Saturday, August 23, 2014

Early Childcare Workshops for EV Parents

Victoria Diforte and Cindy Radebaugh, Shining Stars owners.
Work is like play for Victoria Diforte. She can’t think of a better profession.

“I don’t think there are any other jobs where you get to be hugged and kissed and play all day,” said Diforte—a parent, owner and director of Shining Stars Learning Center in Queen Creek, Arizona, who will share her passion for and expertise in early childhood education during a community workshop series at the Communiversity at Queen Creek, Aug. 27, 2014 through June 23, 2015.

The free monthly classes are based on a training program developed by the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning at Vanderbilt University, which promotes the social and emotional development of infants and toddlers, and school readiness by the age of five.

“So much change happens in the first few years and you can have a great impact,” said Diforte, who will also impart some of her 17 years of experience as an early childhood education specialist. Diforte has a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction, with an early education endorsement from ASU. She is also a certified K-8 teacher.

The workshop will include information on how infants and toddlers develop, parenting techniques, teaching skills and where to find community resources and services.

Diforte, who recently joined Rio Salado’s adjunct faculty team, is collaborating with the college to make early childhood education accessible to parents and professionals alike.

“I’ve worked with Rio on other community projects and I think it’s great that they’re here in Queen Creek and placing an emphasis on early childhood education,” said Diforte. “There aren’t a whole lot of educational options close by and to provide these educational opportunities is exciting.”

“We’re offering these non-credit classes as a community service for parents, foster parents, and early childhood professionals—who can in-turn learn some tips on how to work with parents,” said Rene Manning, Rio Salado’s Senior Manager of Corporate and Government Partnerships for the Early Childhood and Human Development Undergraduate Program.

“There are approximately 100 childcare providers in the Town of Queen Creek and surrounding communities—including homecare providers, child care centers, school districts, and head start programs— so there is an obvious need for this kind of instruction,” said Manning.

Participants will earn a two-hour training certificate upon completion of each class. The classes meet Arizona’s Children Association and A Place to Call Home training requirements.

Workshops are FREE and take place 6-8 p.m.

  • Aug.27– Making a Connection
  • Sept. 24– Making it Happen
  • Oct. 21 – Why Do Children Do What They Do? 
  • Nov. 18 – Recognizing and dealing with Childhood Trauma 
  • Dec. 16 – Teach Me What to Do! 
  • Jan. 20, 2015 – Facing the Challenge, Pt. 1 
  • Feb. 18 – Facing the Challenge, Pt. 2 
  • Mar. 24 – Infant/Toddler development 
  • April 21 – Kindergarten Readiness 
  • May 19 – Health and Safety June 23 – Community Resources and Services
Child care available through Shining Star for $20. Scholarships are available.

Register online at or call (480) 888-9545.

Child care provided by Shining Stars Learning Center, 21805 S. Ellsworth Road, Suite B101, across the street from the Communiversity at QC, 21740 S. Ellsworth Road.

By Annette Flores, manager of Rio Salado College media relations.