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Brain-Based *Free* Professional Development!

Updated: May 21, 2020

I'll admit it, I am in love with professional development. I blame it on Montessori for making me into the lifelong learner I am today. One thing I am enjoying about this break from all normal responsibilities is that it is giving me an opportunity to catch up on reading and complete some online professional development. There are some great organizations that have opened up online PD for free that I wanted to share with y'all. Brushing up on or learning about topics like trauma, the developing brain, and social/emotional development will help us be better prepared to serve the children in our care when we return to normal life.

1. Harvard University

Harvard University has a 4-part series on Neuroscience that can help you understand the fundamentals of the brain. This course series is great for anyone, but especially teachers who are working with children from birth to 6!

The Harvard Center on the Developing Child also has an awesome podcast called the Brain Architects, which is great listen but won't give you a certificate.

2. First3Years Texas

First3Years Texas is my state's Infant Mental Health Association. They have shared that they will open up their online training modules for free to help professionals refresh on the information before going back to work with children. Their courses talk about Infant Mental Health, Infant Development, and Self-Care.

(If you have the ability to pay, the organization accepts donations and has webinars that you can participate in for a small fee)

3. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

This initiative from Texas A&M offers many different courses for child care providers for free (check and make sure because some are paid). Many of these courses count towards Texas State Licensing Requirements for Child Care Centers. These courses are more geared towards educators in a traditional setting and still offer some good strategies and tips.

4. ChildTrauma Academy

Dr. Bruce Perry's ChildTrauma Academy has a resource library for parents and educators. There are articles, short videos, and audio clips on topics like Brain Development and Neuroscience, Child Development, and Early Childhood.

Again, these resources don't offer certificates but will help you grow your knowledge.

5. Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development

The Institute has released it's 4-part course called TBRI & Trauma-Informed Classrooms for free until June 30th! It offers a great foundation on creating trauma-informed learning environments. There is a certificate of completion available after completing all 4 modules.


1. Zero to Three

Zero to Three has a library and live virtual webinars on topics related to Infants, Toddlers, and their Families. These you can pay for individually OR become a member and have access to them for free! The membership is more expensive- $100 a year for a non-student.

If you do not care about getting PD credit and just want information, I would recommend listening to the Zero to Three podcasts on Google podcasts because they are the same topics as the webinars but free!

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It is unfortunate that in times like the one we are going through, are the ones that bring us together. Not only people have been researching the virus, but they have been kind enough to let others know about important information that can help us fight it! Thanks not only for all the information but for letting us know where to go, not only to take free courses (for teachers) but articles on how to keep the children occupied and learning. Thanks, researchers, I appreciate your help!

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