Tricounty News

ECFE workshop Nov. 29

Infants are born with wonderful skills right from the start. They can cry for help, look away when over stimulated, experience and remember events in their small world. Because we can "see" into the brain today, we understand more than ever about how a small child is affected by not only their nature, but the people in the baby's life and their relationship to that child. Right from birth, our brain is working to optimize its strengths and dropping those structures that don't serve a purpose.

Because of this process, the first months of life hold a special key to future life.

Caretakers of small infants and children have an unparalleled opportunity to impact a life. We have great information about what it truly means to provide "quality care" for infants and toddlers. Parents can join with their providers to help kids grow into capable and loving individuals.

This workshop will take us from an understanding of why attachment relationships are key to healthy brain development, into a discussion of concrete questions that all caregivers, parents, and child-care providers alike struggle with, in providing optimal care for infants and toddlers.

How do I help ease separation? Is it OK for babies to have multiple attachment partners, and how many is too many? Do I need to attend to every cry? What if the parent and provider disagree on how to handle the child's attachment needs? How do I help children who seem too clingy or too independent? How can I strengthen attachment and support optimal brain development?

Providers, come to find out what you can do to help your babies and toddlers experience a good start in life through your loving care in your child-care center or family child-care home. Parents, come to hear what you can do to partner with your provider to do the best job she or he can for your small child, and to carry these ideas into your home and your special relationship with your infant or toddler.

Jane Ellison, LMFT, IMH-E- is a community leader in early childhood mental health. She has more than 20 years experience working with young children and their families, including work in Early Childhood Family Education, home visiting, family literacy, child abuse and neglect prevention programs and a domestic violence shelter. Ms. Ellison holds licensure in parent education, early childhood education, and Marriage and Family Therapy, and holds Clinical Level IV Infant Mental Health endorsement through MAIECMH. She is presently holding several positions, including Project Manager for Greater St. Cloud Area Thrive, Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist for the Sauk Rapids/Rice ECFE, adjunct faculty at St. Cloud State University and University of Minnesota CEED field faculty.

Call to register for this workshop, hosted by your local Early Childhood Family Education Department.

Early Childhood workshop is scheduled for 6-8:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29. The cost is $10 per person. Registration line is (320) 398-7700, ext. 217, or (320) 764-5575, ext. 3114.