A Good Start
Early Learning Topic Series
EITI has tailored these topics to meet the training needs of home visitors, child & family interventionists, teachers, and mental health staff. Ideal for Early Head Start and Head Start staff!
Each topic is a minimum half-day training, so no more than two topics will be included in a full-day training. Each topic can be expanded to a full-day, with greater content detail and emphasis on participant interaction.
Organizations are encouraged to utilize post-training consultation sessions with our highly experienced staff or engage in follow-up workshops. Scheduling multiple trainings is most beneficial as topics can be connected and a stronger rapport is founded between our trainer and the staff at the organization.
A) Brain development, attachment and learning
This contemporary review of brain functions focuses on how brain development impacts attachment and lifelong neurodevelopment. Participants gain ‘big picture’ understanding of how brain development is related to the quality of attachment, how multiple contributing factors (e.g., trauma, prenatal substance exposure, etc.) can disrupt healthy attachment and potentially impact learning capacity, and how to triage recognition and response efforts for treatment planning and interdisciplinary collaboration.
B) Working with difficult to engage caregivers
This workshop emphasizes a strength-based approach to working with families who are resistant to services or so overwhelmed by crisis and life stress that they are difficult to consistently engage in services. Participants are taught how cultural and individual family factors affect assessment and intervention. Principles and techniques, such as building positive interpersonal relationships, using reflective video strategies, supporting mutual competence, brain storming family strengths, and working to empower the family, are discussed to enhance staff-family interactions.
C) Home visiting: Dyadic interaction, attunement, and socio-emotional development
This training promotes a “hands-on” strength-based approach to home visiting, and reviews social-emotional milestones and the importance of attachment and attunement in infancy and early childhood. Participants will learn various interventions for encouraging healthy caregiver-child interaction, techniques to support mutual engagement and co-regulation, and activities that support healthy social-emotional development. Ultimately, utilizing “goodness-of-fit” flexibility in choosing treatment modalities that allow for individual child and family differences is emphasized.
D) Developing the Social Emotional Milestones through Play
This workshop emphasizes a strength-based approach to working with families and building a foundation for optimal social emotional development. Participants are taught how cultural and individual family factors affect social emotional milestones, and how play can be used to support social-emotional development. Principles and techniques, such as building positive interpersonal relationships, using reflective video strategies, and utilizing psychoeducation, are discussed to enhance staff-family interactions.
E) Crisis intervention and difficult behaviors
The EITI’s crisis intervention training emphasizes understanding effective strategies in working with children who are currently experiencing a crisis situation. This training focuses on de-escalation, client stability, and coping skills. The role of individual differences and thresholds in understanding difficult behaviors is discussed. Participants also learn to identify triggers to minimize difficult behavior and prevent crisis, review meanings underlying disruptive behavior, and implement appropriate behavior management strategies.
F) Discipline and limit setting
Participants will review the underlying reasons for difficult behaviors, and be able to discuss the importance of modeling and teaching consistent discipline strategies for caregivers of children 0-5. A variety of limit setting approaches that are age appropriate and simultaneously allow for increasing healthy autonomy and maintaining appropriate structure (e.g., effectively using time-out, giving limited choices, etc) are emphasized. Additionally, maintaining cultural sensitivity and respecting family boundaries and expectations are also addressed.
G) How to conduct brief mental health assessments
Understanding subtle but significant behaviors in children 0 to 5 that may target need for early intervention is crucial in preventing later behavioral and social problems. Participants learn how to use a dimensional approach to assessment and diagnosis that supports the reality that many of our most at-risk infants, young children, and their families have multiple developmental difficulties occurring simultaneously, cutting across medical, disability, mental health, and educational domains. Depending on the professional level of the participants, this training can be conducted as an introduction / overview or in-depth discourse of utilizing ZERO TO THREE’s Diagnostic Classification System: 0-3R (2005) (emphasis on DC:0-3R can be expanded to 1 or 2 full day sessions).