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Earthquake Resources

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers earthquake resources, focusing on things that can be done to support children before, during, and after an earthquake. For example, the site recommends that parents be encouraged to “give children factual information about earthquakes in simple terms,” appropriate to their developmental level. They also offer an app they created called Help Kids Cope, which provides information on how to talk with children of different developmental levels. Immediately after an earthquake, parents can “model calm behavior; provide simple but accurate information in a quiet, steady voice; encourage comforting or distracting activities; and practice their own self-care.” The NCTSN article concludes with a host of downloadable resources for both parents and teachers. Be sure to check out the earthquake resources so you can be prepared to support the families you serve. Feel free to leave us a comment below and tell us what you thought of this reso

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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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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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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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Tips on Helping Your Child Learn to Cooperate

mom carrying child“Cooperation is the ability to balance one’s own needs with someone else’s.” We round out the school year with an article from Zero-to-Three entitled Tips on Helping Your Child Learn to Cooperate. This resource gives concrete examples of “how cooperativeness grows across the first three years of life” and offers tips on a variety of situations, such as:

  • Taking turns,
  • Setting limits and explaining requests,
  • Taking time to problem-solve,
  • Suggesting developmentally-appropriate chores,
  • Praising cooperation, and
  • Giving choices.

It’s well worth the read. Check it out today and leave us a comment to let us know what you thought.

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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father walking baby with blue and purple backgroundIn 2015, a “Research-to-Practice Brief” from the Network of Infant-Toddler Researchers, stated that “infants and toddlers are disproportionately exposed to trauma.” The brief, entitled Services for Families of Infants and Toddlers Experiencing Trauma, also noted that young children “show severe and long-lasting consequences of this exposure on their development.” Early childhood education, early intervention, and child welfare programs are all poised to assist in the identification of these infants and toddlers who have experienced trauma and to provide trauma-informed services.

While only a small number of interventions have been studied for effectiveness with the birth-to-three age group, existing data do suggest “promising benefits (for) evidence-based parenting interventions . . . designed to reduce trauma exposure and buffer very young children against the effects of trauma.” These include routine screening for trauma, use of culturally appropriate assessment and treatment procedu

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childhood memory collage

As a part of Tutorial 7: Recognizing and Addressing Trauma in Infants, Young Children, and their Families, "Module 4," the Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation provides a short list of evidence-based therapeutic interventions for young children and their families affected by trauma. This resource includes “the treatment developer, intended age group, level of evidence, and a brief description of the focus and design of the intervention” and can be found here. Detailed fact sheets about each intervention, except for Preschool PTSD Treatment, may also be found here. “Many communities are building their capacity to provide services to young children and their families through these interventions.”

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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Supporting Children Who Are Experiencing Stress

mother hugging child

Although very young children do not fully understand when a stressful situation is happening, they can pick up on the anxiety and emotions of their caregivers and become distressed. Children exposed to stressors and trauma need extra support to feel safe and calm. Child Care Aware has published a white paper on how to support young children who are experiencing stress. While this resource was created for child care professionals, the strategies described can also be used by early intervention personnel and parents. Download, print, and share the handout 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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cat dog cow and monkeySocial 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 environment,” 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 behav

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green blue yellow red people forming a circleThe 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 provide “a rationale for promoting social-emotional competence” as a means of addressing challenging behavior, focusing on family-centered practices and away from punishment and negative responses; building on strengths; and “culturally sustaining, equitable, and collaborative practices.” The paper describes a comprehensive approach to screening and assessment and multi-tiered, evidence-based strategies for support. It includes and extensive list of references for those who would like to explore these topics more in

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