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social emotional (17)

Zero to Three offers an excellent video resource entitled, “From Feelings to Friendships: Nurturing Healthy Social-Emotional Development in the Early Years.” It is part of their “Magic of Everyday Moments” series. The video describes the importance of the parent-child bond in building a child’s “ability to form relationships with others, express emotions, and face difficult challenges.” Supportive relationships encourage young children to “explore the world, develop empathy, and understand the difference between right and wrong.” The video offers ways parents can develop strong bonds and nurturing relationships with their young children. There’s also a tip sheet, which we’ve included here for easy access. It might be a great handout for the families you serve. Let us know in the comments below what you think. 

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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picture of man and woman playing with their babyThe closures of many workplaces, summer camps, and daycares due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean that many families are spending most of their time at home with their young children. The home life of infants and toddlers is rich with learning experiences;  one way that early childhood professionals can support families is by sharing strategies to enhance these natural opportunities for learning.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has many resources designed specifically for families that are perfect for sharing, including “Building Social and Emotional Skills at Home,” which features a handful of low- and no-tech tips for parents on different ways they can regularly support their child’s social and emotional development at home. If you are a professional working with young children with developmental disabilities, review the tips and think about how you might modify them for the families of the children you work with. If you are the parent of a young chi

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Screenshot of page from CSEFEL parent guideOne of the critical skills that children develop in early childhood is the ability to identify, express, and manage their emotions. This social-emotional development is a cornerstone of later learning and development. With this in mind, we’re sharing a resource from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) at Vanderbilt University that guides parents and other caregivers through steps and strategies to support their child’s social-emotional development. Teaching Your Child to: Identify and Express Emotions offers actionable tips for caregivers on how to use everyday opportunities to help children learn about their feelings. 

You can check out this resource and more at the CSEFEL site here:

…or download the resource directly to your device here:

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

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child reading book with mom

Self-confidence is one piece of healthy social-emotional development that helps children play well with others and navigate social situations. Young children start to develop self-confidence with the support of nurturing caregivers. There are many ways that parents and caregivers can help their child feel safe, important, and confident. published several tips for families to help grow their child’s self-confidence, which can be found 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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sick bear and happy bunnyInfants and toddlers develop quickly in the first few years of life. Each stage of development is marked by behaviors, or milestones, that most children are doing by a certain age. It’s important for families to be aware of these milestones to support and keep track of their child’s development. This handy guide from the US Department of Education lists the key milestones for social and emotional development for children birth to five.

For more information and resources from the "Talk, Read, and Sing!" campaign, visit

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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You may have noticed that many of the resources shared on the Neighborhood are focused on the social-emotional development of infants and toddlers. This is mostly because California is in the middle of a long-term, statewide plan, called the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), to improve social-emotional outcomes for infants and toddlers in Early Start. There is a large body of research showing that improving social-emotional skills at an early age leads to positive outcomes for children later in life. This research is the topic of a handout published by the US Department of Education called “Social and Emotional Development Research Background.” This resource is part of the national “Talk, Read, and Sing!” campaign, and was developed along with the US Department of Health and Human Services and Too Small to Fail in order to provide parents and professionals the information and tools they need to support healthy social-emotional development in young children. Take a look at the res

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black and white mother and babyWhat is early childhood mental health? Why is it important? How can a child’s early experiences and relationships shape their development later in life? Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child takes a closer look at early childhood mental health as part of its “Deep Dives” series. Learn more about this important facet of early development 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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When a family joins Early Start, there is so much important information to share with parents about their child’s development. However, parents are often overwhelmed with forms, handouts, and other paperwork, so it’s easy for information to get lost in the shuffle. This one-page poster is a great tool for parents to help their young child talk about feelings, and its bright and simple design stands out and is easy to use. This poster, titled “Let’s Talk about Feelings,” was developed as part of the US Department of Education’s “Talk, Read, and Sing!” initiative to promote healthy social and emotional development in early childhood. Questions like “How do other people feel?” and “What makes you happy?” help children think about their own feelings and the feelings of others, which is an important part of social and emotional development. You can download the poster in English below.

The poster is part of a social-emotional development toolkit for parents and providers, created by the U.

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mother holding baby

California’s efforts to improve social and emotional outcomes for all Early Start infants and toddlers are well underway. To support Early Start professionals, the California Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Intervention (ICC), in partnership with the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS), has published Guidelines for Evidence-Based Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment and Surveillance for Early Start in California. This resource provides recommendations and guidance to early intervention professionals on social and emotional assessment of infants and toddlers receiving Early Start services. 

The Guidelines include:

  • principles of family-centered care during the assessment process,
  • steps for conducting an infant-family social and emotional developmental assessment, and
  • recommended standardized assessment tools.

The Guidelines are based on federal and state statutes, as well as a review of evidence-based literature and published best practice guideli

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One great way to teach young children about feelings and relationships is reading books with them that tackle those topics. We compiled a list of several books for children ages 0-3 that deal with social and emotional issues like managing feelings, being a friend, and solving problems. This handy list can be sorted by title, author, year of publication, age range, and topic, and can easily be downloaded and printed to share with your community. Whether you are a parent of a young child with a disability, or a service provider working with children in Early Start, we hope you find some fun new books to help teach the infant or toddler in your life the important social and emotional skills to set them up for success!

social emotional skills table

These are just some of the many books featured on our list!

To find the list of children's books on social-emotional topics, including instructions on how to print the list, click here.

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California’s State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) has led to an increased focus statewide on the social and emotional development of infants and toddlers receiving early intervention services. This includes screening and assessment of social and emotional development in order to ensure that children with social-emotional challenges are identified, and that their progress in this area is accurately measured.

Developmental Screening and Assessment Instruments with an Emphasis on Social and Emotional Development for Young Children Ages Birth through Five is a helpful resource for parents and Early Start professionals. Compiled in 2008 by Sharon Ringwalt at the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC), this publication features over 30 instruments for screening and assessing social and emotional development in young children. The information for each instrument includes a description, the age range for which the instrument was validated, the time to administer, the s

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New SSIP Resource!

NEW in the Neighborhood - a brand new resource for local programs implementing the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)! The Resource Guide to Initiatives and Programs to Support Social-Emotional Development in Infants and Toddlers presents three primary resources that local implementers can access to improve social-emotional development of the infants and toddlers served by Early Start in their regions. For each program or initiative, the Resource Guide describes the program and how it relates to social-emotional development, shares ways to access the trainings and materials, highlights the possible impact to infants and toddlers, and describes the possible costs of implementing the program. This Resource Guide is a helpful asset for any SSIP implementation team.

Find it in the Neighborhood under SSIP Resources, or download below!


This resource was developed by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the California Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC), in partnershi

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Ask the Expert - Take a Minute Campaign

Welcome to our first ever Ask the Expert special feature! This month, we chatted with Kelly Young (below, left) and Robin Larson (below, right) about the statewide "Take a Minute" campaign, and the importance of social-emotional development. Both Kelly and Robin are highly involved in the Early Start community - Kelly is the parent of a child who received Early Start services, as well as the Executive Director of the WarmLine Family Resource Center, and Robin is the Intake Supervisor at Far Northern Regional Center. Take a look at what they had to say below!

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Why is taking a minute for social-emotional development so important? 

Robin: Social-emotional development is the foundation for all other development. Children develop naturally by making early attachments to their parents or caregivers and observing and imitating their behavior. If there is some interruption in this natural connection, children have more difficulty maximizing their pers

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Learning more about social and emotional development just got easier! In addition to the regular schedule of Foundations and Skill Base courses, Early Start Online will also offer Skill Base: Facilitating Social and Emotional Development as an open access course. This means that early intervention personnel can access the same great content as the facilitated Skill Base course, at their own pace and on their own timeline, without assignments or facilitation.

sun background with mother holding baby

How is this different than the Early Start Online facilitated Skill Base course? The open access course features the same essential content as the traditional Early Start Online course, without participant and facilitator support, networking and interaction. This is a self-guided course that you can take at your own pace. There are no assignments or timelines. And there are no discussion forums, facilitation, reminders or reflective communications. It is strictly content! While you are on your own in completing the course, Early S

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Are you a provider of early intervention services? This resource is for you!


As part of the "Take a Minute" campaign in support of the California State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) to improve social-emotional outcomes for Early Start infants and toddlers, the Department of Developmental Services and WestEd's Center for Prevention & Early Intervention have developed a two-page "checklist" of best practices in promoting social-emotional development when working with families in Early Start. The checklist features eight (8) tips on how you can support the parent-child relationship, which is key to social-emotional growth. You can download and print the checklist and keep it with you, or view it digitally on your smartphone or tablet.


This checklist is a great addition to any provider's toolkit, and it supports the wonderful work you are already doing with Early Start children and their families! Take a minute and check out this new resource!

Click here to download this resource di

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The Department of Developmental Services and the WestEd Center for Prevention & Early Intervention are excited to announce the release of the latest parent resources related to the California State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). The "Take a Minute - Relationships Matter!" flyer and video provide parents of infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities important information about how to develop strong relationships with their children, to improve their child's social and emotional development. The video and flyer are available to anyone in the Early Start community to watch and download. Take a minute to support the social and emotional development of the infant or toddler in YOUR life!

"Take a Minute: Relationships Matter!" video (7:28):


"Take a Minute - Relationships Matter!" Flyer:



These resources are related to one or more competencies in the ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM). To find out more, visit these resources in the Neighborhood here and he

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