Topic Editor: Stephanie Mossstephanie@p2pga.org
You are a critical part of your child's development and education. This page provides resources to help you help your child develop and learn, explains how early childhood supports and services can help your child, and gives you ways to share your family's experiences to benefit others.
Contact your state or jurisdiction's early childhood program for specific information:
- Part C of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)—the Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities—is a federal grant program that assists states in operating a comprehensive statewide program of early intervention services for infants and toddlers ages birth–2 with disabilities, and their families. Part C Coordinators
- Part B, Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) authorizes preschool formula grants to states to provide special education services for children ages 3–5 with disabilities. Part B, Section 619 Coordinators
How can I help my child develop and learn?
As a parent or caregiver, you are your child's first and best teacher. These resources can help you support your child's developmental needs, and partner with professionals to achieve your family's goals for your child.
The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices guide practitioners and families toward effective ways to improve learning outcomes and promote development in young children ages birth–5 who have or are at-risk for developmental delays or disabilities.
ECTA Center's practice guides for families explain the DEC Recommended Practices, how to use them using videos and vignettes, and how you will know if practices are working. The gudes are available in both English and Spanish.
Family Resources on Remote Service Delivery (Telepractice) and Distance Learning
How can these supports and services help my child?
Supports and services can help strengthen your family's ability to help your child. There are three child outcomes that programs measure to let you know how your child is developing and participating in activities at home, at school, or in the community.Breadth of the Three Child Outcomes (English) Desarrolo de los Tres Resultados Para El Niño (Español)
Expressing Own Emotions and Responding to Emotions of Others
Show pride/excitement/frustration, manage own emotions, display affection and comfort others...
Understanding Questions Asked and Directions Given
Respond to gestures/verbal requests, understand meaning of increasingly complex words/questions/directions, know and state details about self (e.g., name, age)...
Showing Safety Awareness
Avoid dangers (e.g., putting things in mouth, touching hot stove), follow safety rules across settings and situations...
Note: This awareness is less evident in very young children
How can I share what I've learned from my family's experiences?
As the real expert on your child, you have a lot to share with professionals and practitioners who provide services to your child and family. You also have a lot to share with other families who find themselves where you've already been. These videos highlight opportunities for you to become a family leader, advocating for your child and other children with special needs and their families.
Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)
Learn the Signs. Act Early.
From ages birth–5 years, children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move. Developmental milestones include taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving "bye bye". The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Developmental Milestones can help you track your child's development and act early if you have a concern.