Early Childhood Education Professional Development Programs

2020 Training Dates

Nebraska Extension’s The Learning Child team is pleased to offer live, interactive, online professional development opportunities throughout the months of April and May. These classes will be FREE, as we do our part to support our communities during this unprecedented time. All classes offer NDE APPROVED in-service hours!


Date | Time Topic Description Cost | Hours Contact
Dates TBD
8 session series
Cultivating Healthy Intentional Mindful Educators (CHIME)

The CHIME Program provides education and guidance on how to incorporate mindfulness and reflective practice into your daily routine, teaching and caregiving. Engaging in mindfulness and reflective practice has many benefits for health and well-being of both providers and young children — including reduced stress, improved emotion management, better sleep quality, increased focus and attention, and enhanced relationships.

This fall, we will be offering CHIME for FREE to early childhood educators that work with children ages 3 – 6 in child care centers or preschool settings, as part of a research project about the effectiveness of the program.

Please click here to complete this quick form to let us know you are interested in participating in CHIME.

Click here for more information.
Click here for information about research data collection.

Presented by Leanne Manning and Lynn DeVries
FREE | 16.0 hrs. Katie Krause - katie.krause@unl.edu
Monday, December 7th
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Fit and Healthy Kids Keeping Kids Safe Young children are at high risk for food-borne illnesses. Early childhood professionals can help protect children by following proper food handling practices. Learn the latest information on keeping children healthy with safe storing, preparing, and serving of foods.
Register at http://food.unl.edu/fit-and-healthy-kids.
Presented by LaDonna Werth/Lisa Poppe, Carol Schwarz, Cami Wells
FREE | 1.0 hrs. Cami Wells - cwells2@unl.edu
Wednesday, December 9th
1:00 – 2:30 pm
OR
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Block Party Blocks are wonderful open-ended play material for children of all ages. We will explore the valuable learning opportunities that come from playing with blocks, and we will spend time exploring a variety of different types of blocks.
Register here for the 1:00 pm course
Register here for the 7:00 pm course
Presented by Jaci Foged and Katie Krause
FREE | 1.5 hrs. Katie Krause - katie.krause@unl.edu
Thursday, January 7th
1:00 – 2:30 pm
OR
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Mindfulness and Self-care The wellbeing of early childhood educators is increasingly recognized as being importantly connected to high quality education and care. Learn how practicing mindfulness provides one way of promoting teacher well-being. Mindfulness offers strategies for maintaining health, personal well-being, developing healthy self-regulation, and providing more responsive care to children.
Register here for the 1:00 pm course
Register here for the 7:00 pm course
Presented by Katie Krause and Jaci Foged
FREE | 1.5 hrs. Katie Krause - katie.krause@unl.edu
Monday, January 11th
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Fit and Healthy Kids - Serve and Return: Play with Babies Promotes Their Early Learning Participant in this hour-long session to learn about the importance of serve and return and how these important interactions foster young children's learning and development. Participants will also learn some key ways to engage in serve and return interactions during everyday moments.
Register at http://food.unl.edu/fit-and-healthy-kids.
LaDonna Werth/Lisa Poppe, Holly Hatton Bowers
FREE | 1.0 hrs. Cami Wells - cwells2@unl.edu
Wednesday, January 13th
1:00 – 2:30 pm
OR
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Indoor and Outdoor Activities for Children in the Winter The winter can drag on in the midwest, making everyone a little stir crazy. Join us as we share new activity ideas, to bring fun and learning to your program, indoors and out. Join in age-specific breakout rooms for even more customized solutions to the winter blues!
Register here for the 1:00 pm course
Register here for the 7:00 pm course
Presented by Katie Krause, Jaci Foged, Stephanie Thorson and Tiffany Sessions
FREE | 1.5 hrs. Katie Krause - katie.krause@unl.edu
Thursday, January 21st
1:00 – 2:30 pm
OR
7:00 – 8:30 pm
A treasure trove of activities and resources for School Agers: Introduction to 4-H The Nebraska Extension 4-H program offers a wide variety of programs and experiences for youth ages 5 and older. Learn how to access these resources, get some ideas for new activities, and maybe even consider starting a 4-H club for your school agers!
Register here for the 1:00 pm course
Register here for the 7:00 pm course
Presented by Stephanie Thorson and Tiffany Sessions
FREE | 1.5 hrs. Katie Krause - katie.krause@unl.edu
Monday, February 1st
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Fit and Healthy Kids Blocks as a Learning Tool Block play is so important to children's social-emotional development and also teaches them problem-solving skills, math, engineering, and creative thinking. We will dive into the top reasons block play is so necessary in your home or center.
Register at http://food.unl.edu/fit-and-healthy-kids.
LaDonna Werth and Lisa Poppe
FREE | 1.0 hrs. Cami Wells - cwells2@unl.edu
Wednesday, February 10th
1:00 – 2:30 pm
OR
7:00 – 8:30 pm
What CAN you do about challenging behaviors? Having a child who has behaviors that are difficult to handles causes stress for you, the child, and the other children in your program. This session will help you understand these behaviors and give you practical strategies to use to give these children the help they need so they can be better engaged in your program.
Register here for the 1:00 pm course
Register here for the 7:00 pm course
Presented by Katie Krause and Jaci Foged
FREE | 1.5 hrs. Katie Krause - katie.krause@unl.edu
Wednesday, February 24th
1:00 – 2:00 pm
OR
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Look Who's Hatching Hatching out chicks is a wonderful experience for young children. It’s even more fun, and full of learning opportunities, when you don’t tell the children what kind of animal is going to hatch out of the eggs. Instead, spend the 3 weeks that the eggs incubate learning about a variety of oviparous (egg laying) animals! Learn how to care for the egg and how to implement Look Who’s Hatching in your program. Participants will have the opportunity to hatch chicks in their own program for an additional fee.
Register here for the 1:00 pm course
Register here for the 7:00 pm course
Presented by Katie Krause and Jaci Foged
FREE | 1.0 hrs. Katie Krause - katie.krause@unl.edu
Monday, March 1st
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Fit and Healthy Kids - Let Them Make A Mess: Play Experiences This presentation will give you ideas to help foster those play experiences and will be interactive to help you build your resources and creativity when thinking about play.
Register at http://food.unl.edu/fit-and-healthy-kids.
LaDonna Werth/Lisa Poppe, Audrey Rider
FREE | 1.0 hrs. Cami Wells - cwells2@unl.edu
Wednesday, March 3rd
1:00 – 2:30 pm
OR
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Planning Summer Experiences for Young Children; combining fun and learning While school is out for the summer, our early childhood and school age out-of-school providers are still hard at work. During this session we will share a variety of ideas for engaging children and youth in fun and educational summer experiences, both on and off-site. You will have time to discuss your plans and ideas with colleagues, and special considerations due to Covid-19 concerns will also be discussed.
Register here for the 1:00 pm course
Register here for the 7:00 pm course
Presented by Katie Krause, Jaci Foged, Stephanie Thorson and Tiffany Sessions
FREE | 1.5 hrs. Katie Krause - katie.krause@unl.edu
Monday, March 8th
1:00 – 2:30 pm
OR
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Gardening with Young Children: Preparing for the Gardening Season It may be early March, but many gardeners have already been hard at work planning their gardens for this years growing season! Learn some of the basics about planning and starting a vegetable garden in your program, and ways to connect the gardening experience to Early Learning Guidelines/Standards.
Register here for the 1:00 pm course
Register here for the 7:00 pm course
Presented by John Porter and Katie Krause
FREE | 1.5 hrs. Katie Krause - katie.krause@unl.edu
Monday, March 23rd
1:00 – 2:30 pm
OR
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Continuing to supporting our youngest learners: Infants and Toddlers This session is geared specifically towards those working with children ages birth to age three. Participants will take time to explore their image of young children, observe very young children and better understand the crucial role they play as adult caregivers in the development of our youngest leaners. (If you took the class we offered in Summer 2020, this class is not a repeat and will compliment what you learned in that class!)
Register here for the 1:00 pm course
Register here for the 7:00 pm course
Presented by Katie Krause and Jaci Foged
FREE | 1.5 hrs. Katie Krause - katie.krause@unl.edu
Coming in 2021!
  • Indoor and Outdoor Activities for Children in the Winter
  • Seeds of Compassion: Embracing a Growth Mindset
  • Animal Adaptations: Teaching about Wild Animals
  • Connecting Animals and Children: How Animals Can Help with Social-Emotional Skill Development
  • Helping Children Cope with Crises
  • Look Who’s Hatching
  • Gardening with Young Children
  • Free Forest School – Letting kids be kids, outdoors!
  • Planning Summer Experiences for Young Children; combining fun and learning
  • Mindful Self-Care
  • Outdoor Learning Environments
  • Intergenerational Connections
  • Loose Parts
Katie Krause - katie.krause@unl.edu



Early Childhood Development training is held at the Nebraska Extension Office in Douglas-Sarpy Counties at 8015 W. Center Rd. Omaha, NE 68124. A minimal class fee is charged to cover costs. Preregistration is strongly recommended, due to small class sizes.

Classes are held at the Douglas County Extension Office, 8015 West Center Road, Omaha, NE 68124. For more information or to register for a class, contact Katie Krause at (402) 444-3338, katie.krause@unl.edu, or fill out and submit the form below.

Class Registration and Information Request Form
REQUEST FOR: *