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Building a Foundation for the Future:

Promoting Social Emotional Competency in Infants & Toddlers

Social competency can seem mysterious. Some infants and toddlers seem to connect easily with everybody and others seem to struggle to fit in. Social and emotional competence involves a child’s ability to regulate and express emotions and form close and secure relationships. It involves skills such as self-confidence, curiosity, motivation, persistence, and self-control. Infant/Toddler professionals have an important role in promoting the social emotional learning.

Grounded in the research-based “Pyramid Model” developed at the Center on the Social Emotional Foundation of Early Learning (CSEFEL), this series will utilize material from the CSEFEL Infant/Toddler training modules to  provide a thorough framework of strategies to support emerging social emotional competence in  very young children.

September 12: Module 1 – Understanding Social Emotional Development

This module will focus on developing a “deep dive” thorough understanding of social emotional competency, how it develops and the infant/toddler professional’s role in promoting social emotional learning.

September 26: Module 2 – Forming and Sustaining Relationships with Young Children and Families

This module will focus on how relationships with infants and toddlers and their families are crucial in creating a positive social/emotional climate in your program. Through the lens of attachment, strategies for forming and sustaining relationships with children and families while navigating the day to day challenges of working in an infant/toddler setting will be presented. This will include strategies for supporting parents in forming positive secure relationships.

October 10: Module 3 – Creating High Quality Supportive Environments for Promoting Social Emotional Learning

This module will focus on how the physical environment, schedules and routines support the social/emotional development of infants and toddlers. Strategies for providing individualized responsive care and education will be presented.

October 24: Module 4 – Using Targeted strategies to build social emotional skills

This module will focus on emotional literacy, the ability to identify, understand and express emotions in a healthy way, as well as the ability to recognize emotions in others. Strategies for promoting age appropriate social and emotional skills will be presented.

November 5: Module 5 + 6 – A Relationship based approach to challenging behavior

This module will focus on understanding and responding to challenging behavior. Strategies for understanding the meaning behind challenging behaviors and strategies for helping toddlers learn the skills to begin to understand and regulate their emotions and behaviors will be an emphasis. Strategies for helping parents and caregivers respond to challenging behaviors will also be explored.

Dates & Times
Module One 9/12, 6:00-9:00
Module Two 9/26, 6:00-9:00
Module Three 10/10, 6:00-9:00
Module Four 10/24, 6:00-9:00
Modules Five & Six 11/5 8:30-3:30

18 hrs Professional Development
Instructor: Dr. Thomas Linehan, Ed.D.,

As a field specialist in youth and families for the UNH Cooperative Extension Thom’s areas of emphasis include designing, implementing and evaluating in-service training for early childhood, human service & education professionals. He has worked with families and children in a number of settings, including home-based family therapy, early care and education, and early intervention. Thom has earned advanced degrees in early childhood special education and family therapy. He holds an ECMP F/WT Credential from the NH Child Development Bureau.

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Interested in more opportunities for professional development? The NAEYC Thought Leaders in Early Childhood webinar series explores a wide range of topics, trends, and best practices in the field. Gain insight and access to some of the most prominent thought leaders in the early childhood field today.

NAEYC Webinars