Level up as an educator: courses to explore

As an educator, especially in the Early Childhood field, it can be so hard to make time for professional development. Most days the best chance you have is over nap time or on your break. Therefore, it is very important to have options that are flexible and available on-demand. 

HiMama is excited to be offering HiMama Academy, a new on-demand online training and professional development resource for early childhood educators. It features in-depth courses designed by Early Childhood Educators to help support and develop their fellow Early Childhood Educators. HiMama Academy learners receive IACET-certified Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for all courses completed and Administrators have the ability to enroll, track, and manage course certificates for their entire staff.

All courses are research-based and designed to offer a comparable experience to in-person workshops with a lot more convenience! HiMama Academy courses are engaging, collaborative, and offer strategies you can apply in your classroom today! Today, we want to share some course insights for you to explore!

To learn more about different early childhood education curricula and programming approaches available today, check out our post on the history of early childhood education.  

Early Childhood Educator Courses Spotlight

Play! How Children Learn (0.1 CEUs – 1.0 Training Hours)

Play is a defining feature of humankind. All individuals, regardless of culture or age, engage in play. Play is a fundamental tool children use to learn, grow, and create. Early childhood caregivers and educators are responsible for supporting the healthy development of children and what better way to do that than through a play-based learning approach. This course will provide the necessary tools to develop a playful teaching mindset and create a playful classroom environment. Understanding how to identify playful moments and craft playful opportunities will strengthen the relationships you have with children and the community you have created in your classroom.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Define the types and stages of play.
  • Understand the role of play in child development.
  • Recognize the difference between play-based learning programs and academic programs.
  • Identify the components of a playful mindset.
  • List the ways to create a playful classroom.

The Five Senses: Perceptual Development (0.2 CEUs – 2.0 Training Hours)

Infants were initially described as being confronted with a world that was a “blooming, buzzing confusion” (William James, 1890). However, research has shown that infants are born equipped with the abilities needed to make sense of the world and the sensations produced within it. This course explores how children develop a sense of taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight. Perceptual abilities are essential for a child to interact with the physical and social world and are directly related to the development of motor, social, and cognitive skills. The early childhood classroom should be a space where children explore and experiment with new sensations. Understanding perceptual development will allow educators to better support children’s sensation exploration and teach children how to read environmental cues using a number of perceptual abilities. This particular course will be focusing on typical perceptual development.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the distinction between perception and sensation.
  • Describe how development occurs in each of the five senses.
  • Identify factors related to hypersensitivity in all areas of perception.
  • Identify strategies for supporting children with a perceptual hypersensitivity.
  • List activities to support perceptual development.

Environment as the Third Teacher (0.2 CEUs – 2.0 Training Hours)

The first teacher – the parent – guides children through the development process by providing consistent support. The second teacher – the educator – supports children’s development by engaging them in meaningful work and introducing new learning experiences. The third teacher is a flexible and adaptable environment that responds to and supports the needs of teachers and children. The concept of the third teacher is inspired by Reggio Emilia’s practices that challenge educators to see children as competent and capable learners that have an immediate impact on their environment. The environment where learning occurs plays a central role in making learning meaningful and shaping a child’s identity. The environment should assist educators in teaching, encouraging healthy development, and communicating a sense of community. To foster such an environment, educators need to reimagine the environment as not simply a space in which learning occurs but as an active resource to extend learning, build curiosity, and structure children’s thinking.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the role of the environment in child learning and development.
  • Describe the eight principles of environmental design.
  • Identify the various ways environments speak to children.
  • List the essential aspects of creating a supportive learning environment.

We are here to support educators in their journey of growth and professional development as much as possible. We want to make it easy for you to reach your full potential! To sign up for these courses or learn more about HiMama Academy, please visit our website

Christie White

Christie is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at HiMama. She is passionate about children's development, parenting, and supporting the child care industry. She has been working to support child care centers with their events and marketing for almost a decade. In her personal life, Christie lives in Stouffville, ON with her husband Kyle and dog Tucker. She enjoys going for walks, baking, cooking, and watching reality tv!