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Zero to Three®, a national group that supports research and training in early childhood development, came to Ada Nov. 9 and 10 to conduct a “Train the Trainer” workshop on the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (PCAN).

Sixteen people, including child care directors, health department staff and OPAT directors from Pontotoc, Murray, Johnston and Garvin Counties, attended and are now trained to host trainings wherever they are needed in the four-county area.

The training was hosted by the Chickasaw Nation and Smart Start South Central. A grant worth $16,000 from the Doris Duke Foundation made the workshop possible. Jodi Whiteman, a Zero to Three training specialist, and her staff came from out of state to facilitate the training.

The PCAN training is designed to train early childhood teachers to build relationships with parents so that protective factors to prevent child abuse and neglect can be implemented.  The PCAN training is an ongoing national project of the Strengthening Families initiative and is research-based and has shown great promise in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

“By training 16 people from various agencies and centers, we will be able to have great flexibility and opportunity to spread this practical and valuable training,” said Trish Little, community coordinator for Smart Start South Central.

“Each trainer can now go into centers, parent education classes, health department programs and schools and be able to train staff when it is convenient for them. This training would not have been possible without the financial support and help of the Chickasaw Nation. We value our partnership with them so much,” she said.

For information about this program or to set up training, contact Trish Little at 580-559-5367, or email Smart Start South Central is housed in the Center for Continuing Education and Community Services at East Central University.

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