Professional Development | Collaborative For Children

Professional Development

Welcome to Collaborative for Children's Institute for Early Learning! The institute offers quality live virtual, in-person and online professional development for child care directors and early childhood educators. These trainings help build skills, knowledge and management capacity. 

We have a vast selection of live virtual and online courses. Early childhood professionals can easily access these courses from anywhere with internet access, and complete them at their own pace and on their own schedule.

The trainings listed below are live virtual sessons that offer interaction with the instructor and other participants.

We offer Zoom training as an interactive learning experience. In order to receive credit for any Zoom course, you must attend sessions with your computer camera and microphone on.

The Critical Importance of Play
April 10, 2021 09:30 - 11:30 AM

Description: Parents face the daily challenge of making the best decisions for their children’s development both at home and at school. In an era when even our youngest children's classrooms are driven by standards, many parents question the value of play at school when there is so much to learn in so little time. Parents are also bombarded with a multitude of technology and toy options that leave them wondering what is really best for their children’s creative development outside of school. This exclusive play session will empower participants to advocate for the importance of play in an early childhood classroom and select materials and toys to support children’s imaginations at home.


10 Essential Concepts for Early Childhood Math
April 15, 2021 06:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Description: Are you a bit nervous about teaching math? Not sure what to teach or how to make it meaningful for children? Join us to learn ten essential foundations for preschool math. You will find out how to plan activities for counting and simple addition and subtraction, as well as measurement, patterns and classifying, and shapes. This will be hands-on with lots activities like number sculptures, shish-kebob patterns, and post-it note quilts.


Understanding Autism: What's Going on in that little Brain
April 17, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: Children who have difficulty playing with others, communicating or rigid behaviors may be demonstrating symptoms of ASD. You will learn about brain development and its role in social relationships, the core cognitive deficit of ASD, classroom management techniques and ways to interact with and support children who may be on the spectrum.


Fun with Behaviors! Responsive Interactions and Behavior Guidance that Kids will Love!
April 24, 2021 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Description: Participants will review the meaning of responsive interactions, developmental stages, milestones and classroom environments. From this foundation, participants will learn developmentally appropriate and effective strategies to easily incorporate into everyday routines throughout the day.


Hooray for Habitats: Oceans and Grasslands (Part 2 of 2)
April 24, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: This session introduces participants to ocean and grassland habitats using new and creative ideas! Engage your students with action-oriented lessons to take them on an ocean adventure. Experimenting with sand, salt water vs. fresh water, and waves-in-a-bottle help children to understand the ocean as a habitat. Children love ocean animals and learn how they eat, find shelter, and survive in our vast oceans. Making ocean slime, shell imprints, and a take-home octopus plus eating like whales and pelicans make this session a hit with educators! For grasslands, hands-on lessons include grass seed art, earthworm tunnel jars, and a scavenger hunt for grassland plants and animals. Children delight in the stinky skunk game and pouncing like foxes hunting a mouse! Insect life cycles and a cricket jumping contest round out the fun in this lively training!


How to Hire Smart and Keep Good Staff
May 1, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: Recruiting and retaining good staff is critical to operating a high quality child care program. Participants in this session will discuss steps to hiring the right staff and identify strategies to keep good staff engaged and motivated. They will also explore national and state labor laws to ensure their center’s human resource policies are current and in compliance.


Ayúdame a Darle Sentido a mi Mundo: Entornos para Bebés y Niños Pequeños
May 1, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: ¡Es un mundo pequeño después de todo! El medio ambiente está instruyendo incluso cuando el especialista en desarrollo de cuidado de niños no lo es. ¿Cuáles son los componentes ambientales más importantes que deben incluirse en un aula de bebés y niños pequeños? Esta sesión práctica proporcionará una conciencia y una respuesta apropiada a esos componentes.


Growth Mindset for Teachers: How to Prevent Fears and Low Expectations from Limiting YOUR Potential
May 15, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: Mistakes make your brain grow! Join us to learn how the latest brain research can inform your work with children and inspire your own professional development. We'll watch short videos from Stanford researchers Carol Dweck and Jo Boaler who explain how the brain's amazing elasticity and the power of hard work can improve achievement. Interactive activities and role-plays will help you reframe your thinking, classroom interactions, and language to adopt a growth mindset for your children and your teacher-self.


Take Your Classroom Outside! Activities for Infants and Toddlers to Explore Outdoors
June 19, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: This training will discuss the benefits of outdoor play for infants and toddlers and how to use activities and materials you already have outdoors. Then we will discuss and learn some new play activities you can do outside with both age groups.


Tried and True Positive Guidance Strategies that Work
June 26, 2021 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Description: Learn the 15 "Guides to Speech and Action' that have been used successfully for decades and are still relevant today. Spend time practicing these techniques, and come away with a high level of mastery in proven strategies that will promote positive child behaviors and reduce challenging ones.


Observation and Assessment During Play
July 10, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: During this training, participants will learn how to plan, conduct, interpret, and implement high quality instruction. There are many different tools that we may use to collect information on our children, however, we need to know how to modify our lessons and approach for our class. Participants will learn how to use the information they acquire during their observations and assessments to change their methods to best suit the needs of their children and classrooms.


Inspiring Creativity Through Loose Parts Play!
July 24, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: Did you know this type of play can focus on all 5 developmental domains? In this training, we will discuss exactly how to implement loose parts play with a purpose and goal in mind. We will also discuss all of the different combinations of materials you can include in a tinker tray. Many of them are already in your classroom! Finally, we will discuss where, when, and how to fit this into your already busy day!


Cool Critters and Creepy Crawlies!
July 31, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: Welcome to the wonderful world of vertebrates and invertebrates in this interactive training! Experiments and activities explore living versus nonliving, animal characteristics, habitats, and defenses. Animal scavenger hunts and predator-prey games help children understand the characteristics of living things and how they live in the wild. Pop-top ring snakes, sleeping bag metamorphosis, animal cracker classification, pitfall traps, and bug bait painting add to the fun and nurture children’s love for animals!


Move It On Out! Outdoor Play While Learning!
August 7, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: How high can I swing? Is grass soft or hard? How does mud feel? How do I make my tricycle go faster? The questions go on and on ------ and playing outside is the best way to answer them! Through outdoor play, children have the opportunity to develop large/small motor skills, experience risk-taking, practice problem solving, and learn a variety of academic skills. This fun-filled workshop will help teachers understand the importance of outdoor play and provide ideas that can be immediately implemented in their classroom to enhance the outdoor experience!!


Creating an Inclusive and Positive Learning Environment in Early Childhood Classroom
August 14, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: The Texas Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines were created to help Texans understand what very young children should know and be able to do at different points in their development. This training is designed to assist caregivers in understanding early childhood development and in making the most of each day during the early years of growth. In this interactive workshop, we will spend time reflecting on what it means to be a responsive caregiver and the importance of special needs adaptations and cultural respect are to children's school success.


Help! This Child is Driving Me Wild!
August 21, 2021 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Description: All teachers, at one time or another, encounter some type of challenging behavior in their classrooms that causes them to feel they are losing their minds. In this session you can achieve skills to become proactive in empowering children to make smart choices in controlling their own behavior. This hands-on interactive workshop will allow you to explore the many reasons why children may present a challenging behavior and what you can do.