Want to be an Early Childhood Superstar?

DSC05168Attend our Early Childhood New Student Open House on Thursday, Apr. 2nd between 4-7pm at Dakota County Technical College, 1300 145th St. E., Rosemount, MN 55068. (Rm. 2-206)

JOIN US at our open house to meet faculty, tour our space, ask questions, and learn more about educational options in the early childhood and child life fields! Full-time and part-time options, day (only two days per week!) and online. TEACH Scholarship eligible! Now is the time to be thinking about fall semester – seats are limited.

*Fill out an application at the open house event and your application fee will be WAIVED!*

Dawn Braa, 651-423-8315

Sharon Bergen, 651-423-8398

ECYD Program Newsletter: March 2015


CLICK HERE to access the March 2015 newsletter. It’s another info-filled newsletter so please take time to read it.

Questions/comments about something in the newsletter? Ask Dawn, Sharon, or Cory.

Child Life Guest Speaker: Global Child Life

D09_33_232In honor of Child Life Month, this month’s guest speaker is a Certified Child Life Specialist. I’m honored to introduce Morgan Livingstone.

Morgan says, “As a Certified Child Life Specialist I am an expert in child development, promoting effective coping through play, preparation,education, and self-expression activities. I provide emotional support for families, and encourage the optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly those related to healthcare, illness, trauma and hospitalization. Understanding that a child’s well-being depends on the support of the family. I provide information, support and guidance to parents, siblings, and other extended family members. I also believe strongly in educating caregivers, administrators, and the general public about children under stress. My advocacy work is for the provision of child and family friendly healthcare across the globe.” Her specialties include: Oncology, Retinoblastoma, Trauma, TBI/ABI, Fears/Anxiety, Surgical preparation, non-compliance issues, Children’s Mental Health, Global healthcare, and Inter-cultural competence in clinical practice.morgan livingstone africa

One of Morgan’s career highlights is bringing sustainable Child Life to Kenya. I invite you to TUNE IN to Morgan’s astounding message regarding global health. She shares her story about creating locally sustainable, global child life in Africa, as well as some basic principles for partnership.

Connect with Morgan on Twitter @ChildLifeMorgan 


Early Childhood New Student Open House

Calling all prospective students-DSC05168

Now is the time to register for fall semester! Attend our Early Childhood New Student Open House on Monday, Mar. 23rd between 1-4pm at Dakota County Technical College, Rm. 2-206. Fill out an application at the open house event and your application fee will be WAIVED!

Dawn Braa, 651-423-8315

Sharon Bergen, 651-423-8398


Mondays with ME: REDUCING MATERIALISM (3/16/15)



Dungan,Nathan_hs3“Did you know that being less materialistic is associated with greater happiness? Nathan Dungan, founder of Share Save Spend and Mom Enough’s go-to source on kids and money, builds on previous research in a groundbreaking new study that shows how a 3-part learning intervention reduced materialism and increased self-esteem for adolescents who participated. Nathan joins Marti & Erin for a lively discussion about how to promote good values around money, how to give your kids choices and a voice in spending decisions even at very young ages, and how your children will benefit longterm from these practices. Marti & Erin are eager to try Nathan’s tips, and you will be too!” -ME Tune In Here! 


Thinking About A Career in Early Childhood?


Guest Speaker: Michelle Figlar (PAEYC)

Figlar Headshot 2014I’m honored to introduce our next guest speaker – Michelle Figlar. Michelle Figlar is the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC), a local affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), serving a ten-county region in Southwestern PA, with over 1,400 members.

Since joining PAEYC in February 2006, Ms. Figlar has worked with leaders in Southwestern PA to grow membership, create programs that enhance professional development and NAEYC Accreditation, and develop a coordinated plan for early care and education advocacy efforts. Ms. Figlar serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Early Learning Council and the Pennsylvania Early Learning PA Campaign. In addition, she serves on the board of the Education and Policy Leadership Center, Jeremiah’s Place and the Birmingham Foundation. Ms. Figlar also serves as an Adjunct Instructor for the University of Pittsburgh. Before returning to her hometown of Pittsburgh, Ms. Figlar served as an Early Childhood Program Manager for the Office of Early Childhood, Invest in Children Initiative in Cleveland, OH. Ms. Figlar was chosen as a Head Start Fellow, in 2003 and has had opportunities to work with the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) and the National Head Start Association (NHSA). Ms. Figlar also served as a Head Start Director, a Preschool Special Education Teacher and a VISTA Volunteer.

TUNE IN to Michelle’s message about the importance of early childhood advocacy and what it means to step out of the box. She also provides key tips for professionals beginning their career and how to be a voice for children.

WINNER! Classroom Rug Giveaway

WinnerOne lucky winner has been randomly selected for the Classroom Rug Giveaway

The lucky WINNER is Lorelei R!  CONGRATULATIONS! 

Thank you to all who entered and to the local childcare facility for the wonderful donation!

Mondays with ME: Happy Together (3/1/15): Healthy Moms, Babies, and Families



Debby Prudhomme & Mary Williams_hs“So, you and your partner have gone to childbirth class, practiced your breathing and developed a birth plan. And maybe your mom or another loved one plans to be there for added support. But what if you could have a specially trained person there to anticipate your every need, clarify what’s happening with your labor and even support your anxious partner? Doulas can do all that and more, as this Mom Enough guests,Debby Prudhoome and Mary Williams from Everyday Miracles, know!” -M.E.


Local Giveaway: Classroom Rug (Circle 9′)

A local preschool has graciously offered a circular classroom rug* for FREE to a lucky entrant.
See the details below and enter soon for your chance to win!
*Note that the winner must pick up the rug in person from the site (St. Paul, MN)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Child Life Course @ DCTC Summer 2015

Are 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 summer 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. NOTE- This course is not available for currently enrolled DCTC Child Life students that have not yet graduated.

  1. Provide documentation showing that you meet the pre-requisite (ECYD 1210 Child Growth & Development).  If not our course, please scan/email evidence, which would include: transcript, course description, syllabus, etc., for determination. Email evidence to Dawn Braa (dawn.braa@dctc.edu). You will be notified after determination has been made.
  1. In order to register for the class (AFTER APPROVAL) without being officially accepted into our college, you will need to submit the Undeclared Course Registration form (link below). You will need to create a user account (username and password) to complete the registration. http://www.dctc.edu/admissions/register-for-courses/register-undeclared/

Course ID#- 000059, Subject/Course Number- ECYD2900, Section- 59, Credits- 3, Name of Course-Introduction to the Child Life Profession: History and Practice, Estimated Cost- $605

Once our Registration Office has received the paperwork, the request will be processed and a copy of the class schedule will be mailed out to you.  You will also be assessed a one-time $20.00 application fee. Tuition & fees must be paid at the time of registration to guarantee enrollment.

*For additional questions to registering for the class (after approval) or payment, please contact the Registrar registration@dctc.edu.  THANK YOU!

**Looking for more information regarding upcoming changes in Child Life and other courses offered through DCTC? Click here!


Dawn Braa


Mondays with ME: Happy Together (2/23/15)



Haappy together guest Dr. Bill Cloke book“Pop culture bombards us every day with shallow, unrealistic messages about romantic love. But what does it really take to build love, commitment, and connection that last? And why is this important for our children, as well as ourselves? Los Angeles psychologist and author of Happy Together Dr. Bill Cloke joins Marti and Erin for a rich discussion of practical steps you can take to bring greater respect, understanding and love into your family life.” – MomEnough TUNE IN HERE


February 2014 ECYD Newsletter

Be sure to read through the February ECYD Newsletter for important program information!

Career Crossings: 2/20/15

career crossing

This edition of Career Crossings includes opportunities from New Horizon Academy and Our Savior Christian Preschool. 

New Horizon

 **Early Childhood Positions**AIDE POSITIONS AVAILABLE!**

NEW HORIZON ACADEMY in now hiring for the south of the river NHA SUB NETWORK. Positions available for both PART TIME and FULL TIME employment. ENTRY level positions available! Many opportunities to lead into full-time, long-term teaching positions! 

New Horizon Academy is the largest locally owned Early Childhood Education program in Minnesota. We are enrolling children into our NAEYC accredited programs every day and are looking for energetic, nurturing and dedicated staff to join our growing company!

Our mission as a company is to open “New Horizons” of self-esteem and potential for the little people entrusted to our care, their families, and our employees by providing and continuously improving the best child development on the planet. 

Substitutes are expected to provide a warm, nurturing, safe, and loving environment where self-concepts are enhanced, independence encouraged, and individuality respected. 

For a position on the sub network we are looking for someone who. . .

• Is passionate and dedicated to working with children.
• Have availability at least 2 full days a week (able to work until between 5:30-6pm) – FULL or PART time positions available.
• Has strong communication skills to use with parents, students and co-workers.
• Is ready to join a team dedicated to providing the best childcare on the planet.
• Works well with other teachers/co-workers in the same classroom.
• Displays the ability to adapt to different classrooms at different locations.

Applicants must be qualified under MN Rule 3. A two or four year degree and previous experience working in early childhood education is a plus but NOT required. ENTRY level positions are available with no college or previous experience required.  

We are also hiring a LEAD INFANT TEACHER at the LKVL Dodd location.

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact Kim at 952-953-0555 or send resume via email kflanagan@nhacademy.net. E.O.E.

Our Savior Early Learning Center

OUR SAVIOR EARLY LEARNING ACADEMY is currently hiring a F/T or P/T assistant teacher to work afternoon to close. Interested in working with one-year-olds? Apply! Interested candidates send resume to Tamara Ristow kidskool@frontiernet.net

K and N LEARNING CENTERS are hiring a full-time toddler teacher in the 1-year-old classroom.  At minimum a student who can work M, W, F a.m. shifts from 7 to 12 or 1 is preferred. See FLYER below for more details. If interested, contact Nicole Swanson, Director. #715-262-4245. Prescott, WI


Disclaimer- Although we post the listings on our blog, we do not vouch for the integrity or quality of programs. It is suggested that applicants research the facility, their philosophy, etc. before accepting a position.

WINNER! Pick and Draw Giveaway

WinnerTwo winners were selected for the Pick and Draw Giveaway. We were supposed to have 5 winners but we didn’t have enough entries.

The lucky WINNERS are Lorelei R and Kelli W!  CONGRATULATIONS! Don’t forget to share your stories about using Pick and Draw with the young children in your life!

Thank you to all who entered and to Rich Davis for the wonderful donations!

Early Childhood New Student Open House!!





Campbell,Robin_hs“From the first hours of life, babies interact with the world through touch and sensory exploration. As babies grow, their motor and sensory skills become more complex and purposeful. We sometimes take for granted that these domains of development will just unfold without special attention. But, as research shows, persistent problems with motor development or sensory behaviors often relate to neurological vulnerability and emotional difficulties as children get older. So, what should we be watching for? Read more »

GIVEAWAY! Pick and Draw

DCF 1.0Mr. Rich Davis is sponsoring this month’s giveaway. Mr. Davis has donated FIVE Pick and Draw games!

Welcome to Pick and Draw

  • Pick and Draw is a fun, one-of-a-kind drawing game that teaches you how to make very creative cartoon faces.
  • There are 60,000 different possibilities in the game (a deck of cards).
  • The game uses mainly simple shapes everyone already knows how to do thereby giving confidence to those who try.
  • It is simple and easy to use providing endless hours of fun and learning.
  • It can be used by one person or by any group number.
  • It also opens up creative thinking and using the imagination.
  • This makes “success” possible providing a good kind of confidence to encourage continued learning.

Who is playing Pick and Draw

  • Elementary school’s as a creative writing game.pick sarah therapy
  • Children’s grief counseling (builds a “trust” bridge between counselor and grieving child).
  • Occupational Therapy helping with eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.
  • Children with Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder: understanding visual messages with different facial expressions and activities to improve flexible thinking and relational skills.
  • Mission field workers to orphanages and street children: building a fun visual communication bridge between worker and children.
  • Children with long-term illnesses: while sitting in bed or clinics, this creative game helps pass the time and take their mind off the pain.
  • Grandparents can have a fun activity with their grand kids: no technology involved, they interact and have fun with the children in a simple, fun way by drawing with them….and really enjoy it as they do.
  • Homeschoolers…different uses for story writing to filling time that comes open unexpectedly.
  • Art Class Activity…many different ways to be creative for each child in the class and allow them to express themselves visually in a way they feel comfortable and confident.
  • Church Youth Programs….from ten different heart messages that can be associated with playing the game, it is a powerful communication tool that children can grasp.

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 1/11/15 until 1/18/15 (Ending @ 12:00am EST).

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MnAEYC-MnSACA State Conference 2015

mnaeyc Conference-Logo-2015

On Fri. Jan. 30th, Sharon and I attended the 2015 MnAEYC-MnSACA State Conference. We were joined by 7 Early Childhood & Youth Development (ECYD) student club members. The morning began early as we all prepared ourselves for an invigorating day in St. Paul, MN. The students had arranged to meet one another at the entrance and begin the day together. Sharon arrived early as she would be presenting sessions later in the day. I arrived with the conference keynote; we shared a few morning laughs and said our goodbyes.

rae-picaAfter choosing our breakfast of choice (muffins, bagels, oatmeal, fruit, coffee, orange juice, apple juice), we all sat down together at a table near the front of the room. After the welcoming message, Rae Pica was introduced as the keynote speaker. Rae Pica is an early childhood education consultant, specializing in children’s physical activity. She is the founder and director of Moving & Learning and is an author of 18 books (soon to be 19- June 2015).

Right away Rae had us “moving & learning” when she asked us to dance with her. The entire room was up and dancing at 8am! In her keynote about teaching to the whole child she stated that we often set up environments contrary to the way children learn. Reflect on your early childhood environment – is it set up the way adults want it? Ask yourself if it’s designed for the children and the way they learn and experience life around them. Rae also reminded us that children can’t learn in one domain without also experiencing it in the other domains. This is why worksheets and dittos are not effective! She encouraged us to take a stand and that there’s power in numbers. “You don’t see legislators dictating to doctors when to operate on a kidney. The doctors make that decision based on their expertise. Our field has been dictated to us for too long! Educators need to take a stand to do what’s right for children.”

After a short break, it was off to the morning sessions. There were many great sessions to choose from, facilitated by a variety of inspiring professionals in the field, including our very own Sharon Bergen and Cory Woosley!


Our ECYD group gathered after for lunch to debrief a bit about the morning sessions and share in the excitement of the day. After lunch, our students turned in 180 greeting cards for the Cards for Hospitalized Kids organization. Our ECYD Club, the DCTC Lions Club, and others from DCTC all participated in the community service learning opportunity. THANK YOU! The afternoon was filled with more fascinating dialogue and networking. MnAEYC 2015b
MnAEYC 2015a

Here are some thoughts and reflections from our students:

“The MNAEYC conference was a wonderful experience. The keynote speaker, Rae Pica, started the conference out with a bang. She was so full of energy and had us moving, dancing and singing! You could really hear her passion for the whole child. She was the perfect start I needed for the day and made me realize why I am here; I want to increase my knowledge in many areas so I can better the lives of children.

One of the sessions that I went to was about brain development. The speaker brought up some wonderful points and I learned a lot. The part that really stuck with me was when we watched a video on Romanian orphanages and the affects of the poor care had on the child.

Another session I went to was all about Big Body and Rough and Tumble Play. It was a panel of 5 professionals that all work in different types of early childhood settings. They spoke about how this type of play benefits the children and teaches them self-regulatory skills, physical development, negotiation skills and so much more. What I really loved is that they discussed the risks as well as the benefits. Each professional had extremely helpful answers and points that you know they truly stand behind because they work with children themselves.

The conference was amazing, I did however have a few surprises that came up! When I went to the conference, I did not expect to hold a snake or tarantula! How crazy is that? I’m not sure what came over me, whether it was the positive, happy atmosphere or all the coffee, but I faced my fear and held a tarantula! I’ll definitely be going back next year!” -Julie H.

“Walking into the conference was exciting.  There was an electricity in the air that gave me goosebumps. Being a part of early childhood on such a new level was so enlightening!  

Rae Pica got up on stage and continued the great energy with a fabulous lecture.  You could see her passion for learning radiating from her constant smile.  She got us singing and dancing while showing us how truly important it is for children to move to learn.

Next, we split into smaller sessions with various interesting topics. Some were very interactive. My favorite was about bringing nature into your center. They set up different stations that let us experiment with natural objects in unique ways. Then we split into groups to  brainstorm answers to scenarios about different issues that you might encounter when trying to implement more nature into your classroom environment. There are so many ways to get children involved in nature even if you don’t think you have the space or time for it. Just adding potted plants with long grasses, etc. and some slices of an old log can create a jungle like obstacle course right on the playground!

I am so glad that I decided to go to this conference! I had the opportunity to interact with early childhood in a way that I never have before. I am looking forward to using everything that I learned and continuing to learn even more. I hope to attend again next year!” -Elise S.

MnAEYC Conf group

Career Crossings: 2/6/15