Tips for Early Social and Emotional Learning

EEC is excited to announce the release of additional social emotional supports to the field! Building healthy relationships is key to social and emotional wellness and resiliency and adults play a critical role in building these connections. Research has shown that physical touch and facial expressions are a critical part of social and emotional development especially during the early childhood years. At this time of physical distancing, it is critical that adults learn new and creative strategies to support social and emotional wellness.

EEC has partnered with the Pyramid Model Consortium to offer a series of ePyramid online trainings, through the StrongStart Online Professional Development System, that will provide educators with strategies to support their own social and emotional wellness as well as the children and families they serve. Each ePyramid package consists of 15 hours of content, divided into three modules.

Module 1: Building Relationships and Creating Supportive Environments

Module 2: Social Emotional Teaching Strategies

Module 3: Individualized Intervention; Determining the Meaning of Behavior and Developing Appropriate Responses

Log into the StrongStart Online Professional Development System to access the ePyramid modules.

Also, the Consortium is offering a series of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) starting in October to support social and emotional development. Some of the PLCs are based on the online trainings and others will focus on new/different content. Learn more about the PLCs and register here:

As educators prepare for and return to their classrooms/child care settings, the state Office of the Child Advocate and UMass Medical have teamed up to put together tip sheets, videos, and other resources that offer ideas to help early childhood educators navigate this confusing and stressful time.

Please click here to view these resources. The tip sheets are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and Simplified Chinese. The videos are available in English.

Please note, these tip sheets and videos don’t replace the EEC Health & Safety Guidance that all child-serving programs need to follow, but we hope they will make the experience positive and supportive for the children as well as educators and their teams.


PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION ASSISTANCE & RESOURCES

CPR and First Aid Certification

EEC recognizes that this is a critical time for all child care staff to be trained in the life saving techniques of Pediatric CPR and First Aid. As a result, the requirement for staff to complete these certifications and to remain certified continues to apply. However, in recognition of the current limitations presented during the COVID-19 state of emergency, EEC has created a temporary CPR and First Aid Extension Policy.

Teacher Applications

The Teacher Qualifications Unit is continuing to process all applications. Applications may still be mailed to the EEC offices at 51 Sleeper Street in Boston. Educators will receive their certificate via email. Applications deemed incomplete will be mailed back on a delayed timeline.

EEC will accept electronically scanned applications for certification under the following circumstances:

  1. They include all the required documentation in PDF form
    No jpegs or pictures taken by phone; PDF scanner apps are available for mobile phones
    Please also note: EEC will not be accepting E-transcripts sent directly from a college/university
  2. The subject line includes: Submission of EEC Application for Certification
  3. They are emailed to eecprofdev@mass.gov

COVID-19 Waivers

Administrative waivers and allowances are in effect during this time, including a practicum hour requirement waiver. If you were working on completing your EEC Teacher Qualifications Practicum Requirements prior to the COVID-19 closures and need to complete your remaining hours for graduation, please see our latest guidance on how to manage students’ practicum requirements at this time:

  • EEC TQ Practicum Guidance
  • COVID 19 General Work Experience Form
  • Professional Qualifications General Application_COVID19

  • For more questions about the waiver and professional qualification guidance please visit the Educator FAQs. To view the waiver guidance click here. Please visit EEC’s Professional Qualifications site for more information about applying for EEC Certifications.

    SCHOLARSHIP & CREDENTIALS

    The ECE Scholarship program is available this year and has opened April 1st for applicants. In light of the COVID-19 circumstances, the application deadline has been extended through October 1st, 2020. Please note, new waivers are currently in place given the COVID-19 crisis. For this application round only, the 20-hour per week employment requirement will be reduced to at least 15 hours per week. Additionally, applicants are required to demonstrate a minimum of 5 months of employment in the field instead of the 12-month employment requirement. For additional information, or to apply, please visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance website.

    EEC is supporting public state community colleges to provide coursework, at no cost to early educators towards their Child Development Associate (CDA) and towards EEC Teacher Qualifications. To find out more, and enroll in coursework, you may find your local college by visiting the Career Pathways website.

    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

    EEC has partnered with the Pyramid Model Consortium to offer early educators who are unemployed in programs currently closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, free access to two ePyramid Modules:

    1. The “Trauma-Informed Care & the Pyramid Model” on-line lessons highlight approaches and strategies to help educators understand the impact of trauma on young children and their families.
    2. The “Wellness: Taking Care of Yourself” on-line lessons help educators understand the impact of adult well-being on children's social emotional development, identify symptoms of stress, learn strategies for reducing stress and increasing wellness, understand how mindfulness can reduce stress and improve well-being, and develop a self-care plan.

    Educators may also choose to join a facilitated virtual Professional Learning Community to take the ePyramid Modules in a group. For more information about the ePyramid Modules, Professional Learning Communities and to get your free code visit https://eecstrongstart.org/self-study-training-page

    The Strong Start Online Professional Development System provides access to the EEC Essentials, an online package of health and safety, and child development, trainings.

    EEC has partnered with the Lastinger Center of the University of Florida to provide access to fully online, mobile-friendly training through its Flamingo Learning System. Visit eecstrongstart.org/training-schedule to register for these self-paced trainings in multiple language.

    Additionally, EEC will offer regional, virtual communities of practice for educators to discuss the needs of the field to inform EEC’s plan for supporting programs post-COVID 19. More information will be found on the StrongStart Professional Development Centers website.

    Other suggestions for high-quality online professional development include:

    1. Early Educator Central provides resources for infant-toddler educators
    2. The Office of Head Start provides the Individualized Professional Development (iPD) Portfolio that links to a number of online trainings for CEU or professional development hours
    3. Early Ed U Alliance is providing access to its media library free of charge for a limited time

    TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE

    EEC is assessing demand for laptops to engage in online professional development. Please complete the Educator Survey to indicate your need. You can go directly to the survey to complete it by clicking here. We have also created Spanish version of the survey and it can be found by clicking here.

    If you are a student attending a public community college for your CDA or Associate's degree, you may be eligible for utilization of technology while enrolled as a student. To find out more, contact your community college or click here to learn more about early educator career pathways programs at Massachusetts Community Colleges.

    If you are not currently enrolled as a student, you may be eligible for support through your local library or United Way. Boston.com is also maintaining a list of numerous resources which you may find helpful here.

    FOR CENTER DIRECTORS/FCC PROVIDERS

    Massachusetts Shared Services provides business resources, opportunities for engaging with families, ideas for curriculum, help with QRIS and much more. The website (www.sharedservicesma.org) can be translated into a number of languages. Many of the resources are in English and Spanish.



    ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE & RESOURCES

    How do I stay informed about new EEC guidance?

    The best way to stay informed is by visiting the EEC website, where COVID-19 resources and information are being regularly updated. Additionally, you are encouraged to sign up for the Commissioner’s newsletters by clicking here to subscribe.

    I am in need of support for myself and my family. Where do I go?

    Massachusetts has many supports and resources for families. Several places where you can go to find out more is: