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In Tips for Viyoungdeo Chatting with Young Children – Staying Connected While Far Apart, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) offers some practical guidance on how to make video chatting a rich and meaningful experience. The author reports that “children as young as 8 months old respond very well to interactions with people via video chat platforms.” It’s all about the real-time interaction capability of today’s video chat platforms (like Skype, Facetime, and Google Hangout). This resource provides tips on supporting children as they use the platforms and adults as they chat with young children as well as ways to make video chats more interactive. The article ends with a link to some exciting research on the topic. Check it out and leave us a comment below to tell about your video chatting experiences.

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 N

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a wealth of resources on its website. The one we’d like to call your attention to this week is entitled Information on Safety in the Home & Community for Parents with Infants & Toddlers (Ages 0-3). Click on the title to be taken directly to the site. There you’ll find a series of links on topics ranging from burns to medicine safety to water safety and everything in between. These links will take you to topic-specific pages within CDC’s website, many of which include prevention tips. Once you’ve explored, leave us a comment below to let us know which topic you found to be most useful in your day-to-day work with families.

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 here.

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Practice Guides for Parents from CELL

The Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) and the Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute offer parents of infants and toddlers a host of resources on their site. These include practice guides for parents to provide their young children with “fun and exciting literacy learning experiences and opportunities.” The site also includes CELLcasts—video versions of the practice guides—and CELLposters, which can be used as quick reminders about practices parents want to try. Selected practice guides are also available in Spanish and with adaptations written specifically with children who have disabilities in mind. “The practice guides describe everyday home, community, and childcare learning opportunities that encourage early literacy learning.” Check them out!

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 here.

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5145912060?profile=RESIZE_180x180The Daddy Factor: The Crucial Impact of Fathers on Young Children's Development, from Zero to Three, discusses exciting research evidence that supports the important role fathers play in the lives of their young children. From being involved during pregnancy to nurturing strong attachments afterward and everything in between (e.g., feeding, bathing, and playing together), fathers help children develop confidence which leads to stronger peer relationships as they grow older. The Daddy Factor also helps to raise IQ and improve communication and cognitive skills in the long term. The article summarizes its message by saying that “the more time fathers spend in enriching, stimulating play with their child . . . the better the child’s math and reading scores are at 10 and 11 years old.” So, the impact starts early and has lasting benefits that are evident years later. Join us in celebrating dads and the tremendous supports they have to offer young children.

Click here to view the article


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Drowning Prevention

5140620873?profile=RESIZE_400xWow! What a wealth of information the American Academy of Pediatrics brings to us on their Drowning Prevention page! There are articles to read, videos to watch, and infographics to download. Everything you could ever want or need on the subject from newborns through the teen years. Water safety is always a priority but especially this time of year. Parents share their heartfelt stories of losing a child to drowning, and there other articles and videos about drowning prevention, swimming safety tips, and social media graphics you can use to help promote the Drowning Prevention campaign. Take a few minutes to check out the website and share your thoughts in the comments below. Stay safe out there!

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 here.

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Let’s Talk, Read, and Sing S.T.E.M.

4506051240?profile=RESIZE_400xDid you know that “research shows . . . having a strong foundation in early math . . . can lead to higher achievement in both math AND reading later in school.” That’s the kind of wisdom you’ll find in this tip sheet from the U.S. Departments of Health & Human Services and Education. The article defines S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in easy-to-understand terms then offers a long list of tips that families can try in their home language. These tips address such concept areas as measurement, counting, shapes, spatial relationships, patterns, and many more . . . all things inquisitive young minds are interested in learning. Give this tip sheet a read and see what S.T.E.M. skills you can support with children from birth to age three. You might be surprised! Leave us a comment below and let us know what your child found exciting about this important area of education.

This resource is related to one or more competencies in the ICC-Recommended Early Start P

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For nearly four decades, the not-for-profit organization Pathways has been a “positive, trusted, inclusive partner to parents everywhere.” The dedicated staff at provide “free, trusted resources” based on the best available research and the expert opinion of pediatricians and therapists (e.g., OT, PT, SLP). Pathways’ resources include information on milestones; ability descriptions divided by age group; suggested activities to stimulate development; downloadable checklists, in both English and Spanish, that are easy to print and share; and countless video examples of the skills being discussed. Visit and take a few minutes to look around, then leave us a comment about what you found most interesting. We’d love to hear from you!

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 here.

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“Self-regulation is the act of managing thoughts and feelings to enable goal-directed actions.” It’s a set of skills we begin working on right after birth and continue refining through adulthood. Self-regulation is an important goal for infants and toddlers as it enables them to shift the focus of their attention, soothe themselves, adjust their behavior, and seek help from others when it’s needed.

This two-page snapshot from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services describes ways in which parents and caregivers can observe self-regulation in very young children, strategies they can use to support its development, and the research behind “lessons learned about interventions to promote self-regulation in infants and toddlers.”

It’s a quick read but a very important topic, so check it out and leave your 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 Neig

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3710014094?profile=RESIZE_710xThe National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations describes the Pyramid Model as “a conceptual framework of evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s healthy social and emotional development.” It’s used by both families and professionals and is “based on over a decade of evaluation data.” Modeled after a “tiered public health approach” to providing supports to children and families, the Pyramid Model is built on a foundation of an effective workforce, meaning professionals who are able to “adopt and sustain these evidence-based practices.”

This Pyramid Model poster we’ve provided here describes three tiers of intervention, looking first at the base of the pyramid, then moving upward:

  • Universal Promotion: “Universal supports for all children through nurturing and responsive relationships and high-quality environments.” This includes practices that support the social and emotional development of all children.
  • Secondary Prevention: “Prevention . . . represents practices that
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toddler-aged girl in dress walking down aisle of store holding caneToday in the Neighborhood News, we’re looking at one of the solely low incidence disabilities, specifically, children who are blind or have low vision, and information that may be useful to their families. In Orientation and Mobility for Babies and Toddlers: A Parent’s Guide, Dr. Merry-Noel Chamberlain, an orientation and mobility specialist, describes the importance of starting early with cane training. Dr. Chamberlain states, “If you want your child to be an independent traveler. . . the very best thing you can do is to introduce her to the cane at an early age.” She goes on to describe “baby’s first cane” in some detail and offers a host of suggestions on how to incorporate the cane into a young child’s daily routines.

Dr. Chamberlain is not in favor of “pre-canes”—devices, often made from PVC pipe, designed to simulate case use—but does promote the use of everyday objects, like wrapping paper tubes and push toys (e.g., child-size shopping carts and toy lawn mowers) to encourage a c

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The National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD have come together to produce a handout on Psychological First Aid, which offers parents “Tips for Helping Infants and Toddlers after Disasters.” This detailed and easy-to-read resource examines behaviors young children typically display after a disaster as well as what parents should know about and do in response to those behaviors.

Here’s an example:

If your child has problems sleeping . . .

Understand that children often dream about things they fear and can be scared of going to sleep . . . when children are scared, they want to be with people who help them feel safe, and they worry when you are not together . . .

Ways to Help: Hold him and tell him that he is safe, that you are there and will not leave . . . this may take time, but when he feels safer, he will sleep better.

This would be a great resource to have tucked away in an earthquake kit or to carry with you on home visits after a disaster as many f

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This article from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a quick read about co-regulation, which the author defines as “warm and responsive interactions that provide the support, coaching, and modeling children need to ‘understand, express, and modulate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors’ (Murray et al. 2015, 14).” It’s part of the “Rocking and Rolling” column which appears in Young Children three times a year. “It Takes Two: The Role of Co-Regulation in Building Self-Regulation Skills” offers real-world examples of co-regulation strategies, with infants and toddlers of various ages, as well as detailed tips and things to think about and try.

Let us know about the co-regulation strategies you use in your work by leaving a comment 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 here.

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"Let Me Tell You What I Want"

The Office of Special Education Program’s Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) and the Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute bring us this week, “Let Me Tell You What I Want.” The intention behind this practice guide is to capitalize on the gestures infants naturally use to communicate and to help parents find ways to adapt gestures and signs for children with disabilities who may struggle with communication.

The brochure offers step-by-step guidance on how to observe a young child’s attempts at gestures, then reinforce what’s working and what makes sense within their family. It also gives three real-life examples of families putting the practice to use with amazing results. If you work with a family of a child who is learning to communicate, this practice guide might be just what you need. Leave us a comment below to let us know how you used the information and what the family thought.

 If you’d like to check out other practice guides from CELL, click here.

 This resource is related to

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six multicolored concentric rings as sound in original articleTips for Infants

Tips for Toddlers

These information-packed documents from the U.S., Department of Health and Human Services offer “tips to help caregivers use co-regulation to support early development of self-regulation skills” in infants and toddlers. Aimed at practitioners who work in childcare or other caregiving settings, the tips cover evidence-based practices in six broad topics:

  • Start with you;
  • Establish a warm and responsive relationship with each child;
  • Create calm and structured childcare environments;
  • Respond with warmth and structure during stressful moments;
  • Work closely with parents; and
  • Cultivate a sense of community.

These documents also include definitions, real-world examples, and strategies to try right away. Dive in to your appropriate age group and leave us a comment about the piece of information you are most excited to have discovered.

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

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child trends logo with a yellow 40 year anniversaryWe all know that talking, reading, and singing are great ways to baby’s and caregivers to bond, but recent research suggests that eye contact can be just as important to a newborn’s development. Infants naturally begin to make eye contact at six to eight weeks and capitalizing on this behavior may help to promote social and emotional development.

In June 2018, Child Trends reported that “researchers conducted two different experiments to determine if eye gaze mattered when an adult sang to an infant. They used EEG [electroencephalogram] to measure brain activity and found when adults and babies looked directly at each other, their brain waves would sync up more than when the adult avoided eye contact. The babies also tried to communicate more often when adults made eye contact—implying that this small gesture could help develop social skills” (McGrath et al).

Experts recommend that caregivers be face-to-face with babies during social interactions like feedings, baths, and diaper change

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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.

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

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black ribbon logo“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 development;
  • Advocacy efforts focusing on public regulations and policies for supporting the provision of services for all young children; and
  • Research that focuses substantial attention and resources to id
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children at school collageThe 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 Actions;
  3. Create the Context for Healthy Children and Families through Norms Change and Programs; and
  4. Create the Context for Healthy Children and Families through Policies.

Each goal is then broken down into multiple steps which community leaders and policy makers can follow to build relationships and environments that promote healthy social and emotional development and prevent child maltreatment. The guide is also filled with abundant resources to explore. Essen

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Guidance on Avoiding Preschool Expulsion

California Department of Education Management Bulletin 18-06, released just last Friday (August 24, 2018), outlines new requirements for steps which must be taken to avoid expulsion or disenrollment of children from California State Preschool Programs because of behavior. Previously, some of California’s youngest learners may have been expelled or unenrolled from preschool, child care, and other developmental settings due to challenging behaviors. Assembly Bill 752, however, requires agencies running state-funded early childhood programs to work with parents and guardians to take specific supportive steps before expelling or disenrolling a child. Learn more about the new requirements and information and training available to support social and emotional development and address challenging behavior by clicking here.

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 he

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Screen time is a frequent concern among parents and professionals alike, specifically how much screen time is too much and how early is too early? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has weighed in on the discussion with specific guidelines. In order to make those guidelines more accessible to parents, Dr. Christine Ly, school psychologist with Garden Grove Unified School District, developed a series of pamphlets. “Screen Time and Your Preschooler: Social-Emotional Development” is the specific piece we are focusing on today. In it, Ly cites the recommendations of the AAP, defines social-emotional development, and outlines its relationship with screen time. The pamphlet also includes Positive Parenting tips, organized by age, and a variety of resources to check out. We learned about these brochures through Comfort Connection Family Resource Center in Orange County. They house the other brochures in the series on their website. Take a look.

Screen Time Handbook

Screen Time and Your

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