Diversity in Families, Children and You

Parents as Teachers offers this three-part online training to enhance parent educators’ understanding of the ways diversity impacts child development and parenting. Using a research-based curriculum as a starting point, the course explores the many ways families’ backgrounds, experiences and perspectives shape their worldview. It offers participants opportunities for self-reflections as well as strategies for communicating during home visits and group facilitation. Participants will also become aware of their own implicit biases and gain insights into addressing them.  The fee for the training and curriculum is $125.00.

American Academy of Pediatrics Adjusts Screen Time Rules

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released new recommendations for how long children should be exposed to tablets and smartphones. The new recommendations suggest infants and toddlers should be kept away from screen time until they hit 18 months. Meanwhile, toddlers can spend an hour a day watching high-quality programming, provided they are alongside their parents. Parents as Teachers updates its curriculum regularly and will make sure the curriculum lines up with the new AAP guidelines.

Zero to Three National Parent Survey – Overview and Key Insights

Studies about the lasting importance of a child’s experiences in the first three years of life, once relegated to scientific or academic journals, are now fueling a broad national conversation about what this growing body of research means for families and communities across the country. But is this information about early, rapid brain growth—and how it is influenced by the quality of caregiving young children receive—reaching the people who need it most?

Zero to Three asked moms and dads who are raising this generation of children what they think and how they feel. Explore the key insights from their National Parent Survey.

If we care about babies and toddlers, we need to care about, listen to, and meet the needs of their parents. Any effort to nurture and support young children, and to set them up for success in the long term, will be strengthened by helping their parents put this valuable brain science into action.

Across demographic segments, parents want to improve their parenting and seek help in doing so:

Explore more of the parent topics surveyed in the Birth to Three National Parent Survey – Overview and Key Insights

Ounce Institute Offers Supervisor Access to Staff Training Transcripts

The Ounce Institute’s professional development website offers a service to supervisors allowing access to all information, development activities and action items for their staff. My Team is designed to give supervisors greater visibility into all their staffs’ learning and performance activities, all from a single easy-to-use tab.

Supervisors can view the following information about their staff:

Supervisors can do the following:

If supervisors would to utilize this option, please email the name(s) of your staff to TCRegs. The Ounce will set up a tab for My Team to help you access training information for your team.

Illinois Early Learning Project-Worried About Your Child’s Screen Time? We have answers.

As tablets and smart phones proliferate and start falling into younger and younger hands, parents understandably wonder about the effects of too much “screen time.” Our new screen time FAQ examines the research on screen time and provide suggestions on how adults can make the most of their young child’s screen time (Also available in Spanish.) The Illinois Early Learning Project provides links to additional resources that address this important topic.

Illinois Early Learning Project Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Illinois Early Learning Project website has more than 25 FAQs on various topics in early learning that are available for programs and parents.  Most recently they added a FAQ topic regarding the importance of strong parent-child relationships. This resource explores what you can do to build strong relationships with young children, how busy parents can make time for their young children and where they can find help.

Zero to Three Let’s Talk About Math!

An early math video series focusing on early math from birth to 3. With support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, ZERO TO THREE, Next Generation, and Too Small to Fail have partnered to develop a series of videos (in English and Spanish) highlighting the foundation of early math skills in the first 5 years of life.

There are six videos available on the ZERO TO THREE website:

PAT Resources for professionals working with fathers: Promoting Responsible Fatherhood

If you are looking for some great resources for working with fathers check out the Resources>Promoting Responsible Fatherhood on the Parents as Teacher public website. There you will find a link in red for a toolkit.  The fatherhood toolkit provides many PAT resources for home visiting and group connections as well as links to other useful sources in working with fathers.

In addition, at the bottom of the Resources landing page, is a curriculum called Focus on Fathering. This curriculum was developed for Strengthening Families and Fatherhood: Children of Fathers in the Criminal Justice System under the Innovation and Improvement Project grant from the Office of Head Start, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  It contains a wealth of additional activity pages and ideas for group connection, including suggested parent hand-outs.

A Fun and Free Parenting App:  Zero To Three – Let’s Play

Zero To Three – Let’s Play is a free app that continues to be popular for busy parents.  It can be downloaded on iTunes or google play store. It provides parents, and other caregivers,  with fun ideas for keeping babies and toddlers entertained and learning, especially during daily routines like commuting time, chores, bedtime and bath time, mealtime, shopping. There are also “boredom busters” for any time. Parents can search activities by age (0-18 months, 18-36 months, and 3-5 years), tag favorites and share activities via social media. All of the activities reflect children’s typical skills at each age and are designed to support development in the context of play and family routines.

Illinois Early Learning Guidelines (IELG) Flip Book Available

Illinois Early Learning Guidelines Flip Books contain the indicators and the strategies for interaction for each standard. The IELG tables are grouped by the four different age periods (birth to 9 months, 7–18 months, 16–24 months, and 21–36 months). Feel free to download and print these yourselves or take them to your local print shop. IELG Flip Book Document.

Zero to Three’s Infographic highlighting The Effects of Poverty on the Brains of Babies and Toddlers

What effect does poverty have on the developing brains of babies and toddlers? ZERO TO THREE’s new infographic shows how young children in poverty, beginning at birth, begin to develop gaps in their growth and development when compared with their peers. Nearly half of America’s babies live in or near poverty – this is a clear warning sign for America’s global competitiveness. Investing in support for parents in nurturing children and positive early learning opportunities can help.

Revised and Updated Tip Sheets from Illinois Early Learning Project

Many people may not know that IEL has been writing its popular Tip Sheets for almost 15 years! This school year, IEL has reviewed more than 30 of its older Tip Sheets, revising and updating them as needed. These revised Tip Sheets are now available for downloading in English and Spanish. Polish revisions will be available soon.

IELG Posters and Brochures Still Available

Are you looking for written materials about the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Ages Birth to Age 3 (IELGS) to share with caregivers and families? The Illinois Early Learning Project will mail IELGS posters and brochures (available in English and Spanish) free of charge to any address within the state of Illinois. Please use the online form or call the Illinois Early Learning Project  at 877.275.3227 to order these resources.

Winter Tip Sheet from Illinois Early Learning Project

Illinois Early Learning Project’s Tip Sheets can provide parents with ideas and support them as their child’s “first teacher.” Tip Sheets such as Say Yes to the Mess! Snow Time suggest a number of activities you can do at home.  For more easy-to -read, one-page Tip Sheets, go to the Illinois Early Learning Project.

Illinois Early Learning Project

The Illinois Early Learning (IEL) project offers a terrific resource for early childhood professionals in Illinois. Lilian Katz, Ph. D., director of the Illinois Early Learning project and an internationally-recognized expert in early childhood education and parenting, is available to answer your questions about early childhood development.

If you have a question, you may use the IEL project online form. You can also read her responses to previous questions posed by early care and education professionals and parents on our Ask Dr. Katz Archives.

Guide to Funding

The revised and updated Guide to Funding is available on the PAT National website. This resource provides information for developing and sustaining funding, as well as tips for writing competitive grant proposals. In addition, the guide includes information on potential funding opportunities that can be used to support home visitation programs. Finally, the end of the guide offers helpful links for finding state-level funding opportunities. Tip Sheets are also available on the Resources landing page. Learn More.

Dads Parent Café in a Box

Would you like to add Dads Parent Café in a Box to your Parent Engagement Toolbox?  Dad Cafés give fathers safe opportunities to talk to each other about who and how they want to be as a father.

If you’ve been trained on Be Strong Families Parent Cafés and can get a group of dads together, you’re ready to go with Dads Parent Café in a Box.

If you are new to Parent Cafés, you can order the original parent engagement tool at the Be Strong Families website.  The Parent Café in a Box and new Dads Parent Café in a Box cost are $25 each, plus shipping.

Parent Café in a Box

Parent Café in a Box the perfect tool for reinforcing Parent Café training and a great start for anyone that wants to start implementing a parent café process.

Parents as Teachers Crosswalk with the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines

The Parents as Teachers crosswalk with the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines was updated in May, 2015.

Center on Developing Child, Harvard University, Video Series

The InBrief series provides brief summaries of recent scientific presentations and research on the science of early childhood development and early childhood program evaluation.  This series of short videos is complemented by companion one-sheet briefs, designed to be printed on one page, front and back.  The newest InBrief includes three short videos, InBrief: Resilience Series.

Here is the additional list of video links for the Center on Developing Child, Harvard University:

Professional Development Opportunities

PAT National offers free Professional Development Opportunity to Program Supervisors and Parent Educators through webinar sessions about advocacy.  “Building Relationships with Your Elected Officials” and “How to Leverage Your Voice with Facebook & Twitter” are the two introductory level advocacy topics covered in the webinars.

The first session will provide participants an overview about building long lasting and impactful relationships with decision makers.  They highlight some of the great work Parents as Teachers Programs are already doing to demonstrate the process.  Participants can also download the companion toolkit for this topic on the PAT National Center Website.  The second webinar demonstrates how Facebook and Twitter are excellent platforms for garnering support for home visiting programs and for early childhood education issues.  Participants will learn how to leverage social media for advocacy and learn strategies to heat up their program’s advocacy efforts.  Participants can download the 2 companion toolkits developed for these topics, “Facebook for Advocacy” and “Twitter for Advocacy.”

Go to Main Menu>Advocacy>Affiliate Advocacy Tools.

New Health Resource Guide

A new Health Resource Guide is now available on the Parents as Teachers website.  This guide is intended to be used as parent educators encounter various health concerns with families they serve.

The guide is not meant to replace parent educators’ referral to primary care physicians as best practice when working with families, but rather as an additional resource.

Zero to Three Resources on Media Use and Young Children

Babies today are born into a world of digital devices. And parents are trying to navigate this new reality—specifically figuring out what role these new gadgets should play in the lives of their young children. This is no small task given that parents are bombarded with a lot of conflicting advice, much of which is ideological and not based on science.

To fill this critical gap, ZERO TO THREE has developed Screen Sense: Setting the Record Straight—Research-based Guidelines for Screen Use for Children Under 3 Years Old. This new free resource, written in partnership with leading researchers in the field of media and young children, is an authoritative review of what is known about the effect of screen media on young children’s learning and development. It is designed to serve as a tool for guiding parents and professionals in making informed decisions about screen media use.

In addition to Screen Sense, there is a summary of the key findings, tips for how to use screen media with children under 3 and an infographic about 5 common misconceptions related to children and screen media.

The Magic of Everyday Moments from Zero to Three

ZERO TO THREE introduces its newest free resource: The Magic of Everyday Moments: Seeing is Believing, a captivating new series of videos that show how adult interactions shape the growth and learning of infants and toddlers.

More Videos on Early Learning Guidelines Are Available

The Illinois Early Learning Project has added four more videos that show caregivers helping children meet standards in the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age 3. These four videos, in addition to three videos already on the website, include a transcript and a description of strategies for interaction that teachers or caregivers used. These videos may be used in professional development settings and during family engagement meetings.

OAE Resources

The Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Initiative released Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) training resources, including videos and a training manual.

Additional OAE Resources from ECHO Initiative

Previous Resources

See how the Ounce is innovating early learning through our articles, videos, reports, newsletters and toolkits.

Early Literacy Resource – Zero to Three

Look Through Their Eyes

The Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition (ICTC) has launched a public awareness campaign on childhood trauma, targeting parents and caregivers.  The campaign’s theme is “Look Through Their Eyes” and asks parents and caregivers to consider their actions (and those of others) from the perspective of their children.

The campaign website is up and running and features information about preventing, identifying and finding help for children with trauma.  It also features ICTC’s Stories for Children that Grown-Ups Can Watch series and the first of three public service announcements.

A Window to the World – ZERO TO THREE has developed a brief resource that summarizes the latest research on the “language gap” that emerges in the early years between children from low-income and higher-income backgrounds.

Parents as Teachers National Policy and Advocacy Newsletter

Safe Sleep for Babies video – the American Academy of Pediatrics is joining the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other child safety organizations in the release of “Safe Sleep for Babies,” a new crib safety video aimed at helping new parents and caregivers avoid suffocation, strangulation and entrapment risks in the sleep environment.

New tip sheet on developmental screening

Moving Beyond Depression A Collaborative Approach to Treating Depressed Mothers in Home Visiting Programs  from ZERO TO THREE.

Guide to Funding for programs offering Parents as Teachers services

Asking Questions and Wondering – a free resource from Zero to Three

Illinois State Board of Education Illinois Birth to Five Program Standards

Parents as Teachers Autism Resources

Reflective Leadership Quiz from Zero to Three

2014 Prevention Resource Guide: Making Meaningful Connections – created primarily to support community-based child abuse prevention professionals who work to prevent child maltreatment and promote well-being. This resource contains chapters on Protective-Factors Approaches to Promoting Well-Being, Working With Families Using the Protective-Factors, Engaging Your Community, Protecting Children, Tip Sheets for Parents and Caregivers and Resources.

Reflective Practice Guide – Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership

Parents as Teachers National Annual Report

Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation to Home Visiting Programs – Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership

BUILD Initiative – Strong Foundations for Our Youngest Children

BUILD Initiative – Illinois State Profile

The Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has developed some messaging tools to assist home visitors with addressing barriers, including common family concerns related to accessing their medical home:

McCormick Foundation and Child Trends released a report on infants and toddlers entitled, “The Youngest Americans: A Statistical Portrait of Infants and Toddlers in the United States.” The report provides data on infants and toddlers, highlights the great disparities in the well-being of infant and toddlers, and recommends policy change.

Birth to Three Illinois Early Learning Guidelines

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released a webinar and PowerPoint presentation about the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age Three.

ISBE also launched the Illinois Early Learning Project, a website with evidence-based information on early care and education for parents, caregivers and teachers of young children.