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ECIs Help Keep Children Happy, Learning

It's hard to imagine anything more heartwarming than happy, learning children. But sometimes it's hard to imagine anything harder than keeping them happy or learning.

For the people who try, the Early Childhood Institutes have been offering bright, new ideas for more than a decade now. The three institutes offered in September will carry on that tradition.

eci.jpg (4756 bytes)"The institutes help caregivers learn new and exciting ways to help young children grow and learn," said Diane Bales, a University of Georgia human development specialist who coordinates the program. "They also give caregivers opportunities to network and share stories and ideas with other child-care professionals."

The ECIs provide training for child care providers who work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children. They help caregivers discover new ideas to share with the children and families they work with.

Three Institutes in September

The three institutes offered this fall will be in Tifton Sept. 9, Atlanta Sept. 16 and Macon Sept. 30. Child-care professionals will receive 5 hours of DHR-approved training. CEUs will be available.

Each site offers four concurrent sessions and 12 workshops. Each also offers tracks of workshops ranging from infants to school-agers and from administrators to new providers. There's even a track of topics "of interest to everyone."

Many of the workshops are active, hands-on programs with the opportunity to try out new materials and learn new activities to use with children. All sites will include workshops on stress management and time management.

To sign up for an ECI, call (912) 386-3416. People who preregister can select the workshops they want most. They will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

Each site offers hot lunches and plenty of free parking. The fee for each is $35 if postmarked by Aug. 11. It's $55 after that. The fee covers the workshops, lunch, breaks and a copy of the proceedings.

(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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