Mind in the Making Certification

On-Demand • Online • 18 PD Hours

This inspiring learning journey shares research on brain development, child development, and adult learning that you can use to better your own life, and to help children thrive.

NHSA’s Mind in the Making Certification bridges the gap between knowledge and practice. The program prepares early childhood education professionals to coach families and practitioners on strengthening children’s critical executive function skills that help them manage their thoughts, actions, and emotions. This program was developed in partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation to share the science of children’s learning with families and professionals.

  • Start Date: Fall and Spring cohorts offered
  • Course Level: Intermediate
  • Target Audience: Instruction and Effective Practice, Parents and Families, Support Services
  • Course Meeting Times: This course is asynchronous with optional office hours once a month with a course facilitator. The facilitator is also available via email to offer assistance.
  • Completion Timeline/Duration: One month
  • Head Start Alignment: This course supports programs in meeting the 1302.31(b) Effective teaching practices requirements of the Head Start Program Performance Standards, in which “teachers and other relevant staff provide responsive care, effective teaching…that promotes healthy development and children’s skill growth.”

Each of the eight MITM learning modules offers transformational opportunities to:

  1. Engage in an experiential process of self-reflection and self-discovery to explore competence in each of the executive function-based life skills, probe why each skill is important in their own lives, and propose strategies to improve the skill in themselves.
  2. Connect adult experiences to the research on the skills in children’s lives-why it’s important, how it develops, and how it can be promoted-through virtual field trips to the labs of the most respected and compelling child development researchers.
  3. Employ specific, evidence-based activities through individual action plans that promote key skills in children.
  4. Create action plans to promote the skills in themselves and in children, which they revisit in subsequent modules.

The training provides a common language and approach to supporting children and their families to develop important life skills needed to thrive. It also provides evidence-based professional development, which fits nicely with existing systems of professional development and equips attendees to share the information within their organizations and communities.

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18 Hours of Course Material

Online, Self-Paced Content

Months of Access to Course

Video Content
Discussion Forums
Digital Badge
Certificate of Completion with PD Hours
24/7 Access to Transcript


Shawn Bryant

Shawn Bryant

Shawn M. Bryant is director and principal consultant with YesToECE, an early childhood training, coaching, and consultancy. A nationally recognized professional development facilitator, Shawn brings three decades of experience, expertise, and commitment to advancing the work of adults involved in the lives of young children. In addition to his work at YesToECE, Shawn is lead coach/consultant for the State of Pennsylvania Early Head Start/Child Care Partnership Project. He supports coaches throughout the state. As program manager with Yale University Center for Child Development & Social Policy, Shawn trains and facilitates use of the CHILD Scale tool for early childhood mental health consultants across the country. Shawn has taught preschool, college, provided early childhood mental health consultation, led a county-wide early childhood program, and provided training and technical assistance for a state universal prekindergarten program.

Course Author

Ellen Galinsky

Ellen Galinsky

Ellen Galinsky is the chief science officer and executive director of Mind in the Making at the Bezos Family Foundation. She also serves as President of Families and Work Institute. She’s conducted research on child-care, parent-professional relationship, parental development, work-family issues and youth voice. She is currently at work on a book about adolescence called The Breakthrough Years. Ellen is the author of the best-selling Mind in the Making, more than 100 books/reports and 300 articles. Other highlights include serving as a parent expert in the Mister Rogers Talks to Parents TV series; as child care expert on Dr. T. Berry Brazelton’s TV series What Every Baby Knows; being the elected President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); and being elected to the National Academy of Human Resources. In 2018. the Work and Family Researchers Network established the ongoing Ellen Galinsky Generative Researcher Award.



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