Health/Nutrition and Safety

Let’s start this list off with the Health and Safety Orientation training offered by Maine Roads to Quality (MRTQ PDN): Foundations of Health, Wellness and Safety 2018. This free course 18-hour training covers topics related to the health and safety aspects of early childhood programs, including reducing the spread of illness, nutrition and physical activity, environmental hazards, and working with children with special health care needs. This is a required training for the Maine, Infant Toddler Credential and the Youth Development Credential. It will also qualify providers participating in the Child Care Subsidy Program, as meeting the requirement for orientation of health and safety topics.

Another program Maine providers participate in is Go NAPSACC. Go NAPSACC walks child care providers through steps to make healthy changes to their programs: self-assessment to find areas for improvement / action planning tool / library of tips and materials to put plans into action / take Go NAPSACC training / assess again and plan the next move. GoNAPSACC covers: child nutrition / breastfeeding and infant feeding / farm to ECE / oral health / physical activity / screen time.

Use the following steps to join Go NAPSACC-  visit GoNAPSACC, click on the green JOIN TODAY button (upper right hand corner of the screen), choose Directors & Owners to continue the registration process, and use Registration Code 089vbd5tt0le2x2z to complete the registration process.

MaineHealth Lets Go! 5-2-1-0 is a childhood obesity prevention program found across Maine working with different partnerships to offer training opportunities using evidence-based strategies to increase healthy eating and physical activity among children from birth up. Find information and links for their online professional development open to providers.

Cooking Matters Maine (Good Shepard Food Bank) – provides free hands-on cooking and nutrition classes. The program usually runs 4 to 6 weeks. For providers, if you are interested in participating in Cooking Matters or to learning about hosting a Cooking Matters class in your area, contact Courtney Kennedy, Nutrition and Education Manager at Good Shepherd Food Bank at or (207) 782-3554 X1125. Classes are available in all 16 counties through partnerships with Maine SNAP-Ed*, Eat Well Nutrition Program**, 5-2-1-0 and other community organizations.

American Academy of Pediatrics provides training on an array of health related areas, including physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. As of 1/2020 there are classes that will be available through the year on: managing infectious diseases / medication administration / SIDS & SUID / injury prevention. (any new classes will also be available from the link above)

Early Sprouts Institute is a collaboration between the Health Science and Early Childhood
Education departments of Keene State College, offering online trainings around healthy foods and active play in young children developed for early childhood educators. There are no prerequisites. The interactive, self-paced trainings can be completed at any time within one year.

  • Early Sprouts, gardening, sensory exploration and cooking program ~ 10-hour  Read more.
  • Growing Healthy Eaters ~ 7-hour  Read more.
  • Active Play Every Day ~ integrating physical activity with learning throughout the preschool day ~ 6.5-hour  Read more.

Farm to Early Care and Education (section of Farm to School programs for ECE) has free archived webinars, but no certificate is provided.

Safe Sleep Practices for Caregivers: Reduce the Risk of SUID is one of 2 free online trainings presented by Better Kid Care that provides a certificate. All modules specifically designed for home-based and family child care providers are available on demand. A $5.00 fee is required for a certificate of completion. Better Kid Care online On Demand lessons are accepted by the Maine Department of Human Services, Child and Family Services to meet elective child care professional development requirements in Maine

Multihazard Planning for Childcare Emergency – This FREE 2 hr FEMA course will provide the knowledge and tools to analyze hazards and threats, develop a plan to address them, and implement processes to update and practice your emergency plan. Ensuring the safety of children in your care is a huge responsibility and your number one priority. Unfortunately, hazards, threats, and emergencies, often outside of your control, can and do happen. As a childcare provider, having a comprehensive plan to address potential emergency situations can aid in prevention, lessen the impact, and help you respond and act appropriately.

Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns – Free 1-hour, 4-module course, you will learn: Why monitoring children’s development is important / Why you have a unique and important role in developmental monitoring / How to easily monitor each child’s developmental milestones / How to talk with parents about their child’s development.

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI) offers online professional development courses for child care providers that award IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs). CCEI adds new course content to the Course Catalog yearly. Start here with their catalog of 275 courses covering infant thru school-age development / health nutrition / administrative / curriculum / family engagement / inclusion / quality improvement

Specific Topic Archived Webinars

Screen Use for Children Under 3: Research-Based Guidelines for Screen Sense, by Rachel Barr and Claire Lerner – Technology for infants and toddlers? Appalling or appealing? The authors of Zero to Three’s report, “Screen Sense: Setting the Record Straight- Research-Based Guidelines for Screen Use for Children Under 3 Years Old” review the research, dispel myths, and provide new guidance about using or not using interactive technology with the youngest children. / 1.5 hr training / Free

Big Body Play: Why Something So Scary is So Good For Children, by Frances Carlson – Learn the top reasons why young children need to play this way and how it supports healthy development. Learn what policies and procedures help support Big Body Play in group care, as well as how to prepare for and supervise it both indoors and outside. Learn how to document the effectiveness of Big Body Play and share its importance with families. / 1.5 hr training / Free

Pathways to Nature-Based Play: There Is One for You! by Kay Albrecht, Ph.D., Halcyon Reese-Learned and Sharon Young – If you want to explore where your program might fit in this movement and consider myriad ways to expand outdoor play. – Investigate the roles of the teacher in nature-based play. – Discover ways to build community among teachers and to problem solve around challenges that might emerge when expanding nature-based play. – Discover strategies to communicate with families about risks and worries. – Explore examples of child-directed learning activities in nature that plant the seeds to nurture nature throughout childhood. – Explore the connections between early childhood development and nature-based play. / 1.5 hr training / Free

How Natural Outdoor Classrooms Can Help Address Behavioral Challenges and Support Children’s Well-Being, by Tina Reeble – Insights, tips, and practices that will help transform your early childhood program from conflict to harmony with outdoor play and nature exploration. Explore ways to use time in natural outdoor classrooms to effectively reduce children’s behavioral challenges, minimize conflict and add more joyful interactions. / 1.5 hrs training / Free

Skip, Turn, & Hop into Teaching ECE Math and Language Arts Through Movement, by Connie Bergstein Dow, MFA – The rich art form of dance/creative movement is a lively physical activity that nurtures imagination and has the potential to offer experiences in all early childhood content areas. Connie will demonstrate a wealth of ideas for presenting age-appropriate kinesthetic learning opportunities to young children, with an emphasis on math and language arts concepts. / 1.5 hrs training / Free