Provider Newsletter | October 7, 2022

October is Sleep Safe Month

October is Safe Sleep Month for children. Following safe sleeping practices with your infant helps protect them from Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID or SIDS) and sleep suffocation.

Sleep suffocation is one of the leading causes of infant death in Illinois. There are some simple practices you should follow with your infant every time they sleep. Follow these ABC’s of safe sleep:

  • ALONE – Your infant should not sleep in a bed, couch, or chair with anyone – even other children or a stuffed animal.
  • BACK – Always place your infant on their back to sleep.
  • CRIB – Your infant should sleep in a safe, secure crib with a firm mattress and tightly fitted sheets.

 For more safe sleep practices, click here.

New Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant Now Available

Hello! My name is Randi Kinsella and I am excited to join the Caregiver Connections team as an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant for SDA 10! I will serve Champaign County, as wel as Iroquois, Macon, Piatt, Vermillion and Douglas Counties. I have lived in Champaign for almost twenty years, the first four having been at the University of Illinois where I graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a focus in Child and Adolescent Development. I  went on to obtain a Masters of Education in Child Development from Ashford University. I spent fourteen years working at a private preschool, most of that time serving as Principal. During this time I also conducted trainings for local staff along with presentations on Best Practices at a National Conferences. I am excited to serve the Early Childhood Education field in a different capacity, and look forward to working with you!  

The mission of Caregiver Connections is to “support child care providers, families and communities to build capacity in nurturing positive relationships, healthy social-emotional development and resiliency for all young children.” We provide child- or program-focused infant/early childhood mental health consultation for children 0-5; these are designed to strengthen the capacity of child care providers and families to effectively meet the social emotional needs of young children. This is done through observation and collaboration with providers, early childhood educators and families. Caregiver Connections also provides professional development opportunities and trainings on a variety of topics, including: trauma, culture and diversity, child development, and the importance of healthy relationships/attachment.   

New trainings have recently been added to the Gateways ilearning website. These trainings are available to all child care providers in the state, free of charge! They will help you meet requirements for DCFS licensing as well as count toward health and safety training hours. Check out for easy access to these exciting new trainings.

Supporting Breastfeeding-friendly Environments – This training will help child care providers understand how to create chest/breastfeeding-friendly policies and environments that align with state and federal laws, Illinois licensing standards, and best practice. It was developed by the Illinois Public Health Institute with support from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and Illinois Department of Public Health, Office of Women’s Health and provides one clock hour of professional development credit.

School-Age and Youth Development Credential Level 1 – While this series of trainings has been around for a while, it is now available completely online! Providers are now able to take all 16 modules of the SAYD Credential Level 1 online and earn their credential. 


You can still find several other trainings you might need on ilearning as well, including Trauma Informed Care for Child Care Providers and Lead in Water.

The Gateways Scholarship Program pays up to 100% of tuition at participating colleges for
Early Childhood Education and Child Development (ECE/CD) coursework and degrees.

Newly expanded guidelines could mean that you are now eligible!

For more information, visit
or email

Zoom Training Opportunities for Child Care Providers

Building the Road to Resilience (Zoom training)

Tuesday, October 11, from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, 1.5 Training Hours   FREE

Presenter: Jill Duden, Prevention Specialist, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois

This training introduces attendees to the concept of resiliency and how to build resiliency in the youth and families they are working with. This training challenges attendees to assess their own resiliency traits and begin exploring how their own traits impact their ability to build resiliency in youth and families. This training will define resiliency, and explore domains, characteristics, and traits that are needed in order to build and strengthen resiliency. This training will also identify strategies to build resiliency in outside supports and inner strengths in youth and families

No More “No Thank You Bite” – Using Responsive Feeding in Childcare (Zoom training)

Thursday, October 13, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, 2.0 Training Hours   FREE

Presenter: Alexandra Lundquist, Doctor of Nutrition

Honoring children’s hunger and fullness signals, encouraging children to eat, and not using pressure to force children to finish food are all recommended practices for teachers feeding children. These practices refer to the “how” of feeding children – often called responsive feeding. Responsive feeding supports children to become independent eaters with healthy dietary behaviors. Unfortunately, a lot of what we may have been taught about eating such as finishing our plates or taking ‘no thank you’ bites are not responsive feeding practices and may discourage young eaters. In this training, we learn about responsive feeding practices, why they matter, why they might look different in the childcare setting, and how to implement them.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS/SUID/AAP Safe Sleep) (Zoom training)

Tuesday, October 25, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, 1.5 Training Hours   FREE

Presenter: Kathy Martin, Infant Toddler Specialist, CCRS

This training discusses Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS/SUID/AAP Safe Sleep), including behaviors that increase the risk of SIDS, safe sleep habits, licensing standards, and resources for further information.


To register for any of these new Zoom offerings, contact Jenny Garinger at (217) 333-7816 or by email at

If you prefer to do trainings on your own schedule, remember the Gateways i-learning website is always available at These trainings are Gateways Registry-approved and cover a variety of child development and early childhood education topics. Trainings automatically appear on your Gateways Registry Professional Development Record (PDR), and they are FREE. Be sure to have your Gateways Registry online username and password to login.

In Person Provider Trainings are Back!

We are, once again, offering in-person trainings this fall! Listed below are the trainings being offered for October.

Process vs. Product Art (In-Person)

Thursday, October 20, from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Kids N Fitness, 1020 W. South Side Dr., Decatur, 2.0 Trainings Hours   FREE

Presenter: Sue Heidle, Early Childhood Consultant

We will discuss the pros and cons of Process and Product Art. We will also do a few projects so you can experience the differences.

Thinking Outside the Book (In-Person)

Thursday, October 27, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Rantoul Public Library, 106 W. Flessner Ave., Rantoul, 2.0 Training Hours   FREE

Presenter: Kari Britton, Director, Happi Time

Reading is FUN-damental, but so is expanding on a story to encourage active participation and creative thinking! We will look at many ways to enhance your story time, and we will also learn different ways to bring a story out of group time and incorporate it into other areas. Participants will participate in a small make-and-take activity to create something they can use right away in their classroom.

Trash to Treasure (In-Person)

Wednesday, November 9, from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Rantoul Public Library, 106 W. Flessner Ave., Rantoul, 2.0 Training Hours   FREE

Presenter: Rhonda Costa, Director, The Caring Place

Turning items headed to the trash into classroom activities, art materials, and objects to keep the children engaged in learning.

Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC) Module 1: Social-Emotional Growth & Socialization (In-Person)

Saturday, November 12, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (1 hour lunch on your own)

Decatur Day Care Center, 2074 E. Lake Shore Dr., Decatur, Contact Hours: 8 = 6 hours face-to-face, 2 hours online assessment   FREE

This is a hybrid training and participants must complete the face-to-face session and online assessment to receive credit.

Presenter: Kathy Martin, Infant Toddler Specialist, CCRS

Social-Emotional Growth and Socialization explores topics on social-emotional development in the first three years, temperaments of children and caregivers, socialization, guidance and discipline, environments, and gaining an understanding of children’s behavior. Training will begin with an overview of the basic concepts of early social-emotional growth and socialization and their application to the group care context. An emphasis is placed on the development of a nurturing relationship between the infant and caregiver. The overview addresses the importance of responsive caregiving, the individualization of care through an understanding of infant temperament, the critical role of family and culture in early identity development, exploring developmentally appropriate play strategies with ages of infancy, creating supportive physical environments, and stages of emotional development.

Process vs. Product Art (In-Person)

Tuesday, November 29, from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Carle Conference West B, 810 W. University Ave., Urbana, 2.0 Trainings Hours   FREE

Presenter: Sue Heidle, Early Childhood Consultant

We will discuss the pros and cons of Process and Product Art. We will also do a few projects so you can experience the differences.

To register for any of these in-person offerings, contact Jenny Garinger at (217) 333-7816 or by email at

Our Offices are Open!

Child Care Resource Service is to the public.  Walk-in hours are as follows:

  • Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri,  8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Tues 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

We ask that all visitors wear a mask when entering the CCRS offices. If you are feeling unwell, please stay home and call us rather than coming in.

Walk-in staff will be available to take and print forms and to answer basic case information such as payment entry dates, case approval and information needed.  For all other questions, you should continue to call the public phone line (217-333-3252, Option #2) to talk to a resource specialist.  Walk-in staff does not have access to all case information.

If you are only dropping off information, paperwork, billings, etc., we suggest you continue to use the drop box located at the front doors of Bevier Hall.