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Parenting can be rewarding but also challenging. Luckily, there are several resources available for parents of infants and toddlers to help them support their children’s development. Today, we’ll look at two “parent kits” full of information and resources developed just for parents.

First 5 California’s “Kit for New Parents” is a package containing a variety of resources that is shipped to new parents in California, free of charge. In it, you’ll find an Advice for New Parents DVD, a touch-and-feel book, and more. The kit is available in six languages: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, and Vietnamese. To learn more, or to order a Kit, visit the First 5 California…

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World Prematurity Day

November 17th is World Prematurity Day.

On this day, organizations around the globe raise awareness about the reality of premature births: 15 million babies are born prematurely worldwide, and premature birth is the leading cause of death for children under five*. The World Prematurity Day campaign also seeks to educate the public on the prevention of preterm birth, raise funds for research, and advocate for legislation to support parents and babies.

To find out more about World Prematurity Day, including how you can participate, visit the March of…

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Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day!

The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, in partnership with Too Small to Fail, have created a series of six Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day tip sheets:

(1) It's Never Too Early to Help Your Child Learn—Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day!
(2) Tips for Families
(3) The Benefits of Being Bilingual—A Review for Teachers and Other Early Education Program Providers…

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Social and emotional development focuses on “the relationships we share with others”; “our ability to recognize and understand our own feelings and actions” as well as those of others; and our “ability to express thoughts, feelings, and ideas in socially appropriate ways.” Families are key in nurturing the social and emotional development of their young children through positive relationships that make children feel safe and secure. These earliest relationships affect “how children experience the world, express themselves, manage their emotions, and establish positive relationships with others.”

This week’s resource, from the U.S. Department of Education’s Early Learning: Talk, Read Sing! initiative, provides families with tips for creating “a predictable, nurturing…

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10 Tips for Raising a Compassionate Infant-Toddler

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has shared 10 tips for families and providers to help teach compassion to infants and toddlers. The author points out opportunities in everyday activities and interactions to instill empathy, help children explore feelings, and model pro-social behavior.

Check out the tips here.

Do you have any tips for teaching compassion that you use with your children, or in your early intervention program? Share them in the comments below!

This resource is related to one or more competencies in the ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM). To find out more, visit this resource in the Neighborhood…

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We are pleased to announce the long-anticipated launch of a new professional resource—Hearing Assessment: Decisions and Documentation for Early Start. This course consists of a narrated presentation, an infographic, and additional resources about hearing assessment procedures for children who may be eligible for Early Start, procedures for monitoring the hearing status of children who are eligible for Early Start, recommended audiological follow-up activities,…
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The Early Start Service Coordination Handbook is a comprehensive, versatile, and user-friendly technical assistance tool designed to provide specific guidance for California’s service coordinators to assist them in their daily work. Developed by service coordinators, parents, service providers, and other professionals, the Handbook helps Early Start service coordinators better understand the requirements and complexities of service coordination.

For the first time, newly revised versions of Chapters 6 (Evaluation and…

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This useful handout provides tips for creating “predictable, nurturing environment(s),” supporting the development of social skills, and “recognizing and talking about emotions” for three age groups: infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. It also includes suggestions for “encouraging positive behaviors and using positive discipline practices” for toddlers and preschoolers.

The suggestions provided are grounded in the field’s ever-expanding knowledge base regarding “social interaction, emotional awareness, and self-regulation” in early childhood. The handout emphasizes the idea that “research shows . . . a strong social and emotional foundation . . . powerfully impacts children’s later positive attitudes and behaviors, academic performance, career path, and adult health outcomes.” It concludes…

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Infants and toddlers develop quickly in the first few years of life. Each stage of development is marked by behaviors, or milestones, that most children are doing by a certain age. It’s important for families to be aware of these milestones to support and keep track of their child’s development. This handy guide from the US Department of Education lists the key milestones for social and emotional development for children birth to five.

For more information and resources from the "Talk, Read, and Sing!" campaign, visit …

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Developed by our friends at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. program, a new resource, entitled Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns, is a FREE, online training that offers tools and best practices for monitoring the development of young children.

Targeted at early care and education providers, this one-hour, four-module course focuses on the reasons why monitoring development is important, the unique role of early care and education providers in monitoring development, easy ways to monitor developmental milestones, and strategies for talking with parents about their children’s development.

Continuing education units (CEUs)…

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Strategies 2.0

One of the resources mentioned in the SSIP Resource Guide to Social-Emotional Initiatives and Programs is Strategies 2.0, a program funded by the California Department of Social Services which provides free training statewide on the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors. Strategies 2.0 offers a variety of training and supports in-person and online to organizations and individuals serving families throughout California. Registration is currently open for the following dates:

9/8/17, 8am-4pm in San Diego

9/21/17 in Mammoth Lakes (Mono County)

9/28/17 8:30am-4pm in Sacramento

To register, or to find out more information, visit http://familyresourcecenters.net/,…

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You may have noticed that many of the resources shared on the Neighborhood are focused on the social-emotional development of infants and toddlers. This is mostly because California is in the middle of a long-term, statewide plan, called the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), to improve social-emotional outcomes for infants and toddlers in Early Start. There is a large body of research showing that improving social-emotional skills at an early age leads to positive outcomes for children later in life. This research is the topic of a handout published by the US Department of Education called “Social and Emotional Development Research Background.” This resource is part of the national “Talk, Read, and Sing!” campaign, and was developed along with the US Department of Health and Human Services and Too Small to Fail in order to provide parents and professionals the information and tools they need to support healthy social-emotional development in young children. Take a look at the…

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The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) released a Position Statement on Challenging Behavior and Young Children in July 2017.

The paper (posted above for easy reference) defines challenging behavior as “any repeated pattern of behavior . . . that interferes with or is at risk of interfering with the child’s optimal learning or engagement in pro-social interactions with peers and adults (Smith & Fox, 2003, p. 6).” It goes on to…

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Our friends at Prevent Blindness have posted a set of fact sheets, entitled "Vision Screening is Key to Healthy Development," in English, Spanish, and Chinese. We're including them here but encourage you to explore the Prevent Blindness website. They have many useful resources for parents of and service providers who work with infants and toddlers.…

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