The Imagine Institute has partnered with experts in child development, infant/child mental health and trauma-informed care to build a program that helps early childhood educators create supportive and welcoming environments for all children, in order to reduce trauma and buffer against its impacts on the developing child. Educators will partner with families to create networks of support, providing protection against trauma for both the individual child as well as the larger community.
Children learn best in the context of relationships, engaging with the important adults in their life, leading their own learning through hands-on activities inspired by their daily routines and environment. Research shows that teaching very young children requires just as much skill and complexity as teaching older students. Early childhood educators will learn how to engage children to become curious and enthusiastic learners prepared for kindergarten.
PREPARE for Care is designed with the understanding that racism, systemic oppression and historical trauma result in trauma for the developing child. Racial and cultural trauma is unlike many other forms of trauma in that its root cause permeates the entire world around us, including, of course, the classroom or early learning environment. This trauma, whether perpetuated in the learning environment or not, is intrusive and recurrent and will negatively impact a child’s development.
During the first five years of life, a child’s brain undergoes tremendous growth and development. Simultaneously, children’s understanding of their racial and ethnic identities begins to emerge. Attitudes about their own identities and outside perceptions of their identity have an impact on a child’s self-esteem, social interaction skills, and ability to navigate the world. Children from underserved populations, children of color, and English language learners (ELL) begin to understand themselves in relation to the dominant culture’s perception of their communities. Therefore, just as the architecture of a child’s brain rapidly develops, the child also begins to absorb and assimilate negative and racist attitudes and assumptions about themselves which can lead to cumulative, long-term negative impacts that can hinder future language, cognitive, social, and emotional capacity and well-being.
The Imagine Institute and its partners envision a vibrant system designed to counter the effects of systematic racist and colonial practices and systems that have detrimental effects on the development of underserved and economically disadvantaged children. Through implementing anti-racist and trauma-informed practices in early learning environments, child care providers will provide an opportunity for children to develop into resilient learners by educating providers on both unconscious and conscious biases that affect children in their care, as well providing the historical contexts that influence these beliefs and practices. Cohorts of licensed family child care providers and center staff throughout King County will learn about trauma and anti-racist pedagogy over the course of ten months, implement practices to buffer children from trauma resulting from racism and build relationships to transmit knowledge to the families of the children in their care.
Participants will complete a total of 10 modules over the course of 10 months. Each module is comprised of one six-hour training and one assignment aimed at assessing participants’ learning and ability to implement theory and practices in their child care environments.
For each completed module, participants will receive a $100 stipend. If a participant successfully completes the program, they will receive a completion award of $500. The total amount a participant can earn is $1500. Classes will be conducted in three languages, English, Somali and Spanish.
|2019||Jan 2019||How Relationships Heal|
|2019||Feb 2019||Trauma and Vicarious Trauma|
|2019||Mar 2019||The Invention of Whiteness|
|2019||April 2019||Inclusion and Decolonization|
|2019||May 2019||Racism and Development|
|2019||June 2019||Understanding the Psychological Effects of Racism on Children of Color|
|2019||July 2019||Family Dynamics|
|2019||Aug 2019||Promoting Resilience|
|2019||Sep 2019||Collaborative Approaches
|2019||Oct 2019||Anti-Racism in Practice|
Participants must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible to participate: