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Am I Really My Child’s First Teacher?

Today’s article answers the age-old question, “Am I Really My Child’s First Teacher,” with a resounding, “Yes!” The folks at NAEYC provide a rationale for the claim and offer examples of routines-based interventions that support literacy development, like telling stories, looking around, and making books available. It’s a quick read. Check it out and let us know what you think 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 here.

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Building a Family Engagement Culture

In a “From Principles to Practice” Learning Brief, entitled “Building a Family Engagement Culture,” the authors addressed two questions:

  • What does authentic family engagement look like? and
  • How can we “engage diverse families in responsive and culturally relevant ways”?

In order to answer these questions, local advocates in L.A. County “developed a shared definition of family engagement” and outlined five guiding principles to “build upon the work of national advocates and stress the need to embed practices across the systems and settings that serve families with young children.”

The five guiding principles are as follows: 

  1. Foster mutual respect, trusting relationships, and shared responsibility and leadership;
  2. Engaging families where they are;
  3. Respect, value, and be responsive to cultural and linguistic assets;
  4. Support strong social networks and connections; and
  5. Foster an integrated and family-centered systems approach.

Learn more about family engagement and the guiding principles

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Hands & Voices and the Family Leadership in Language & Learning Center (FL3) offer “Eight Reasons to Say Yes to Early Intervention” in this week’s resource. Hands & Voices and FL3 focus on families of children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, but many of the reasons they suggest apply to families much more broadly. Ranging from support for intervention embedded into everyday routines, the importance of accessing the wisdom of other parents, and becoming a strong advocate for your child, the information presented will likely ring true for a wide range of families. Check out the infographic below to learn about the ways early intervention can support young children and their 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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5 Things You Can Do to Make Your Family Strong

The Family Focus Resource & Empowerment Center in L.A. produced this terrific video to share “Five Things You Can Do to Make Your Family Strong.” The content is based on the Five Protective Factors you may have heard about. Watch the video to learn more. It’s also available with Spanish subtitles if you click 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 here.

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Getting Ready for School Begins at Birth

8635094676?profile=RESIZE_400xHere’s another great parenting resource from our friends at Zero to Three: Getting Ready for School Begins at Birth. The booklet is available in both English and Spanish (see below) and describes four important skill areas to support children in becoming “eager learners”:

* Language and Literacy Skills

* Thinking Skills

* Self-Control or “the ability to express and manage emotions in appropriate ways”

* Self-Confidence

This resource stresses the concept that “children learn best through their everyday experiences with the people they love and trust, and when the learning is fun.” It also provides families with specific strategies targeted to the first, second, and third years of life. The message of Getting Ready for School Begins at Birth wraps up with some things for parents to think about, like reducing screen time and how our beliefs and values shape what we teach our children. Give it a read and let us know in the comments below what you thought.

This resource is related to one or

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twoThis is exciting! The folks at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) have published a 25-minute online module on the topic of attachment. Development of Attachment: Learn How Children Form Lasting Bonds with Their Caregivers contains a series of narrated slides as well as a handout and a discussion guide in case an early intervention team would like to view it as a group. The presentation is currently available in English only, but I-LABS has plans to repost it in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Somali. Transcripts of each narrated slide are also available as is an extensive list of the references cited. If attachment is an area of interest, be sure to check this module out. Then leave us a comment below to tell us 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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8131693886?profile=RESIZE_400xWe may be a little late for Halloween, but the ideas in No Tricks, Some Treats, All Fun: Top 5 Fall Activities for Toddlers, by Zero-to-Three, can be adapted for use throughout November and into December. “Apple Taste Off” works any time this season. “Ghost Painting” may need a new name, but the “Fall Sensory Bin” is sure to be a hit any time. “Seek a Treat” can become a scavenger hunt for fun and festive fall items, which is especially exciting to do in a dimly lit room with a flashlight. “Ghostbusters!” could become a turkey hunt as you catch your gobbling friends and use them to decorate your space. Check out this resource and let us know in the comments below what adaptations you might make. It’s always good to share ideas with parents that they can make their own.

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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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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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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Pathways.org on Milestones

For nearly four decades, the not-for-profit organization Pathways has been a “positive, trusted, inclusive partner to parents everywhere.” The dedicated staff at Pathways.org 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 Pathways.org 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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