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DEC Recommended Practices with Examples

Published in 2016, by the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children, this week’s featured resource offers “guidance to practitioners and families about the most effective ways to improve the learning outcomes and promote the development of young children . . . who have or are at-risk for developmental delays or disabilities.” DEC Recommended Practices with Examples was designed to “help bridge the gap between research and practice,” to “support children’s access and participation in inclusive settings and natural environments,” and (to) “address cultural, linguistic, and ability diversity.” Production of this resource was guided by the following parameters:

Recommend practices:

  • Have the…
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The First Words Project at Florida State University has developed a series of free resources for families of children 0-3 to help parents better understand and support their child’s development. Parents and providers can download and print checklists and information related to topics like communication, early intervention, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. All resources are available in both Spanish and English, and the Communication Checklist is also available in Portuguese and Canadian French. There is also a curated list of websites of possible interest to families of young children. To access these resources, visit the First Words Project webpage at https://firstwordsproject.com/resources/.

To learn more about the First Words Project, visit…

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This month-long national health observance, sponsored by the American Dental Association, brings together "thousands of dedicated professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers, and many others." This year's campaign slogan is "Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile." Click on the mini-posters below, provided in English and Spanish, to help spread the word about good oral health.

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With California’s current focus on improving social-emotional outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities, we here at the Neighborhood are always on the lookout for helpful, family-friendly tools. One such resource is What to Expect & When to Seek Help: Bright Futures Developmental Tools for Families and Providers. Developed by Bright Futures at Georgetown University and the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health, the Tools* are available for any caretaker or professional to access and download for free, both in English and in Spanish. The Infancy tool (English version, Spanish version)…

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Reasons for Concern

"Reasons for Concern that your child or a child in your care may need special help" offers a brief summary of general risk factors and specific red flags for behavior, hearing, vision, movement, communication, and thinking. Created by the California Department of Education along with the Department of Developmental Services and targeting families and caregivers of children birth to age five, this easy to understand brochure provides words families can use to discuss their concerns with doctors and words childcare providers can use with families. It also offers contact information for "next steps," including referral to the local regional center or school district and assessment of the child, when needed. The 2015 version of …

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World Braille Day 2019

January 4th is World Braille Day, declared by the United Nations as “an international day to commemorate the importance of braille.” On this day in 1809, Louis Braille, the founder of braille, was born in France. Braille was blinded in both eyes in early childhood, and went on to invent the system of reading and writing for people with blindness or visual impairments that is known around the world today as braille. Organizations around the world celebrate World Braille Day with events and advocacy efforts to promote braille literacy and the rights of individuals who are blind or have visual impairments. 

To learn more about World Braille Day, visit the World Blind Union website at…

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January is Birth Defects Prevention Month

From the National Birth Defects Prevention Network website:

"January is Birth Defects Prevention Month. The theme for 2019 is 'Best for You. Best for Baby.' We know that not all birth defects can be prevented. But, you can increase your chances of having a healthy baby by doing what you can to be your healthiest self both before and during pregnancy. What is best for you is also best for your baby."

To learn more, click here to visit the National Birth Defects Prevention Network website. There are promotional resources available in English and Spanish.

Happy New Year to all our Early Start…

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Updated Resource for Service Coordinators

Service coordinators have many responsibilities when it comes to supporting the children and families served by Early Start. The Early Start Service Coordination Handbook was developed to provide service coordinators with guidance on the multiple requirements, activities, and best practices that are part of their everyday role. The Handbook is organized into chapters by topic, and each chapter includes the responsibilities, quality practices, and tips for success pertaining to that topic. Helpful resources are included with each chapter, including checklists, Parents’ Rights guides, and other publications.

The Handbook, originally published in 2005, is currently undergoing renovation to reflect the latest federal and state regulations and best practices in the field. The following revised chapters are now available…

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Make the Most of Playtime

Fred Rogers said, “For children, play is serious learning.” That’s why the folks at the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) at Vanderbilt University want us to Make the Most of Playtime. In an article of the same name, adapted from a Zero-to-Three resource, CSEFEL staff describe not only the importance of play but the hallmarks of play development over the first three years of life. They also provide specific ideas parents can try with children at various ages, like imitating sounds in a back-and-forth “conversation” with young babies and supporting an older toddler’s imagination “by providing dress-up clothes . . . and props such as plastic kitchen bowls and plates or toy musical instruments.” This is an excellent resource to share with families. Check it out and share your ideas in the comments below.…

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Tis the season for giving gifts, including to the littlest ones in your life. Yet according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2017 there were approximately 251,700 toy-related injuries; around 36 percent of those injuries happened to children under 5*. To encourage a safe and fun holiday season, Prevent Blindness has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month.

Keep the holidays joyful by keeping the following guidelines in mind when choosing toys for children of all ages**:

  • Inspect all toys before purchasing. Avoid those that shoot or include parts that fly off. The toy should have no sharp edges or points and should be sturdy enough to withstand impact without breaking, being crushed, or being pulled…
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On Wednesday, December 5, at 12:00 PM Pacific Time, The Western Region Public Health Training Center & the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center are hosting a FREE webinar, entitled “Fires, Mudslides, Earthquakes, Shootings: Promoting Personal and Community Resiliency after Mass Trauma.”

Clinical psychologist and behavior sleep medicine specialist Professor Patricia Haynes (University of Arizona) will support participants to “formulate ideas to promote connectedness and hope within the community.” She will also “describe evidence-based approaches to the promotion of resiliency” for individuals exposed to trauma and identify the “five essential elements of short-term mass trauma intervention.”

Register here for this informative webinar:…

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Universal Children's Day - November 20

The United Nations has declared November 20th to be Universal Children’s Day, a day for people to come together worldwide “to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare.”*

A brief history of important events related to Universal Children’s Day:

For more information on how you can participate in Universal Children’s Day, check out the United Nations website at…

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“The early childhood years build the foundation for a lifetime of health and development” (DEC, 2012).

In a position statement from September 2012, the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) outlined six recommendations “for the promotion of health, safety, and well-being of all young children including those with or at‐risk for disabilities.”

These six recommendations included the following:

Prenatal care services and early universal screening;

  • Culturally-responsive, developmentally appropriate, individualized care in affordable, safe, nurturing, and inclusive environments;
  • Correctly administered, ethical, valid, reliable, culturally sensitive, formal and informal assessments;
  • High quality systems of pre‐service and in‐service professional…
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World Prematurity Day 2018

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 http://www.marchofdimes.org/mission/world-prematurity-day.aspx.

* March of Dimes, 2018.…

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Our friends at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) have curated an impressive collection of articles written just for families. For example, one set of articles, on social and emotional development, includes the following titles:

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November is Prematurity Awareness Month

The March of Dimes has declared November to be Prematurity Awareness Month to bring attention to the issue of premature birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy) in the United States. Here are some facts about premature birth in the U.S.: 

  • Around 380,000 babies are born prematurely each year, which makes up 9.8 percent of births.
  • The preterm birth rate in the U.S. is one of the worst of industrialized nations.
  • Babies who survive premature birth may experience long-term health and developmental problems, including cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, chronic lung disease, blindness, and hearing loss.
  • The preterm birth rate among black women is 49% higher than the rate among all other women. 

The…

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention website states: Essentials for Childhood proposes strategies communities can consider to promote the types of relationships and environments that help children grow up to be healthy and productive citizens so that they, in turn, can build stronger and safer families and communities for their children.” The authors outline four goals:

  1. Raise Awareness and Commitment to Promote Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments and Prevent Child Maltreatment;
  2. Use Data to Inform…
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Parenting Resources at ZerotoThree.org

To help young children grow and learn, it is important for parents to understand child development and strengthen their parenting skills. Knowledge of parenting and child development is so critical that it is named as one of the five Protective Factors in the Strengthening Families framework, a project of the Center for the Study of Social Policy. But with so much information out there, it can be challenging for parents to know where to go for information and resources. Zero to Three is here to help, with a large library of parenting resources that families can access for free on their…

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World Cerebral Palsy Day 2018

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disability in childhood, directly impacting the lives of 17 million people worldwide. CP affects movement ranging from “weakness in one hand” to an “almost complete lack of voluntary movement,” according to the website worldcpday.org.  They go on to describe World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day as “a movement of people with cerebral palsy and their families, and the organizations that support them, in more than 65 countries.” Their aim is “to ensure that children and adults with cerebral palsy . . . have the same rights, access, and opportunities as anyone else in our society.” Learn more about CP by downloading the organization’s infographic here or visiting their website…

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October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month! This is a month for advocacy, awareness-raising, and promoting causes that positively impact the lives of people with Down syndrome across the country. The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) offers some ideas for getting involved with Down Syndrome Awareness Month nationwide and in your community: https://www.ndsccenter.org/fall-into-october-with-ndsc/

 

Here are some facts about Down syndrome from NDSC’s Down Syndrome Informational Brochure (also available in Spanish):

  • Down syndrome occurs when a baby inherits one extra chromosome at the time of conception. There is no known cause. Down syndrome is not related to race, nationality,…
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