Happy 4th of July!

4th July Kids Pic

Source: blog.beliefnet.com





Sanford,Matthew_hsMatthew Sanford was a strong, healthy young man when a devastating accident turned his world upside down. Paraplegic and suffering unimaginable loss, Matthew couldn’t have known what a rich and productive life lay before him. But 33 years later, Matthew is father of a 15-year-old son, a sought-after public speaker and teacher of yoga to people of all abilities. He is founder of the nonprofit Mind Body Solutions and acclaimed author of Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence. In this Mom Enough show, listen to Matthew’s inspiring story and learn how you and your family can benefit from Matthew’s simple tips for mindful parenting and a mindful life.” -MomEnough TUNE IN HERE


SkillsUSA Nationals Conference/Competition 2015

On Monday morning, many from MN will be on our way down to Louisville, Kentucky for the National SkillsUSA Conference and Competition. Students from various MN high schools and colleges will be competing this week against others across the nation.

SkillsUSA-logoLet me back up – Dakota County Technical College did well at the SkillsUSA State Competition (MN). I’m so very proud of all of the students at DCTC involved in Skills. I’m especially proud of the students in our Early Childhood program that chose to compete this year. The students that place first at the state competition are invited to compete at the national competition. For many, many years, the national competition was help in Kansas City, MO. This year the competition will take place in  Louisville, KY. Check out this VIDEO about the SkillsUSA National Conference!

That brings us to the present… there are 6 of us from DCTC (students and advisors) on our way to Nationals! We are looking forward to the adventure ahead (but not the 14 hr. bus ride!) The students have been diligently preparing for this week. They’re ready to continue to work hard and to show their perseverance, talent, skills, creativity, and professionalism. After their competitions are completed, there may even be some time for FUN20150412_120205 - Copy

Even though you’re not in attendance with us, you can follow our progress. (Please do!) Follow along on our Facebook page. You can also watch the awards ceremony LIVE on Friday, June 26th beginning at 6 p.m. (CDT) at THIS WEBSITE. Our program competition is called Early Childhood Education. Good luck Joy!!


UPDATE: Joy placed 5th in the nation in her competition. Way to go Joy! We’re very proud of your accomplishment!

NAEYC Professional Development Institute: Day 2 and 3 Recap

naeycpdiDay 2 for me at the conference was fantastic. Again the networking was invaluable! It was ACCESS day for technical and community college programs and instead of trying to run all over to various sessions, we were in the same room from 8-5:30pm. Breakfast was provided by Cengage. (Thank you!)

We began the day by discussing Read more »

NAEYC Professional Development Institute: Day 1 Recap

naeycpdiWe’re in New Orleans, LA for the NAEYC PDI. “NAEYC’s National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development is designed for all early childhood professionals, including leaders who prepare, mentor, and support early childhood professionals, as well as program administrators, teacher educators, trainers, teachers, preschool teachers, and researchers. The theme for the 2015 Institute is The Early Childhood Profession We All Want: What Will It Take to Get Us There?” -NAEYC Read more »

Career Crossings: 6/5/15

career crossing

This edition of Career Crossings includes MN opportunities from Bright Horizons (Varied), Nanny (Rosemount), Kinderhaus Montessori School (St. Paul), Behavioral Dimensions (St. Louis Park), Kindercare (Rosemount), ABC & Toy Zone (Rochester), and the Ventures Program (Northfield). Read more »

Child Life Specialist Position (MO)

University of Missouri Women's and Children's Hospital exterior photosThere is a 30 hr/week Child Life Specialist position open at MU Women and Children’s Hospital. This position is every other weekend Inpt/ED + float position during the week. See the link below for more information.


2nd Annual Career Fair- Results

On May 5th, DCTC’s Early Childhood and Youth Development program held its 2nd Annual Early Childhood and Child Life Career Fair. Over thirty industry partners filled DCTC’s Dakota Room and a solid turn out of students made for great networking and a buzz of excitement throughout the evening. 

Students had a wonderful opportunity to network with industry professionals, learn about career options and, in many cases, secure a placement for practicum, field experience, or even Read more »

Child Life Specialist Position (MN)

med_93939Hennepin County Medical Center, a Level I Trauma Center in Downtown Minneapolis, MN has a casual (on-call) position working primarily days 6:30am-1:30pm, no weekends. This position will cover a maternity leave in the months of July, August, and September, working about 56 hours per pay period and will maintain a casual status after the maternity leave ends.
For more information and to apply for this position, please CLICK HERE

Important News About Your eFolioMN Portfolio

DCTC ECYD students- you may have received an email like the one below…  please note that you are not required to pay this subscription fee as part of your class work. You should download and save any documents that you have on EFolio MN in your account if you are not planning to subscribe. Read more »

Fall Early Childhood Courses @ DCTC (2015)

_116aCourses we’re offering this coming fall semester (Aug-Dec)…perhaps you are interested.
Options range from enrolling in our entire  early childhood program down to just one class. 

*Introduction to Early Childhood Careers (On Campus & Online)
Only 5 spaces remaining (On Campus)
Only 11 spaces remaining (Online)
*Child Growth and Development (On Campus & Online)
Only 5 spaces remaining (On Campus)
Only 9 spaces remaining (Online)
*Health, Safety, and Nutrition (On Campus & Online)
Only 5 spaces remaining (On Campus)
Only 9 spaces remaining (Online)
*Observation and Assessment (On Campus)
*Curriculum Planning (On Campus)
Only 1 space remaining 
*Children with Differing Abilities (On Campus & Hybrid)
Only 3 spaces remaining (On Campus)
Only 3 spaces remaining (Online)
*Creative Development Experiences (On Campus)
Only 8 spaces remaining 

Apply/register today to reserve your space in class!

Dawn Braa, dawn.braa@dctc.edu, 651.423.8315
Sharon Bergen, sharon.bergen@dctc.edu, 651.423.8398

Child Life Course @ DCTC Fall 2015

medical-play-materials-e1412695748870Are you in need of one child life class, taught by a CCLS, that meets the 6 requirements put forth by the CLC? We offer such a class at Dakota County Technical College! I have included the steps for what you will need to do to register for our fall semester online child life course- ECYD 2900 Introduction to the Child Life Profession: History and Practice (3cr). This course meets the 6 required components required by the Child Life Council and is taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist. Read more »

National Association for Family Child Care Conference


Mondays with ME: Silent Running- Autism (5/11/15)



Schneider,Robyn_book“This Mom Enough guest is Robyn Schneider, whose twin sons were diagnosed at 21 months with autism spectrum disorder. As if the boys’ severe behavior problems and lack of communication skills weren’t challenge enough, Robyn’s husband had MS and, subsequently, Robyn was diagnosed with breast cancer. But through it all, running together became an oasis of peace and accomplishment for the family, as told in Silent Running, a new book Robyn wrote with Minnesota author Kate Hopper. Whatever challenge you face, this story of resilience will make you think in new ways about how to cope and thrive.” -MomEnough TUNE IN HERE 


Book Giveaway! What If Everybody Understood Child Development?

rae picaThis month’s guest speaker, Rae Pica, is sponsoring this month’s giveaway. If you missed her blog feature yesterday, click HERE to access it.

Rae Pica knows what she’s talking about. With over 35 years in the field of education, she’s realized that what’s missing from our approach to schooling is an understanding of the connection between how children develop and how they learn.

what ifIn this collection, Pica keeps children front and center as she provides thought-provoking commentary and actionable insights on topics such as the Common Core, the self-esteem movement, and standardized testing. You’ll find

  • 29 short essays on topics critical to best practice in child development and education
  • Opinions of experts supported by research and anecdotal evidence
  • Real-life stories shared by teachers and parents
  • References to related articles and interviews with experts

Enter below for a chance to win. Each task you do is another entry for yourself in the drawing! Complete the task and then click that you did it. Tweeting on Twitter and sharing on Facebook can be done DAILY. Other entries are once per giveaway.

*NOTE* This giveaway runs from 5/5/15 until 5/13/15 (Ending @ 12:00am EST).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

By entering the giveaway, you give permission to share your email address (winner only) with the vendor for contact purposes (shipment of product).

Guest Speaker: What If Everybody Understood Child Development?

what ifWhat IF Everybody Understood Child Development? It seems a simple and slightly obvious question to ask, but the answer is more complicated than you might think. Rae Pica, education consultant and author, is at it again, doing what she does best, using her passion and research to push the envelope by asking tough questions and speaking her mind.

What If Everybody Understood Child Development? has been referred to as a pocket-sized powerhouse of educational philosophy, sure to inspire conversations.

“What a pleasure to read common sense wisdom about what young children need!”
Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education
New York University

“This amazing book does far more than chase down the myths about how to ensure that children are successful. If offers real, research-backed practical strategies every teacher and parent can use. It belongs on every desk for quick and handy use!”
Eric Jensen, Director
Jensen Learning, Maunaloa, HI
rae pica
“Rae Pica has a deep understanding of childhood development and she has delved into every facet of it so that educators, parents, and policymakers will come to that understanding, too. This book needs to not just be on everyone’s shelves, but open in everyone’s hands.”
Peter DeWitt, Author/Consultant and Former K-5 Principal

Rae Pica knows what she’s talking about. With over 35 years in the field of education, she’s realized that what’s missing from our approach to schooling is an understanding of the connection between how children develop and how they learn. In this collection, Pica keeps children front and center as she provides thought-provoking commentary and actionable insights on topics such as the Common Core, the self-esteem movement, and standardized testing. You’ll find

  • 29 short essays on topics critical to best practice in child development and education
  • Opinions of experts supported by research and anecdotal evidence
  • Real-life stories shared by teachers and parents
  • References to related articles and interviews with experts

Rae and DawnI have been looking forward to this book for nearly a year. I appreciate Rae’s tenacity for the early childhood field and speaking up about best practice for children. Unlike in generations past, we have multitudes of research to guide our decisions. Let’s not flounder in past practices simply because “it’s what we’ve always done.” We know better! Let’s stand united together for the betterment of education for young children. Let’s use research, passion, and our voices to send a unified message. We need to push for policies and implement practices that really reflect how children learn and grow. After all, WE are the experts in the field!

TUNE IN to my interview with Rae where you’ll gain inside access about the book, including a brief book teaser.

Did I mention there’s a FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY?! Come back tomorrow (to this blog) for your chance to win this book!

Planning to attend NAEYC’s upcoming PDI conference? Rae will be presenting on Sunday, June 7th at 10:30am! Her session is titled Why Does Sitting Equal Learning?

More about Rae Pica…
Rae has been an education consultant, specializing in the development and education of the whole child and children’s physical activity, since 1980. A former adjunct instructor with the University of New Hampshire, she is the founder and director of Moving & Learning (now Rae Pica Keynotes & Consulting) and the author of 19 books, including the text Experiences in Movement and Music (in its 5th edition), the award-winning Great Games for Young Children and Jump into Literacy, and A Running Start: How Play, Physical Activity, and Free Time Create a Successful Child, written for the parents of children birth to age five. Her latest book is What If Everybody Understood Child Development? (Corwin Press, June 2015).

Additionally, Rae has contributed to numerous other publications, including George Morrison’s Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education, and Beginnings and Beyond: Foundations in Early Childhood Education by Ann Gordon and Kate Brown. She has been a columnist for Young ChildrenEducation.com, and Teaching Elementary Physical Education, and currently blogs for Huffington Post Education.

From 1985 to 1989 Rae was co-creator and host of “Move for a Minute,” produced by New Hampshire Public Television and broadcast nationwide, most often between Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Known for her lively and informative workshop and keynote presentations, Rae has shared her expertise with such groups as 

  • Sesame Street Research Department, 
  • Head Start Bureau, 
  • Centers for Disease Control, 
  • President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, 
  • Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues
  • Gymboree, 
  • Hasbro,
  • Mattel,
  • Nike, and 
  • state health departments throughout the country. 

Rae served on the task force of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (now SHAPE America) that created national guidelines for early childhood physical activity, is a member of several advisory boards, and serves on the executive committee of the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International.

In addition, Rae is co-founder of the BAM Radio Network, the world’s largest online education radio network, where she currently hosts Studentcentricity, interviewing experts in education, child development, play research, the neurosciences and more.

Mondays with ME: MOVING BEYOND “GOOD COP, BAD COP” (5/4/15)



3_hs“Mom Enough hosts Marti & Erin have heard from a lot of parents who get frustrated with always being the disciplinarian (bad cop) while their partner is the “fun parent” (good cop). In fact, Marti & Erin occasionally have complained that they more often get stuck in the “tough guy” role of bad cop than the dads of their kids do. But, drawing on their professional background as well as their successes and failures as moms, they have helpful guidance about the type of discipline that is most effective in the long run. And they have some great tips on how you and your co-parent can get on the same page, not only for the sake of your children but for the benefits for your own relationship.

After this interesting discussion, stay tuned for a brief Relationships that Nurture with Robin Campbell from St. David’s Center, talking about the importance of unstructured outdoor play in your child’s development.” -MomEnough TUNE IN HERE

MomEnough 2

2nd Annual Early Childhood and Child Life Career Fair!

May 5, 2015    |   6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. DCTC    |   Dakota Room
              1300 145th Street E., Rosemount, MN 55068

Students and Alumni

The next step in your career begins here!ecyd1

Are you currently looking for a new role in the early childhood profession or are you simply interested in finding out more about the opportunities presented by area employers? Looking for a practicum site? Interested in a field experience? Ready to begin networking with other professionals in the early childhood field? If you answered ‘yes’ or even ‘maybe’ to any of these questions, here is a great opportunity!

Alumni- We’d LOVE for you to come back and visit us! (We miss you) You can network with professionals, mingle with current students, and see the changes we’ve made to our space. Hope to see you! Thank you for supporting our program (and the field) by attending.

Join us Tuesday, May 5, from 6-8 p.m. for the 2nd Annual Early Childhood Career Fair at Dakota County Technical College in the Dakota Room. Dress professionally and bring copies of a current resume and be prepared to meet with several area employers and organizations looking for professionals like you. Let us know that you’re coming and JOIN this event HERE!

Representatives from the following organizations will be in attendance:

Bright Horizons Family Solutions ChildCare Aware of MN Especially for Children
CAP Agency Children's Hospital of Minnesota CDLC New Horizon Academy
Fraser Think Small True Friends
Teachers on Call T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood© Minnesota Our Savior Early Learning Center
discovery club 196 school district northfield Ventures
reading math corps Knowledge Beginnings primrose
childrens country day
tutor time YMCA
DCFCCA thebridges
 MnAEYC-MnSACA Gillette Children's
Pacer Center Teachers for Tomorrow

For more information, contact:
Dawn Braa |  dawn.braa@dctc.edu  |  651.423.8315
Sharon Bergen |  sharon.bergen@dctc.edu  |  651.423.8398

Mondays with ME: READING FOR JOY AND LEARNING: (4/20/15)



Hanson,Laura_hs“Teaching reading is not only the school’s responsibility; we parents play a huge role in nurturing our children’s love of reading and promoting their skills. And this doesn’t mean drill and drudgery! Laura Hanson, a reading specialist in the Edina Public Schools, brings a wealth of easy, fun, effective ways to choose and use books to ignite a child’s love of reading and learning. She challenges us to keep reading aloud with our children long after the preschool years and even suggests word games for drive time that will build skills and enliven a trip.” -MomEnough TUNE IN HERE


Early Childhood @ DCTC

ECYD club logoDCTC logo 2-C vert

Some of the things that set our program apart from others are:

·     Small class sizes;
·     Convenient scheduling including full time, part time and on-line options;
·     A two day per week structured pathway to ensure completion of our highest award in 2 years;
·     Transfer options to many four-year institutions;
·     Affordable tuition and fees; and
·     A hands-on approach to education that involves students in active learning of best practices.

We work very closely with early childhood programs to understand what employers are looking for and to ensure that our students are well prepared for work in schools, child care centers, hospitals, Head Start, and a wide variety of other programs related to children and families.  We are confident that you will find our classes to be active learning experiences that challenge you and hone your skills for a rewarding career working with children.

Our Early Childhood program is already enrolling for fall semester. Appy now to reserve your spot! Use the contact information below to visit our Facebook page or to begin a conversation with either of the program instructors.

ECYD Instructors
Dawn Braa ,  Sharon Bergen
Dawn.braa@dctc.edu ,  Sharon.bergen@dctc.edu
651-423-8315 ,  651-423-8398


Program Testimonials
Lorelei Rein
Early Childhood & Youth Development Alum
Special Education Paraprofessional, School Readiness Inclusive Classroom

lynnLynn Kokal
Early Childhood & Youth Development Alum
Child Life Associate, Children’s Hospital and Clinics

I graduated from the program feeling I had a wealth of practical knowledge…I felt prepared to succeed in my choice of career. I was interested in exploring career options within the early childhood education field and liked the variety of programs that were offered. Many of the courses in the program would also transfer over to another college. I liked the flexibility provided by being able to choose on-campus, online and hybrid courses to fit around my family’s schedule. I appreciated the expertise and supportive mentoring of my instructors and valued their eagerness to help me succeed in gaining internships, employment, etc. The lab room that is available for students to create their curriculum materials is also fantastic!

I appreciate the fact that I graduated from the program feeling I had a wealth of practical knowledge, as well as useful materials to use ahead. I felt prepared to succeed in my choice of career. I continually draw upon what I have learned in my role as Child Life Associate on a daily basis. Everything I learned comes naturally as I strive to meet the needs of our patients and families, which is a testament to the quality of education I received at DCTC.

JenniferJennifer Blom
Early Childhood & Youth Development Alum
Owner – Jenny’s Puddle Jumpers Daycare

The Early Childhood & Youth Development teachers made the classes and the environment fun. I felt comfortable and the classes I took were some of the best I’ve ever taken. I enjoyed the connections and friendships I made in the classroom.

One thing people don’t realize about DCTC is that everyone is so friendly. It’s a very easy-going campus that makes it so you can do what you want to be doing. The education I received at DCTC helped me open my own successful business just six months after graduating.

I would tell other students thinking about the Early Childhood & Youth Development program to do it. It’s a great program with awesome instructors who help you build your confidence and give you the tools and materials you need to be successful in the field. It’s a great opportunity and experience to meet new people and learn skills you never knew you had. I am glad that I picked DCTC. I would do it again if I had the chance because I enjoyed the program that much!

ShaunaShauna Thilmany
Early Childhood & Youth Development Alum
Assistant Teacher for Pre-K

The support I received from my instructors played a crucial role in my success. Dawn and Jill continued to support me through every decision I had to make. It did not matter if it was a decision that was school related or family related. I am forever grateful for this support. When I was hired for my first employment in the field of Early Childhood, my boss knew the level of education I was receiving. This led me to a lead teacher position. When I interviewed for my second location within the field, I brought my portfolio filled with projects, lesson plans, educational ideas and my school accomplishments. All these items I presented allowed me to gain the assistant teacher position within a Head Start location. The professors always presented to the students the best manner of practice in each and every class. These best practices also have led to my success. I have recommended the school to various individuals within my field. I have always stated that the school has integrity, support, small classes and fabulous teaching standards.

Admission Information


Dakota_County_Technical_College 2

Get an inside peek of our classroom and lab space, as well as activities that our students are engaged in by visiting our Facebook page photos https://www.facebook.com/EarlyChildhoodIdeasResources/photos_stream