Passport to Early Childhood Education

Looking for an effective way to train new teachers and staff?

 Passport to Early Childhood Education (ECE) - Teacher and Staff Orientation

Course introduces the basic skills and knowledge to teach and care for children in center-based programs. Teachers quickly learn how to support early learning, build positive relationships, and ensure children’s health and safety. Download the Teacher and Staff promotional flyer for additional information.

  • Self-paced, online curriculum available 24/7
  • Quick video mini-lessons that easily fit within busy schedules
  • Take-away summary handouts with suggested follow-up activities
  • Helpful resources to share with co-workers and parents
  • 13-15 credit hours approved for Iowa DHS professional development credit and National Administrator’s Credential (NAC) Credit
  • Completion of the Core Modules and at least one age-specific child development module is required for IQ4K
  • Cost – Free to Iowa Early Childhood Professionals 
  • Enroll on i-PoWeR

Sample mini-lessons

Course Expectations
  • Participants are expected to complete all core module lessons 1-11 and then complete at least one child development module that best meets their needs.
  • Participants must complete brief check your knowledge quizzes at the end of the module.
  • Participants are encouraged to complete helpful, follow-up discussions with their supervisor or program administrator.

    More questions? Check out our FAQs.
Curriculum Outline

Module 1: Your New Role 

  • Explore helpful tips and suggestions to guide you as you transition to your new role as an early childhood or school age care professional. 
  • Learn how to quickly build relationships by successfully introducing yourself to children and to families.  
  • Reflect on your professional image and take steps to be your very best.

Module 2: Places and Spaces for Learning

  • Learn more in this lesson about how classrooms are organized and function.
  • Discover how to set up common interest areas for dramatic play, blocks, art, science/nature, sand and water, music and movement.
  • Consider how learning centers and hands-on play can be used to support children’s individual strengths, needs, and interests.  
  • Discover how to thoughtfully plan interest centers for different age groups: infants and toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children.

Module 3: Making the Best of Daily Routines

  • Learn how to successfully implement recommended practices for arrival, washing hands, snacks, meals, clean up, naptime and departures.
  • Discover how to use routines to help children learn self-help skills, practice problem solving and become more independent.

Module 4: Keeping Children Safe and Healthy

  • Learn how to conduct a daily health check. 
  • Unravel the complexities of staff-child ratios requirements. 
  • Enhance safety by adopting the strategies used for active supervision of children in both indoor and outdoor settings.
  • Learn how to interpret the Weather Watch guidelines and recommendations. Learn when and how to complete injury incident reports.

Module 5: Teaching and Interactions

  • Observe experienced teachers demonstrating how to successfully teach children in large group, small group and with individual children.
  • Identify ways to connect with children to build more meaningful personal relationships.
  • Explore how you can teach conversation skills and support positive relationships between children.

Module 6: Guiding Behavior

  • Transform your guidance of children by building strong personal and supportive relationships.
  • Identify and reflect on the sometimes troublesome developmental behaviors of children as they move through infancy, toddlerhood, preschool-age and school-age. 
  • Learn how to set up the learning environment and use age appropriate activities to reduce common behavioral challenges. 
  • Review effective strategies for managing crying, tantrums, biting, and conflict between children. 
  • Learn when and how to use descriptive praise and coaching to encourage positive behavior. Explore strategies teaching children friendship and social skills.

Module 7: Partnering with Families

  • Learn how to connect, communicate, and create a welcoming family friendly environment.
  • Reflect on how you can honor the uniqueness and similarities of different cultural backgrounds and types of families.
  • Learn how to share information and have reassuring conversations with families.
  • Identify strategies for advice giving, handling complaints, resolving problems and maintaining confidentiality.

Module 8: Embracing Diversity

  • Explore and learn the difference between unconscious (implicit) and conscious (explicit) bias.
  • Reflect on how your own personal experiences shape your views about diversity, inclusion and equity. Learn how to successfully support diversity and inclusion in every day early learning activities and interest centers.  
  • Consider ways you can support dual language learners. 
  • Examine strategies for responding appropriately to hurtful, insensitive behaviors.

Module 9: Supporting Children with Disabilities

  • Learn how to welcome children with disabilities into your classroom.
  • Explore how to reframe and focus on children’s individual strengths.
  • Learn how to identify signs of concern and make referrals.
  • Discover how to make simple accommodations to support children with disabilities.
  • Explore and share resources and support available to children and families.

Module 10: Managing Everyday Stress

  • Learn how to be your best for children by taking care of yourself.
  • Identify common signs of stress and recognize how they impact your well-being.
  • Examine and reflect upon your expectations for yourself and children.
  • Look for ways to balance your personal strengths and limitations.
  • Identify key stress factors in caring for young children and review successful ways to reduce stress in the classroom. Identify ways you can minimize stress talk and create positive habits.

Module 11: Professionalism and Ethics

  • Reflect on your professional and ethical responsibilities. 
  • Learn about the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct.
  • Review common scenarios of ethical challenges and reflect upon possible resolutions.  
  • Discover useful resources, services, training and funding available to support your professional growth.
  • Explore and investigate possible careers in early childhood education.

Child Development Basics

  • Reflect on how children move through common developmental stages, but often at individual rates.
  • Explore what it means to teach with developmentally appropriate practices.
  • Learn tips for sharing children’s developmental progress with families. 
  • Discover ways to share helpful developmental or intervention resources with families.

Module 12: Infant and Toddler Development

  • Explore how you can build trusting and caring relationships with infants and toddlers.
  • Discover how to nurture a strong sense of safety and security.
  • Learn how you can take steps to support infants and toddlers as they rapidly move through developmental milestones.

Module 13: Preschool-age Development

  • Explore how you can build trusting and caring relationships with preschoolers. 
  • Identify effective ways to support young children’s physical development.
  • Discover how play and learning develops and progresses from age 3 to age 5.
  • Learn how you can support preschoolers as they develop socially and emotionally.

Module 14: School-age Development

  • Explore how you can build trusting and caring relationships with school-age children. 
  • Recognize and consider the unique needs of younger school-agers. 
  • Discover how to choose appropriate activities for older school-age children. 
  • Reflect on your role in helping school-agers feel more confident and competent.
Frequently Asked Questions

Passport to ECE - Frequently Asked Questions


 Passport to Early Childhood Education for Program Administrators

Course provides supervisors with practical, real-world strategies to guide and support teachers and staff. Discover how to share your goals and vision for children and families and instill a sense of meaning and purpose. Learn how to better support your teachers and staff who are participating in the Passport to ECE Teacher Staff Orientation. Refine your skills as a coach and mentor. Discover how to give effective feedback, challenge growth and nurture ongoing professionalism. Download the Program Administrator promotional flyer for additional information.

  • 3-week course - offered each month
  • Quick video mini-lessons that easily fit within busy schedules
  • Chat discussions with other program administrators
  • Useful handouts and resources
  • 6 hours approved for Iowa DHHS professional development credit and National Administrator's Credential (NAC) Credit
  • Approved for Iowa IQ4K
  • Cost - Free to Iowa Early Childhood Professionals
  • Enroll on i-PoWeR
Course Expectations
  • At the beginning of each week, a new module lesson will open that must be completed during that week.
  • Participants are expected to interact with the instructor and other course participants in the discussion forums.
  • The discussion forums are "asynchronous", meaning that you do not have to be available on a particular day/time to participate. Instead, you will need to log into the course several times throughout the week to check on and add to the class discussion.
  • Expect to spend approximately one and a half hours per week on the course in order to complete assignments.
  • Participants must complete a final quiz at the end of the course.
Curriculum Outline

Module 1: Getting to Know the Passport to ECE Program

  • Learn how to use the Passport to ECE New Staff Orientation program to get teachers and staff off to a good start.
  • Review the steps for how Passport to ECE works.
  • Discover how to effectively share your program's goals and vision to help teachers develop a sense of purpose and commitment.
  • Explore a few of the quick-to-learn Passport to ECE mini-lesson teacher videos.

Module 2: Supporting and Encouraging Teachers

  • Learn how to support teachers with varied experiences and educational backgrounds.
  • Discover the four stages that every teacher experiences: Survival, Consolidation, Renewal, and Maturity.
  • Identify the different skills you need as a supervisor, teacher, coach, and mentor.
  • Explore effective ways to observe and support a teacher's practice in the classroom.

Module 3: Growing Professionals and Building Relationships

  • Learn how to give encouraging and effective feedback.
  • Discover how to guide and support professional development.
  • Explore how to build and strengthen ongoing relationships.



Shannon Wilson, 515-294-5702

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