A photo of an early learning classroom with toys, tables, chairs, and books.

Free PBS KIDS professional learning is paying off for early childhood educators and providers

March 6, 2024 Tawny Morrison Leave a Comment

In Wisconsin, certified early care providers and early childhood educators are required to complete annual continuing education through the Wisconsin Registry. For many, it can be a challenge to find budget-friendly courses that fit into their schedules.

To help bridge the gap between accessibility and high-quality professional learning, PBS Wisconsin Education offers free PBS KIDS self-paced learning courses through the Wisconsin Registry. Since October 2022, educators and providers have earned more than 2,700 registry credits. Courses cover topics including social and emotional development, literacy and science.

When Nathan Margrett, then assistant director at Kiddie Academy of Brookfield, heard about the courses, he decided to take one before recommending it to the Kiddie Academy teaching staff. He was impressed by how engaging the content was, and has completed 10 additional courses.

A teacher stands in an early learning classroom, smiling at the camera.

“I really enjoyed the Supporting Dual Language Learners course! As an experienced English as an Additional Language instructor, I was thrilled to see PBS KIDS promoting teaching models that value children’s home cultures and the use of home languages as part of the learning environment,” he said.

Margrett immediately recognized the value of the courses for early learning educators. “PBS KIDS self-paced learning courses check all of these boxes in terms of high-quality instruction that is child-focused and presented from a framework of developmentally appropriate practice; cost-free; self-paced so that busy early childhood education professionals can work on learning path segments as their time allows; and finally, professionally recognized in that the Wisconsin Registry will provide them with documented credit of continuing education within the field.”

As teachers at Kiddie Academy started taking the courses, Margrett saw how they were able to take ownership of their professional development. “Every educator brings a unique skill set into the classroom, and it is vital that they be empowered to seek out professional development opportunities – engaging in continual growth – which will best serve them and ultimately the children within their care.”

A photo of an early learning space with foam blocks in the foreground and tables and chairs in the background.

Nathan Margrett’s new teaching space at Primrose School of Brookfield.

Margrett recently transitioned to a new role as a venture program teacher at Primrose School of Brookfield, where he plans to take what he’s learned from the courses and apply them as an educator. “There are so many videos embedded within the courses which model outstanding educators utilizing a variety of approaches and techniques in daily instruction as well as the numerous resources PBS KIDS has curated on each topic,” he said.

To learn more about the PBS KIDS self-paced learning courses, visit the PBS Wisconsin Education early learning webpage.

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