This is a list of documents, forms and organizations with reliable information about child abuse and neglect as a problem as well as proven approaches to prevent and manage child maltreatment. Reviewed and reaffirmed 3/2018.

Learn how to protect children in your early care and education (ECE) program from abuse and neglect. This module addresses how to prevent, identify and report child abuse and neglect. It describes your responsibilities as a mandated reporter as required by the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). By using the recommended practices, you will help ensure the safety of children in your care.

To complete this module, view the 3 online video segments Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 . Use the links to the Document Packet, Glossary, Mandated Updates to Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting and Instructions to Claim Credit below for the current versions. Links to some of the documents in the online videos are currently disabled. We recommed using Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge, as the internet browser.  Google Chrome may be an option, depending on your computer settings.  For all browsers,  be sure the Flash Video function is enabled. Flash player may be available through December 2020, but depends on your computer settings. Use the resources in the document packet and complete the Assessment and Reporting Scenarios Packet. You may either download the Assessment and Reporting Scenarios Packet or complete it online at Follow the instructions in the "Friendly Reminders Box" when you submit your work for ECELS for review for professional development credit.

Document Packet

This module is approved for Act 31 credit.

Users who complete this module will be able to:
• Apply child abuse and neglect prevention efforts within families and among early care and education professionals
• Identify signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect (maltreatment)
• Demonstrate knowledge of PA reporting requirements for mandated reporters
• Identify and outline the process of supporting those involved with an abused or neglected child
• Demonstrate the use of nationally recognized resources in the development of policies and procedures

ECELS Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop meets the Child Protective Services law requirements for mandated reporters.  In this workshop you will learn about prevention efforts, recognizing signs and symptoms of child maltreatment, reporting requirements and the process for reporting.  

This entirely online updated guide on the federally supported Child Welfare Information Gateway supports working with parents, caregivers and children to prevent child abuse and neglect. The guide describes protective factors that reduce the risk of child maltreatment, as well as strategies and practices for supporting families. In addition to a directory of national organizations, the guide offers tip sheets on parenting topics in English and in Spanish. Go to the website, and then search for or select the title "Strengthening Families" to access these materials.

This online self-learning module is temporarily unavailable while ECELS updates the format.    Use the resources and documents below to support inclusion of children with special health care needs.  Updated 2/2021.

To celebrate the 10th birthday of Learn the Signs, Act Early, the Centers for Disease Control is offering free online materials for parents, and credit-bearing professional development for early educators and health professionals. These gifts are on the Act Early website at

For Parents in Spanish and English: Amazing Me—It’s Busy Being 3! This book is for children two to four years of age. It is about Joey, an amazing 3-year-old kangaroo. Joey is very excited about all that he can do now that he is three. As parents read this book to their children, they will learn about what to look for as the child grows and develops. Parents can read this story to their child online or have a hard copy of the book. Each page with a koala bear has a star and developmental milestone at the bottom. Parents should see if their 3-year-old is able to do what Joey does.

Download the FREE iBook or PDF version or order a FREE print copy at

For Early Educators: Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns FREE VIDEO TRAINING IS AVAILABLE FOR CREDIT! Early care and education providers can access a FREE, 1-hour online continuing education course. The Watch Me! videos are in 4 modules that engage the viewer in child care scenes. The modules take a total of an hour to view. They show how teachers/caregivers monitor the development of the children in their care and talk with parents about developmental concerns. For continuing education credit,  complete all 4 modules, each quiz and a final evaluation.

Access this free video training at

For Health Professionals – Autism Case Training (ACT) Online CE Course

This free, web-based, continuing education course consists of three modules with PowerPoint and video components. Users can view and complete all the materials online. The modules have facilitator guides for using the modules in a group. The content focuses on how health professionals and future health professionals can identify, diagnose, and care for children with autism spectrum disorder. 

Early educators can use the free, online access to this module to explore what is known about the symptoms and treatment of autism too. Go to The training is approved for health professionals to earn credit for: CME, CNE, CEU and American Board of Pediatrics’ MOC (Part 2; 20pts).

Devereux Center for Resilient Children is part of a large non-profit educational and behavioral health organization. Their activities include providing behavioral health and rehabilitation services, special education support as well as promoting resilience of children and adults. Reviewed and reaffirmed 4/2018.

Discipline principles explained for parents and caregivers of children attending early education and care programs. In PA, please send your health and safety request with your name and phone number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Updated 6/2018.

Children learn through meaningful relationships. Positive interaction with consistent adults is essential for early brain development. Verbal and nonverbal communication during routine care is a good approach. Teachers can show families what to do. Speak in soft, encouraging, and positive ways to children. Encourage being respectful and treating children as you would like to be treated.

Visit the Early Learning GPS (Guiding Parents Smoothly) website. Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children campaign developed it. The GPS offers information for parents of young children about helping their children learn and grow.

The attached ECELS Health and Safety Checklist includes references. It was updated December 2011 as Version 1.4. This tool guides the user to the appropriate national health and safety standard(s) and other related references for each item. Each item is cross-referenced with corresponding topics from: Caring for Our Children:  National Health and Safety Performance Standards, 3rd Edition, 2011 (CFOC) , the Environmental Rating Scales (ITERS-R, Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale - Revised Edition; ECERS-R, Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale - Revised Edition); and the Pennsylvania Child Care Facility Licensing Regulations. Reviewed and reaffirmed 6/2018.

Many indoor and outdoor activities help children’s brains and bodies grow.  They can provide large and small muscle physical activity children need.  Activities can help children make friends, be creative and control their actions. Also, activities can enable children to use information they’ve learned before to learn new things, focus and think through ideas before acting on them. These processes are called the “executive functions" of the brain. The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University  compares executive functions to air traffic control at a busy airport. The link to the Center on the Developing Child  is

  • Influenza Vaccine for 2015-2016
  • Screen Time, Child Development and Nutrition
  • Organic Food – Is It Healthier?
  • Background Music and Noise Interferes with Language Learning?
  • Oral Health Screening Added to Routine Well-Child Visit Schedule
  • National Center on Health—Materials All Early Educators Can Use
  • Increasing Physical Activity in Afterschool Programs
  • Three Newly Revised and a List of All ECELS Self-Learning Modules
  • Eating Together - Mealtime Matters

This form guides collaborative problem-solving involving those who are affected, those with authority, and those with expertise. The form encourages documentation of who is involved, the tasks planned, who is responsible, and checkpoints for follow-up. The attachments include a blank copy of the form and a sample of the completed form to address the problem of a 2 year old child who is biting other children.

This workshop enables the user to learn how to assess health and safety practices in programs for infants and toddlers in conjunction with use of the ITERS assessment tool. Discuss feeding, diapering, sleeping, fostering early brain development, managing illness and more. Use the assessment to make improvements in the program.