s environmental health and overall “greenness.”  (2 hours)  CC:  VI; CDA:  1;  PA: 

Inclusion:  Developmentally Appropriate Care for All Children!  (MNCPD)

In this seminar, participants will examine key concepts of developmentally appropriate inclusive care, including the important role of the caregiver, in the creation of an encouraging environment.  The primary focus of this seminar is enhancing the participants' skills in observation and encouraging and fostering positive social interaction as well as learning to promote productive play within child care settings.  The benefits and challenges of including children with special needs in community care will be explored thoroughly throughout this seminar.  (CICC)}   CC:  III; CDA:  ; PA:  7

It's Circle Time Again

During circle time, children learn what it means to be part of a classroom community and develop the skills to participate effectively in a group.  We’ll examine your use of circle time and how you can use it to set the tone for the day and even reduce overall discipline challenges.  Bring one successful activity you use and one challenge you face implementing circle time.

Let's Move! Child Care -  Physical Activity and Screen Time (MNCPD)

This course will present information about the prevalence of childhood obesity, factors that influence obesity, and the resulting health effects. Participants will examine the role caregivers play in developing healthy lifestyles for children. Participants will also explore two comprehensive strategies to promote healthy weight in children including physical activity and screen time.  (3 hours)  CC:  IIb; CDA:  1; PA: 4, 6, 8

Let's Move! Child Care -  Nutrition, Beverages, and Infant Feeding (MNCPD)

This course will present information about the prevalence of childhood obesity, factors that influence obesity, and the resulting health effects. Participants will examine the role caregivers play in developing healthy lifestyles for children. Participants will also explore three comprehensive strategies to promote healthy weight in children including nutrition, healthy beverages, and infant feeding.  Must attend all sessions to receive credit.  (3 hours) CC:  IIb; CDA:  1; PA: 4, 6, 8

Living with Disability:  The Family Perspective

This course highlights the unique issues that families of young children with special needs face in partnership with their child care programs. Participants will explore the family perspective and discuss the topics of grief and "loss of dreams." The session will explain similarities between all families, including those with children with special needs and those without, and emphasize the need for acceptance and respect of diversity for family structures, values, and members.  CC:  V; CDA:  ; PA:  7, 9

Making Music - Even If You're not a Musician  (MNCPD)

It’s been said that music tames the wild beast.  It does, indeed, have tremendous power to evoke emotions, trigger memories, and enhance learning.  Learn simple strategies for implementing music (voice, instruments, cds, videos) in your program even if you can’t carry a tune or play a note.  You can control the ambiance (e.g., high excitement or nap time) as well as incorporate various cultural influences with ease. Yes, you can!  CC:  II; CDA:  2; PA:  4, 8

More Alike than Different (MNCPD)

The focus of this interactive and challenging seminar is on ability awareness and respect for diversity.  Participants will look at the myths that influence and affect one’s own attitudes about children with special needs and how that applies to child care practice, including a look at children’s books on special needs.  The seminar emphasizes the importance of supporting all children in their development for a positive sense of self-worth.  (CICC)  CC:  IIa; CDA:  ; PA:  4, 7, 8  

Mother Nature's Wisdom

Our Natural Wonders - An Introduction to Environmental Education

These hands-on seminars introduce you to the benefits of incorporating nature into your curriculum. Review activities from Project Learning Tree, Project Wet, and Project Wild: three environmental education programs aligned with Minnesota K-12 and Head Start Learning Standards and ECIPS.  Learn how to integrate environmental education into science, math, art, literacy, and motor activities and adapt activities to multiple age groups.  Dress comfortably and for the weather because we will be up out of our seats and going outside.  Curriculum resources may be available for purchase.  (2 hours)  CC:  II, CDA:  2

Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood  (MNCPD)
As children naturally discover, explore, and experience their environment, guided activities help them gain valuable skills: observing, listening, identifying, classifying, making sensory comparisons, and communicating.  Attend and experience nature-based activities designed to help children develop their cognitive, social, physical, auditory skills.  Participants will get a music CD and the “PLT Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood” book, which contains 11 thematic units consisting of: a main activity, music/movement, reading/writing, snack, art, outdoor play, math/manipulatives, woodworking, and family connections.  Bonus: While children of all ages are suffering from “Nature Deficit Disorder,” nature is especially effective for children with special needs.  Additional fee is $25 required to cover cost of book and music CD.  Participants may go outdoors for this workshop. Dress accordingly.  (3 hours)  CC:  IIa; CDA:  2, 3: PA:  4, 8

Everybody Needs a Home!

Recent research suggests that learning is more likely to become ingrained when children utilize their whole bodies. Participate in several activities exploring animal habitats, how all animals impact the environment, and how we can live harmoniously.  Based on Project WILD, an inter-disciplinary conservation and environment education program.  (2 hours)  CC:  II, CDA:  2

Mother Nature vs. Guitar Hero  (MNCPD)

Increasing evidence indicates children exhibit higher self-esteem, less stress, better concentration, and more creativity when they spend time outside. We’ll review research and actively preview nature-based activities from Project Learning Tree (PLT), an international award-winning environmental education program. Let’s get kids off the couch and away from TV and video games!  (Level 2) (2 hours) KCF:  2a, CDA:  2; PA:  4, 8

"Wa-ter" We Trying to Learn Here?  (MNCPD)

Learn the benefits of environmental education. Actively preview nature-based activities and practice outdoor teaching skills that help children learn, gain an awareness of, and develop values about water from various cultural perspectives using the Minnesota Project WET curriculum.  (2 hours) CC:  II, CDA:  2

Networking:  We're All in This Together!

Networking is more than just mentioning your career choice at a ‘meet and greet’.  It is an essential skill you must learn and intentionally implement within your business plan in order to successfully grow your business (generate income!).  Leave with a Strategy Tool Box to create your networking campaign and be visible without really trying.  These strategies will work for your family child care association, too!

Nutrition in Children from Birth to Six Years  (Level 2)  (3 hours)  (MNCPD)

This course will cover healthy eating behavior of infants, toddlers and preschoolers, explain current eating patterns of young American children including information about food insecurity; the role of good nutrition in children’s physical, mental, and social/emotional development; and high-quality foods from many cultures.  KCF:  7a; CDA:  1; PA:  5    

Challenges in Feeding Young Children in Child Care  (Level 3)  (3 hours)   (MNCPD)

An estimated 25% of typically developing young children and up to 35% of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities experience feeding problems such as poor feeding because of organic causes or highly selective food behaviors. Problems with feeding may lead to significant negative nutritional, developmental and psychological issues such as failure to thrive, impaired parent/child interaction and chronic aversion to mealtimes. This course addresses common feeding problems in young children and offers strategies for child care providers to help children develop healthy eating habits.  KCF:  7a; CDA:  1; PA:  5

Childhood Obesity:
The Burden of Obesity and Its Impact on Young Children (level 2)
  (3 hours)  (MNCPD)

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years. The percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 kids now considered overweight or obese. There are a number of factors that contribute to the rise in this significant health problem, including a more sedentary lifestyle. This course explores some of those factors and provides information on how child care programs can play a positive role in obesity prevention in young children.  KCF:  2d; CDA:  2:  PA:  4, 6, 8

Childhood Obesity:                                                                                    Components of a Healthy Nutrition Environment at Child Care (Level 3) (3 hours) (MNCPD)

This course continues to build on what was covered in Obesity in Children from Birth to Six Years Level 2.  Course content includes current information about childhood overweight and obesity; nutrition and physical activity in child care; and exploration of various nutrition and physical activity curricula that are appropriate for use in child care settings.  KCF:  2d; CDA:  2; PA:  4, 6, 8

Prevention and Behavior:  It's All About Environment (MNCPD)

What does the early childhood environment say to children?  This seminar will examine the physical and social environments and their effect on children's behavior.  Learn how to prevent and guide children's behaviors through hands-on activities and practical strategies.  (2 hours)  (CICC)  CC:  IIe, CDA:  ; PA:  4, 8

Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers (PITC) (formerly ITTI) - Module I

Getting in Tune/Responsive Caregiving:  Knowing how to read and respond appropriately to an infant or toddler is critical to sensitive caregiving.  Explore the technique of watch, ask, and adapt to read infant/toddler behavioral messages.

Guidance and Discipline:  This session addresses appropriate ways to set limits for infants and toddlers with challenging behaviors as well as how to guide the development of their social skills.

Social Emotional Growth & Socialization:  How does a child develop emotionally and what does that look like?  How can you contribute to the emotional growth of a child?  Learn the answers to these questions and leave with strategies you can implement right away.

Supporting Emotional Strengths in Young Children  (NEW PITC) (MNCPD-84731)
Infants go through social-emotional stages as they grow, setting the foundation for growth in later childhood and adulthood.  Caregivers who understand these stages and infants' necessary experiences will more effectively support infants' and toddlers' developing self-regulation and self-esteem.  (3 hours) CC:  I; CDA:  3, 8

Temperament:    Each child is born with a unique temperament; these tendencies play a major role in his behavior.  This seminar will provide an overview of temperament by presenting the different temperament traits and types along with strategies to effectively respond to individual children and other people in our lives.  (2 hours)  CC:  I, II; CDA:  3, 8; CBTA:

Understanding Temperament: (NEW PITC) (MNCPD-84733)  Infants come into the world with different temperamental tendencies that play a major role in their behavior.  This seminar will provide you with an overview of temperament by presenting the different temperament traits and types along with strategies to work with individual children. (3 hours) CC:  I, II; CDA:  3, 8; CBTA:   

Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers (PITC) (formerly ITTI) - Module II

Environments:  How the space where children play and are cared for is organized has a powerful influence over the way children and adults behave and interact.  Learn how thoughtful arrangements of activity areas can create pleasant and engaging contexts for the various activities and routines of the day.

Organizing Infant and Toddler Groups:  How do we create intimacy in group care that focuses on the infant’s and toddler’s crucial need for security with primary caregivers?  Learn how to provide a base for the child’s social emotional development as well as foster all other learning.

Respectful Care:  What is high quality infant and toddler care?  How can we care for very young children in ways that work with their developmental changes?  Learn how providing respectful personal care helps infants and toddlers develop into competent authentic adults.

Routines:  Daily routines are at the center of sensitive caregiving.  They provide important opportunities for one-on-one interaction between the caregiver or parent and the child during which both learning and the deepening of emotional bonds can take place.  There is no need to always hurry through these critical interactions.

Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers (PITC) (formerly ITTI) - Module III

Ages of Infancy:  Explore your role in under-standing the needs of infants and toddlers, their  issues with security, exploration, and identity development throughout their early childhood.

Discoveries of Cognitive Development and Learning:  Caregivers can facilitate learning by observing and responding to infant’s cues and play, using caregiving routines as opportunities for exploration and interaction and providing an environment rich in materials for discovery.

Language Development:  Learn to promote healthy communication and language development in young children.  How do infants and toddlers perceive their surroundings and how can we best interact and communicate with them?

Special Needs:  We All Have Them!:  Receive insight into the lives of those with disabilities and those who care for them.  We all have special needs; some are more obvious than others or more ‘acceptable’ than others.  We’ll share some history of the Americans with Disabilities Act and how providers can effectively and sensitively include those with special needs. 

Special Needs:  What Are You Afraid Of?:  Now that you know what ‘inclusion’ means, let’s work on ways to make your program comfortable for all the children who attend.  There’ll be lots of discussion and plenty of re-sources to take with you.  We’ll also review material from ‘We All Have Them!’

The Next Step:  Including the Infant in the Curriculum (What Are They Interested in Learning?):  In this interactive seminar, we will explore ways to plan activities for infants through preschoolers based on their abilities and interests as well as how to effectively utilize those teachable moments.  We will also discuss common misconceptions and how the early learning experiences and interventions you provide impact the child's brain development and future learning.

Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers (PITC) (formerly ITTI - Module IV

Acknowledge, Ask, Adapt:  Explore how to sensitively support the development of infants and toddlers from families whose beliefs about children and child rearing practices differ from your own

Creating Partnerships with Parents:  Learn how to form and maintain successful relation-ships with parents and other caregivers that will enhance the experiences of children and their families.  It’s more than just a contract.

Cultural Diversity for Sensitive Infant Care: How does one become more aware of one's own culture and its influence on one’s child caring practices?  How does one learn to be more understanding and respectful of different perspectives and solve issues that might arise?  Good skills to hone for all types of discussions.

Responding to Families in Culturally Sensitive Ways:  Caregivers serve a variety of families whose circumstances and life styles may differ from their own.  How can you be more responsive to the needs of family members while becoming aware of how your past experiences affect your present interactions?  

Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers (PITC) (formerly ITTI) - Module V:  Beginning Together (MNCPD)

There has been much attention given to building capacity in infant toddler caregiving. Capacity includes quality as well as increased numbers of caregivers.  Young children with disabilities or at-risk for disabilities have not always been carefully and thoughtfully include in these efforts.  Beginning Together is a model that will support the inclusion of infants and toddlers with disabilities and special needs while at the same time enhancing the quality for all children.

Me, Too!:  Creating an environment that works for everyone requires a thoughtful, sensitive, and reflective approach. Explore strategies for adapting your environment (space, toys, activities, routines) to the ever-changing needs of the children.  KCF:  II.A; CDA:  2; PA:  4, 7, 8   (MNCPD)

Setting the Stage: What Part Do You Play?:  Caregivers strive to provide a safe, welcoming environment for all children so they may fully and actively participate. Each person caring for the child brings his/her own history, ideas, attitudes, and questions to the table. We will explore the critical importance of maintaining confidentiality, building trust, facilitating communication, handling concerns, acknowledging emotions, accessing information, as well as careful observation of the child within the cultural boundaries of the family and program and your role in achieving a sensitive balance. An overview of IDEA is included.  (2 hours)   KCF:  III; CDA:  4; PA:  7, 9   (MNCPD) 

Do You See What I See?:  Responsive care is built around a child’s individual routines and his family’s cultural values. It is also the heart of successful inclusion of children with special needs. We’ll discuss perceptions and assumptions that color our observations and how we can get the rest of the story.  (2 hours)   KCF:  III; CDA:  4 ; PA:  9  (MNCPD) 

Building Relationships: Roadblocks or Bridges?:  Building relationships is one of the most important aspects of successfully including all children in your child care setting. The quality of the partnership between the family, caregivers, and specialists supporting the child may be impeded by “roadblocks”. Learn strategies to promote successful teaming and collaboration, thus promoting an improved quality of life for the child and family. (2 hours)   KCF: III; CDA:  4; PA:  9 (MNCPD)

Raising Empowered Children (MNCPD)

Children require several skills in order to cultivate a sense of confidence and self-esteem.  We will discuss strategies you can add to your tool box that will foster accountability, respect, and relationship-building in children of all ages and how these skills affect the atmosphere in your classroom or home.  You will understand how mastery of these skills generates self-advocacy and more positive behaviors and rewards, thus empowering each child so gifted by his caregivers or parents.  (2 hours)  CC:  IV; KCF:  II.c; CDA:  3; PA:  4, 8

Say Yes to No  (MNCPD)
We’ll talk about the importance of building and maintaining a secure connection with your child and identify different parenting styles so you can recognize yours.   Learn how to set appropriate limits and consequences, instill self-discipline, and how to avoid power struggles.  Understand and practice helpful praise and ways to build competency in each child that also fosters self-esteem.  You will write an individual action plan for your family or program.  One session is merely an over view.  The two-part session allows for in-depth study and planning for your family.  CC:  IV; CDA:  3

Sensory Processing Disorder (MNCPD-84574)

This interactive seminar will describe the characteristics of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and how it may impact young children.  Each participant will have the opportunity to examine their own sensory preferences and how s/he meets his/her individual sensory needs.  Children have unique sensory preferences and sometimes those preferences can interfere with learning and social growth, perhaps resulting in challenging behaviors.  Strategies for inclusion will be presented as well as local resources to share with parents.  (2 hours)  (CICC)  CC:  I; CD:  8; PA:  7

Show Me Yours and I’ll Show You Mine! (MNCPD)
(Understanding and Responding to the Sexual Behavior of Children) (Level 1)  (2 hours)

Learn about healthy sexual development in children and adolescents, how to recognize signs that may be cause for concern, and how your responses to these behaviors are effective tools in preventing the perpetration of child sexual abuse.  This overview is also suitable for parents, teen helpers, and youth leaders of all ages.  (2.5 hours option available)  KCF:  2c:  CDA:  3:  PA:  1

Strengthening Families (TM)   (Level 2)  (6 hours)  (MNCPD)

This course provides an in-depth review of the Strengthening Families approach, including key aspects of the five Strengthening Families protective factors. Participants will identify strategies for supporting families in building healthy, positive social connections, and accessing concrete support in times of need as well as strategies for supporting families in building parental resilience, knowledge of parenting and child development.  KCF:  3:  CDA:  4:  PA:  9

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) (MNCPD)

This course meets DHS education requirements for both SUID and AHT.  Content includes recommendations to reduce SUID, including SIDS, suffocation, and other sleep related infant deaths, safe sleep environments, MN Child Care regulations related to safe sleep, as well as symptoms and consequences of abusive head trauma, risk factors for AHT, and strategies to use when stressed, angry, or frustrated.  (This course can be separated into two one-hour courses if  necessary.)  CC:  VI; KCF:  VII.A; CDA:  1; PA:  N/A

Supervising for Safety (Family Child Care)  (6 hours)  (MNCPD)

This course meets the pre-service supervision education requirement for Family Child Care Providers.  This course is an introduction to basic best practices for active supervision - both indoor and outdoor - in a family child care setting.  Curriculum will address supervision challenges experienced in a family child care program, identify interaction techniques to utilize while supervising, and review safe sleep practices.  Attendance at ALL sessions is required. 

CC:  VI; CDA:  1; PA: N/A

Thriving with Your Teen  (MNCPD)

Learn practical information and leave with tools to support parents and other caring adults with pre-teens/teens (ages 10-17).  Participants learn about how to make the most of their relationship and find common ground with their teenager and discuss recent research that can provide useful insight about teens, teen development, and effective parenting tips. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend.  (2 hours)  CC:  IV; CDA:  N/A; PA:  N/A

To Market, to Market

Learn practical ideas to build and maintain your child care business.  Many cost little or no money.  We’ll brainstorm for more ideas.

Understanding and Responding to the Sexual Behavior of Children  (MNCPD)

Part 1:  Discuss why kids become abusive and how it can be prevented.  We'll consider adult roles, risk factors, deficits, attitudes, thinking patterns, and cultural concerns to define goals for healthy sexual development.  CC:  IV:  CDA:  3; PA:  1

Part 2:  From a very young age, children are exposed to high levels of sexual messages that put them at risk. Further your understanding of children’s early sexual behaviors, explore basic assumptions about sexual learning and how to respond, and define universal goals for healthy sexual development.  CC:  IV:  CDA:  3; PA:  1

Wakanheza Project

Learn how to reach out in stressful situations to be supportive and lend a hand. Learn tools that work for you in any environment to reduce tension and barriers that lead to harsh or even abusive words or actions. Bring teen-age helpers who are or want to be leaders, e.g., faith groups, scouting, schools.

What to Expect and When to be Concerned (MNCPD)

This interactive seminar will provide an overview of the red flags for developmental delays in young children, how to share developmental concerns with families, and local referral resources.  Attendees will receive useful information describing typical child development and red flags for atypical development and other resource information.  (2 hours)  (CICC)  CC:  III; CD:  3, 8; PA:  2, 10

The Six Keys:    Strategies for Promoting Children’s Mental Health in Early Childhood Programs

                                                                                                                     ~ written by Cindy Croft


CDA Content Area 3: Social Emotional Development
CDA Content Area 8: Principles of Child Growth and Development

(From the Center for Inclusive Child Care)

“A child’s emotional strengths or weaknesses will fundamentally affect how she perceives the world around her and thereby impacts how she will develop socially, physically, and cognitively, as well as in an overall sense of well-being” (p. 7 Croft).

What’s All the Fuss About a Child's Emotional Development?  (MNCPD)

    ~Key 1   Early Childhood Mental Health: Why Your Role Matters!  (Level 1)  (2 hours)

In this seminar, participants will discover ways in which their early childhood role can nurture the emotional development of young children through interactions, practices, and modeling in order to build secure attachment relationships. Participants will examine what mental health means in young children and discuss specific strategies for providing consistency, responsiveness, and security in an emotionally healthy setting.  KCF:  II.C; CDA:  3; PA:  4, 8

How Do We Give Children a Good Start?  (MNCPD)

    ~Key 2   Know the Key Emotional Milestones  (Level 1)  (2 hours)

This seminar focuses on the important emotional milestones caregivers can help children achieve as the foundation for positive mental health.  This class will discuss how to use social and emotional development checklists to identify where children are in their development and look at strategies to support them as they progress to the next social/emotional milestone.  KCF:  II.C; CDA:  3, 8; PA:  4, 8

    ~Key 2   Emotional Development: Acquired Skills Needed by All Children  (MNCPD)

This seminar, based on the work of Dr. Bruce Perry, will describe the six acquired skills needed by all children for positive emotional development including attachment, self-regulation, affiliation, awareness, tolerance, and respect.  Participants will examine strategies for achieving success for children’s skill development in each of these core areas.  KCF: II.C; CDA:  3, 8; PA:  4, 8

Why Do Children Act the Way They Do? (MNCPD)

    ~Key 3   Understand How a Child is "Wired"  (Level 1)  (2 hours)

This seminar focuses on the important emotional milestones caregivers can help children achieve as the foundation for positive mental health.  This class will discuss how to use social and emotional development checklists to identify where children are in their development and look at strategies to support them as they progress to the next social/emotional milestone.  KCF:  I; CDA:  2; PA:  1

How to Teach Children to Know Their Own Engines (MNCPD)   
    ~Key 4   A Look at Your Environment  (Level 1)  (2 hours)

Do you see children who struggle with their emotions? This seminar will examine specific strategies for promoting self-regulation skills in young children through environmental supports in the early childhood setting and how impulse-control relates to their positive mental health.  Participants will explore key characteristics of the physical and emotional environment that can encourage children to learn to identify and express their feelings through everyday activities.  KCF:  II.C; CDA:  3; PA:  4, 8

Supporting Resilience in Children (MNCPD)

    ~Key 5   The Little Engine That Could!

This seminar examines characteristics of resiliency and its key relationship to children’s mental health.  Participants will explore the role resiliency plays as a critical factor in how children who are at risk will handle stress, react or adapt to negative situations, and overcome obstacles in their emotional growth.   Participants will develop practical strategies for improving their environment and programming to enhance and support resiliency in young children.  KCF:  II.C; CDA:  3, 8; PA:  4, 8 

Making and Keeping Friends (MNCPD-84483)

    ~Key 6   The Importance of Friendship Skills

This seminar will examine the important relationship between mental health and social development.  Participants will explore key ‘friendship skills’ and social competencies needed for children to be successful in their social relationships.  Strategies will include how to use activities to promote prosocial skills to avoid aggression and build self-esteem in all children.  KCF:  II.C; CDA:  3; PA:  4, 8

Tools for Promoting Children's Mental Health in Early Childhood Programs  (MNCPD)

This session will offer ‘tools’ for early childhood educators and caregivers to promote the positive emotional health of young children in their programs.  Participants will look at the practical applications of these necessary skills, including building community within child care, tuning in to each child and helping children understand their own feelings, as well as other key strategies within the early childhood environment.  KCF:  CDA:  3, 8; PA: 

Minnesota Military Child Care Project

Supporting Minnesota's Children and Families During Deployments and Reunions** (MNCPD)
Participants in the seminar will learn about the unique needs of children and families who are experiencing a military deployment.  The stages of deployment and reunions will be outlined alongside the related effects on children.  Tips and techniques to assist the children who are dealing with a separation will also be shared.  (2 hours)  CC:  V; CDA: 4 

Supporting Minnesota's Children and Families During a Military Deployment** (MNCPD)
Participants in the seminar will learn about the unique needs of children and families who are experiencing a military deployment.  The stages of deployment will be outlined alongside the related effects on children.  Tips and techniques to assist the children who are dealing with a separation will also be shared.  (2 hours)  CC:  V; CDA: 4

Supporting Minnesota's Children and Families During Reunions**  (MNCPD)
While deployed parents are away, children continue to grow and family roles change.  Welcoming home mom or dad can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful.  This seminar will examine the stages of reintegration (or homecoming), the stressors of reunions, and methods to support children and families as they welcome home their military service members.  (2 hours)  CC:  V; CDA: 4

Impact of Grief, Loss, and Trauma on Children and Youth (MNCPD)
Participants in this seminar will come to identify the unique issues impacting National Guard and Reserve families, particularly children and youth.  This seminar offers an understanding of loss and trauma* and the potential academic and behavioral changes related to these experiences.  Participants will also gain strategies to support these children and youth.  (2 hours)  CC:  V; CDA:  4 
* Grief, loss, and trauma come in many forms and affects us all.

Fostering Resilience in Children and Youth  (MNCPD)
"Where do I start fostering resiliency in children?"  "What are the most important things to do?"  "How long should it take to see results?"  These are the types of questions that caregivers have about the topic or resiliency.  This seminar will define the concept of resilience while identifying risk factors, protective factors, and developmental assets.  Finally, this seminar will highlight the four basic steps involved in fostering resilience in children and youth.  (2 hours)  CC:  V; CDA:  4

Living in the New Normal:  Supporting Children Through Trauma and Loss

Living in the New Normal is predicated on the belief that children are courageous and resilient and that these skills can be strengthened through deliberate encouragement by the adults in their lives.  This in-service will examine the nature of grief, identify the signs of stress in children and youth, and help caregivers develop strategies for supporting military children and families through trauma and loss.  CC:  V; CDA:  4

NOTE 1:  These presentations are focused on the children and their needs during a separation from a military parent.  Due to current world standings, children are experiencing unfamiliar stress that can affect all areas of their lives.  This series is not intended to address personal views of the war.
NOTE 2:  This series is open to everyone.  The cost may be reimbursed upon completion to any respite care provider who serves military families.  Providers must be registered as a respite care site with MN CCR&R to receive this reimbursement.  Pre-registration is required.
  To be eligible for any reimbursement, you must pre-register AND contact Julie W. at

**Taking at least one of these three seminars is a prerequisite for taking either of the last three seminars.

Coming Together to Support Babies and Toddlers During a Deployment (MNCPD-expired)

Deployment can take a heavy toll on military families.  As parents of young children cope with their own feelings, it is easy for them to lose sight of what their babies and toddlers may be experiencing.  Although often unable to express themselves well, babies and toddlers do miss the active duty parent and need help getting through this difficult period.  This course will identify common challenges that babies and toddlers experience during a deployment, describe the cycle of deployment, the deployment spiral, behaviors that babies and toddlers may exhibit, and define strategies for supporting babies, toddlers, and families during a deployment.  CC: II; CDA:  3, 4;

Coming Together to Support Babies and Toddlers During a Homecoming  (MNCPD-expired)

A  military homecoming is a paradox.  It can be a wonderfully joyous occasion and it can also be an extremely frustrating and challenging experience.  This course will examine the factors that can make homecomings challenging, define the invisible injuries of war, describe typical reactions of babies, toddlers, and families to invisible injuries of war, examine the risk of emotional trauma for babies and toddlers when a military parent dies, and identify the emotion of grief.
CC: II; CDA:  3, 4;

Customized Education Opportunities

Seminars can be held in your home or center.  You choose the topic and we help you set a date. We can also help you make arrangements to hold a seminar in a public place such as a library, coffee house, or restaurant.  Weekday, evening, and Saturday arrangements are possible. 

You can create your own invitation list so you always know the people in attendance.  Or you can open it to your community and take advantage of the complimentary promotion for your home business or center. 

Call or email today for more information. 

On-Site Consultation or On-Site Education

A consultant can come to your site (family child care home or child care center) and talk with you (individually or in small groups) about space/furnishings, language/learning activities, daily routines, relating with parents, cultural concerns, or children with special needs.  You choose the topic based on what you would like to learn.  You can receive education credit in the comfort of your home or facility.  Day and evening times available.  Invite friends, colleagues, (and even parents!) and host seminars in your home or facility.  No traffic or weather hassles!  Call for details. 


If you would like a seminar about a topic you do not see here, please contact us.  We want to be your professional alternative.


Professional Learning Alternatives, Inc. is a nonprofit education and advocacy resource for caregivers, parents, and those interested in supporting the development and education of young children.

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Regional Child Care Services/Grants in Minnesota

Check with your local CCR&R for applications, deadlines, and for assistance in completing the forms.  In some regions, you may download them from their web site when they are available.  If someone you know does not have access to the Internet, advise them to call their CCR&R to be placed on a mailing list.  This action will slightly speed the mailing process so they have as much time as possible to complete the form and return it.  The application forms are different from year to year.  Be sure to read them carefully and complete every section!  This includes copies of training certificates, bids, pictures, etc. as directed.


Exceptional education for child care professionals who care.