Story in Brief
To ensure that children in child care are safe and healthy, Georgia licensing regulations requires that all child care providers complete at least 10 hours of training per year. The UGA Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent in Tattnall County has teamed up with Bright from the Start and child care centers in Tattnall County to educate all child care centers, family child care homes, and other forms of non-parental care. The agent collaborated with directors, teachers, and other educators to bring a higher-quality of care to the children of the community. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the FACS agent created trainings through a virtual platform. Trainings that are normally taught in a face-to-face format were revised to offer an engaging environment in a virtual training. The trainers used video demonstrations, online visuals, polls and discussion boards to enhance learning in a virtual world. The FACS agent has offered six (2-hour) trainings for the child care centers in the state. Tattnall County Extension has offered educational programs for more than 150 child care centers across the state of Georgia. These trainings included Basic Care, Managing Food Allergies, Food Nutrition, Eat Healthy Be Active, Emergency Preparedness, and Injury Prevention and Control. In each session, participants completing evaluations have reported significantly improved knowledge of issues such as playground inspecting, choking hazards, proper handwashing, the spread of infectious diseases, and nutritional needs of children. Ninety-five percent of participants learned new skills and activities to use in their centers. Caregivers indicated 95 percent knowledge gained on how to be prepared in the event of an emergency while caring for young children. One-hundred percent of caregivers indicated after attending the class, they would start incorporating food related activities in different learning centers such as dramatic play, art, and music to encourage a healthier lifestyle for the children. After attending the session, 93 percent indicated they felt very knowledgeable or extremely knowledgeable compared to 71 percent that felt some knowledge at the beginning of the program.