Aug. 20-26, 1999

U.Va. begins water conservation efforts
New pre-tax benefit

Cocaine addiction linked to biological clock
Training program for child care workers offered
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Ways to prevent juvenile violence

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Training program for child care workers offered

By Ida Lee Wootten

In a move aimed at meeting the need for quality day care providers, the University of Virginia's Richmond Center this fall will launch a certificate program for people who work with children.

Offered through U.Va.'s Continuing Education, the Professional Certificate Program has been designed for pre-school teachers, child care providers and nannies. The program will help such individuals understand the needs of children from birth through 10 years of age.

Participants in the non-credit certificate program, scheduled to begin Oct. 1, will learn how neurological development in children affects their learning. They will also gain an understanding of how children process information, develop oral language skills and have different learning styles. In addition, participants will learn how the arts can be essential in young children's development.

The program will emphasize the interconnectedness of reading, writing, listening and oral language. It will also give participants a greater understanding of families, especially how they interact, change and grow.

"A major concern in child care has been the lack of professional training for providers," said Greg Pels, director of U.Va.'s Richmond Center. "By giving child care providers training, we hope that children in their care will be better prepared to enter school and have rewarding educational experiences."

To earn a certificate, participants must complete six 16-hour courses for a total of 96 hours of instruction. Training will include such courses as "Foundations of Neurological Development," "Language and Reading Development," "Creative Play, Art, Music, Movement and Drama" and "The Dynamics of Family Life and Children's Development."

Participants can attend classes either on the weekend or on mornings during the week. Child care will be provided at the Richmond Center during weekday classes.

The program will take participants approximately 16 months to complete, said Pels, who noted that the center has received inquiries from parents who want to enroll their nannies as well as from agencies that provide day care. "We're also conducting discussions with large organizations, such as Head Start, to see if we can help them train greater numbers of child care providers."

Program organizers estimate that there are about 1,000 nannies in the greater Richmond area alone -- a figure that does not include the many workers in private day care centers throughout the region.

For information, call the Richmond Center at (804) 662-7464.


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