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As part of their Parenting for Social Justice series, Zero to Three has published Celebrating Differences: Antiracist Parenting Right From the Start. The article includes “five facts about how children come to understand differences.” These include:

  1. All children notice differences;
  2. It’s not okay to use differences as an excuse to stereotype others;
  3. Racism is learned;
  4. Racial bias starts early, between ages two and four; and
  5. Diversity makes a difference.

The author supports the idea that “talking to children about racism is part of our responsibility as parents” but acknowledges that this may not always be easy. She suggests reflecting on one’s own biases and re-thinking one’s views on race. This can sometimes be uncomfortable or even painful, so reaching out for support may be challenging but necessary. The article also provides some suggestions for useful next steps in the process of Celebrating Differences: Antiracist Parenting Right From the Start.

This resource is related to one o

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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.

For more information about Early Start, visit the Early Start web page on the DDS web site, 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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Early Intervention Handouts from CDE

The California Department of Education (CDE) recently distributed a handout entitled “Early Intervention Special Education Resources.” It gives a brief overview of three important programs:

  • Desired Results (DR) Access Project
  • Seeds of Partnership Project
  • Supporting Inclusive Practices (SIP)

Read the overview here:

If you’d like to read more about the DR Access Project, check out “Resources to Support the Use of the DRDP with Infants and Toddlers with IFSPs”:


Finally, if you’d like to read more about Supporting Inclusive Practices, take a look at this handout:


Very interesting reading. 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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What We Can Do About Toxic Stress

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University offers the field a timely infographic entitled “What We Can Do About Toxic Stress.” It explains the concept using a clever analogy of an overburdened truck hauling too much cargo and offers some practical advice about ways to lighten the load. “Just as a truck can only bear so much weight before it . . . stops moving forward, challenging life circumstances can weigh caregivers down (making) it hard to do the things they need and want to do.” The infographic suggests seeking out supports and services that “allow caregivers to focus on caring for themselves and their children,” such as food pantries, free activities for children and families, connecting with other parents, and seeking help from professionals. Once the stress has lifted, it can also be beneficial to help others by “joining in advocacy to expand family supports.” Being connected to others really helps to lessen the burden of toxic stress.

This resource is related to

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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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Help Me Grow California

orange purple blue yellow green flower petalsHelp Me Grow California is one of 17 state affiliates of the Help Me Grow National Center, “a system for improving access to existing resources and services” for young children. Building upon the idea that “early detection and connection to services lead to the best outcomes for children with developmental or behavioral concerns,” Help Me Grow empowers states to “implement effective, universal, early surveillance and screening for all children,” while providing families with much needed links to quality local programs.

Help Me Grow does not provide direct service to children and families; instead, it emphasizes four core components to build the capacity of communities to support families and children:

  1. Outreach to child health care providers,
  2. Outreach to the community,
  3. Centralized information and resource centers, and
  4. Ongoing data collection and analysis.

Help Me Grow California was established in 2011, and includes 11 county-level affiliates with a potential reach of more than one mill

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