It’s hard to imagine anything more heartwarming than happy, learning children. Butsometimes it’s hard to imagine anything harder than keeping them happy or learning.For the people who try, the Early Childhood Institutes have been offering bright, newideas for more than a decade now. The three institutes offered in September will carry onthat tradition.”The institutes help caregivers learn new andexciting ways to help young children grow and learn,” said Diane Bales, a Universityof Georgia human development specialist who coordinates the program. “They also givecaregivers opportunities to network and share stories and ideas with other child-careprofessionals.”The ECIs provide training for child care providers who work with infants, toddlers,preschoolers and school-age children. They help caregivers discover new ideas to sharewith the children and families they work with.Three Institutes in SeptemberThe three institutes offered this fall will be in Tifton Sept. 9, Atlanta Sept. 16 andMacon Sept. 30. Child-care professionals will receive 5 hours of DHR-approved training.CEUs will be available.Each site offers four concurrent sessions and 12 workshops. Each also offers tracks ofworkshops ranging from infants to school-agers and from administrators to new providers.There’s even a track of topics “of interest to everyone.”Many of the workshops are active, hands-on programs with the opportunity to try out newmaterials and learn new activities to use with children. All sites will include workshopson stress management and time management.To sign up for an ECI, call (912) 386-3416. People who preregister can select the workshops they want most. They will be assignedon a first-come, first-served basis.Each site offers hot lunches and plenty of free parking. The fee for each is $35 ifpostmarked by Aug. 11. It’s $55 after that. The fee covers the workshops, lunch, breaksand a copy of the proceedings.