Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Abusive Head Trauma / Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Training for Child Care Providers

Wisconsin's Prevent Violence Against Children Act and child care regulations require child care providers and preschool teachers to complete a department-approved training on Abusive Head Trauma Prevention (AHT) and Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) Prevention. Click/tap on the questions below to learn more about this required training. 

These answers were updated October 20, 2020.

 

1.  Who must complete the AHT Prevention Training?

Any licensee, certified operator, provider, employee, or substitute who provides care and supervision to children under age 5 years in a certified or licensed child care center/home, including emergency back-up providers, and all persons providing care and supervision to children under age 5 in a child care program operated by a school district must receive training in Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) Prevention, Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) and the effects of shaking a baby, and ways to calm a crying, fussing or distraught child. This requirement does not apply to staff in academic programs operated by school districts such as 4-and 5-year old kindergarten programs and early childhood special education programs.

Volunteers working in licensed child care programs who are counted in staff-to-child ratios must have training in SBS/AHT Prevention. Volunteers who are not counted in staff-to-child ratios, cooks, maintenance workers, and others who are not counted in the staff-to-child ratios are not required to receive the training.

2.  When must the AHT Prevention training be completed?

All persons/programs identified in question 1 must have completed a department-approved training in SBS/AHT Prevention prior to working with children or becoming licensed or certified.

3.  What training is department-approved?

Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) Prevention Training for Child Care Providers, developed by the Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board and the Department of Children and Families, is the department-approved training as of September 1, 2020.

The training is available in either an online, on-demand format or taught in person or virtually by a department-approved trainer.

The online training is free, takes 30-45 minutes to complete, and results in a Certificate of Completion that can be printed/saved to document training. Be sure to review the instructions on the AHT Prevention Training webpage before beginning the training.

The virtual training uses video/web conferencing software such as Zoom or Skype. Trainers use the approved AHT Training Materials and the training format includes audio/visual and an ability for trainees to participate and engage in conversation with the trainer.

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) Prevention Training for Child Care Providers – developed jointly by the Children’s Trust Fund, the Department of Health and Family Services, and the Department of Workforce Development – was the department-approved training from March 1, 2007, through August 31, 2020. Anyone completing this training by a department-approved trainer prior to September 1, 2020, met and continues to meet the training requirement.

Either SBS or AHT Prevention Training completed during the six-month period of March-August 2020 is accepted as meeting the training requirement. Department-approved SBS/AHT trainers must use the new Abusive Head Trauma Prevention curriculum after 8/31/2020.

Note: If a person completed any of the non-credit, department-approved courses called Introduction to the Child Care Profession, Module A of the Introduction to the Child Care Profession course, or Fundamentals of Infant and Toddler Care (not to be confused with the Fundamentals of Family Child Care course) after July 1, 2005, they have met the training requirement. Training on SBS Prevention was included in those courses and training on AHT Prevention is included from 9/1/2020 on. The Assistant Child Care Teacher course and the Infant/Toddler course that result in a certificate of completion from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) also contain the department-approved training. 

4.  If I previously completed a department-approved training in Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention, must I now complete the updated training in Abusive Head Trauma Prevention?

No. If you have previously completed a department-approved training in SBS by an approved trainer, you are not required to complete a training in Abusive Head Trauma Prevention. However, you may choose to complete a training in AHT as a refresher or to help meet annual continuing education requirements.

5.  Who may provide training in AHT?

Only persons who have participated in a Train-the-Trainer session are approved to offer a virtual or in-person AHT Prevention Training. A list is maintained of persons who have completed a Train-the-Trainer session in SBS or AHT and who are considered approved trainers. A trainer must appear on this list as approved for either AHT or both SBS and AHT for their training to meet the AHT training requirement.

Trainers previously approved to offer the SBS Prevention Training are not required to complete an updated AHT Prevention Train-the Trainer session but they, or the agency that sponsors their AHT Prevention Training, must complete, sign, and submit to the department a Curriculum Assurance stating that they use the AHT Prevention curriculum in trainings given after 8/31/2020.

Visit the Wisconsin Registry for a schedule of upcoming virtual or in-person AHT Prevention Trainings or to find an AHT Prevention Train-the-Trainer session. The online AHT Prevention Training for Child Care Providers is available on the department’s AHT Prevention Training webpage.

6.  What will be accepted as proof of having completed approved SBS/AHT training?

Trainers providing an in-person or virtual training must give each trainee a Certificate of Completion to document training (with one exception described below).

A Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Training for Child Care Providers Certificate of Completion issued before 9/1/2020 or an Abusive Head Trauma Prevention Training for Child Care Providers Certificate of Completion developed by the CANPB and DCF and issued by the person providing the training will be accepted as proof if it is kept on file at the center or submitted by the trainee to the certifying agency. Either certificate must contain the following required elements:

  • Printed (typed) name of the training
  • Printed (typed) name of the person taking the training
  • Printed (typed) name of the agency sponsoring the training
  • Printed (typed) date the training was taken
  • Printed (typed) name of the approved trainer
  • Signature of the approved trainer

The online AHT Prevention Training for Child Care Providers results in a Certificate of Completion that can be printed/saved to document training.

Exception:  When Abusive Head Trauma Prevention Training for Child Care Providers is given (or SBS Prevention Training was given) as part of the department-approved, entry-level classes Introduction to the Child Care Profession and Fundamentals of Infant and Toddler Care, issuing the SBS/AHT Prevention Certificate of Completion was/is not required.

7.  Are Wisconsin Registry Certificates acceptable as documentation that training has been completed?

Either the SBS or AHT Prevention Certificate of Completion described in answer #6 or an individual’s Registry Certificate of Achievement or learning record from the Wisconsin Registry indicating SBS or AHT Prevention training has been completed may be used to document training. One of the four documents must be kept on file at the licensed center or submitted by the trainee to the certifying agency.

When sending an SBS or AHT Prevention Certificate to the Wisconsin Registry, remember that they accept only the official, signed Certificate of Completion issued by an approved trainer or the online training certificate described in answer #6.

8.  Which entry-level non-credit department-approved courses contain the required curriculum and will count as having met the training requirement?

Agencies offering the department-approved non-credit entry-level courses called Introduction to the Child Care Profession, Module A of the Introduction to the Child Care Profession course, and Fundamentals of Infant and Toddler Care have included the required SBS/AHT training since July 1, 2005. Any of these courses taken with a completion date after July 1, 2005, will meet the SBS/AHT training requirement.

9.  May centers train their own staff? Or may certification workers train applicants for certification?

If an individual has completed an AHT Train-the-Trainer session or completed an SBS Train-the-Trainer session and submitted an AHT Curriculum Assurance to the department, they will appear on the list of approved trainers as approved for AHT or for both SBS and AHT, and they may train staff at their center or train applicants for certification. Train-the-Trainer sessions are available from Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies around the state for center staff who wish to be approved to train others in their organization. The sessions are announced on the Wisconsin Registry's Statewide Training Calendar so that any interested program staff can access the Train-the-Trainer sessions and be added to the list of approved trainers. Approved trainers must use the new AHT training materials after 8/31/2020.

10. Are there alternate methods rather than attending an in-person training (such as viewing a webcast or video) that will meet the training requirements?

Department-approved AHT trainers may provide trainings either in person or virtually with video/web conferencing software such as Zoom or Skype, as long as they use the new training materials and the training format includes audio/visual and an ability for trainees to participate and engage in conversation with the trainer.

The Department of Children and Families and the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board have developed an online Abusive Head Trauma Prevention Training for Child Care Providers as an alternative to a face-to-face or virtual training. The training and instructions are available on the AHT Prevention Training webpage.

11. I have a new staff person starting soon and an in-person or virtual class in AHT Prevention is not immediately available. What are my options for ensuring that the person has obtained the required training?

You have two options to ensure that staff have received a training in AHT Prevention before beginning work.

Option 1: You or someone from your organization may attend an AHT Prevention Train-the-Trainer session and become approved to offer the required training. The approved trainer can provide the training before the person starts working with children under age 5.

Option 2: The online AHT Prevention Training for Child Care Providers is free, takes 30-45 minutes to complete and results in a Certificate of Completion that can be printed/saved to document training. 

12. Is there a list of people/agencies that will come to my location to provide training to staff/providers?

The Child Care Information Centers maintains a list of all persons who are authorized to offer the department-approved training. In general, Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, Family Resource Centers, other training agencies such as the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association, some technical colleges and other private agencies have sent instructors to the Train-the-Trainer sessions and are approved to offer training. Be sure the trainer appears on the list as approved for either AHT or both SBS and AHT.

13. I received training in SBS prior to the law that took effect March 1, 2007, requiring SBS training. Will that training be accepted as meeting the requirements of the law?

No, training in SBS completed prior to March 1, 2007, does not meet the training requirements of the law, with one exception. If a person completed either the Introduction to the Child Care Profession or the Fundamentals of Infant and Toddler Care course after July 1, 2005, they have completed the required training. Any other training in SBS taken prior to March 1, 2007, or offered by a person not on the list of approved trainers will not be accepted as meeting the training requirement.

14. Can the AHT training count as continuing education?

Yes, training in Abusive Head Trauma Prevention may be counted toward meeting the required number of hours for annual continuing education.

15. How often must a person have AHT training?

The law requires training prior to beginning to work with children. There is no requirement for a "refresher" course in AHT. However, it would be good to review AHT and SBS identification and prevention as part of the broader training on child abuse and neglect (described in answer #16) that child care providers are required to have every two years.

16. Can the AHT training count as the required training for child abuse and neglect?

No, the AHT training alone will not count as meeting the requirements for training in child abuse and neglect identification and reporting.

The child care licensing rules require all persons working in a licensed child care center to review Wisconsin's child abuse and neglect laws and the center's reporting procedures as part of the orientation to be completed in the first week of employment, and to obtain training every 2 years in the child abuse and neglect law, how to identify children who have been abused or neglected, and the procedure for ensuring that known or suspected cases of child abuse or neglect are immediately reported to the proper authorities. Actions that cause AHT and SBS are forms of child abuse. AHT Prevention Training includes information about the symptoms or identifiers of Abusive Head Trauma; however, it does not cover other identifiers for child abuse or neglect. Therefore, unless additional information related to child abuse and neglect identification, Wisconsin's child abuse and neglect laws, and the center's reporting procedures is included in an AHT Prevention Training, the AHT training will not count as meeting the requirements for training in child abuse and neglect identification and reporting.