Premature Babies and Their Parents: Information and Insights for Early Intervention Personnel

Many families of premature infants are referred to early intervention soon after they’re discharged from the hospital, some even before. With this course, gain the skills you need to best support families and offer individualized recommendations that promote a preterm infant’s development.

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Earn 84 clock hours

No course sessions are currently scheduled.

Learning objectives

  • Gain an understanding of how a premature birth impacts the infant, the parent, and their early relationship.
  • Become more knowledgeable about the development of both full-term and preterm infants.
  • Learn how to offer support and identify key information to share with parents of preterm babies.
  • Identify interventions that are designed to help preterm infants develop their social, cognitive, self-help, gross, and fine motor skills.

Who should register

  • Early intervention personnel

This online course is approved by the Minnesota Center for Professional Development to count toward career lattice steps. It also is approved by the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) for their members (ICEA accepts a maximum of 24 clock hours per course).

What to expect

  • The course is instructor-led with feedback and interactions provided.
  • All activities and assignments for this course are asynchronous and online. Nothing takes place in real time.
  • You have access to the course site 24/7 and can fit your work on the course into your schedule.
  • Activities and assignments include readings, videos, discussion board, recording videos using an online tool called FlipGrid, and reflection papers.
  • You are expected to participate fully and abide by weekly submission due dates for assignments and activities.

Knowledge and competency areas

The early childhood competencies are those used by MN – ACHIEVE’s knowledge and competencies framework.

  • Child development and learning
  • Creating positive learning experiences
  • Promoting cognitive development
  • Promoting social and emotional development
  • Relationships with families
  • Promoting physical development
  • Observing , recording, and assessing development
  • Ensuring safety

Meet the instructor

Headshot of Jolene PearsonJolene Pearson

Jolene Pearson, PhD, IMH-E® (IV), holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Minnesota. She earned a BS from the University of Minnesota in child development, and an MS in early childhood from Wheelock College in Massachusetts. Jolene is an associate professor and the director of the early childhood education program at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn. She has been an adjunct faculty member and instructor at the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas, and St. Cloud State University, teaching courses in parent education, infant mental health, and early childhood special education. Dr. Pearson is a certified Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale examiner and holds licenses in the fields of parent education, early childhood education, and early childhood special education. She has authored a book, Pathways to Positive Parenting: Helping Parents Nurture Healthy Development in the Earliest Months (Zero to Three, 2016).

Required textbooks

  • Pearson, J. (2016). Pathways to positive parenting: Helping parents nurture healthy development in the earliest month. Zero to Three.
  • Wechsler Linden, D.W., Paroli, E.T., & Doron, M.W. (2013). Preemies: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies, ISBN-13: 978-0671034917.

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellation two weeks or earlier before the start of the session: Full refund less $25 administrative fee
  • Cancellation less than two weeks before the start of the session: No refund will be provided.

To cancel, send an email to Karen Anderson at

CEED reserves the right to refuse/cancel a registration due to low enrollment, a prerequisite not completed, or other circumstances making the registration nonviable. In the event of a course cancellation, registrants have the option to receive a full refund OR to transfer the registration to the same course held in a future session. CEED will accept substitutions for attendees.


Contact Karen Anderson, online course manager, at

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