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Early Learning

This page focuses on families who have children from Birth to 5 years of age and includes resources on physical, mental and emotional development.
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Showing Results 1 - 50 of 392
Description: Scientists and parents know that young children’s brain development is critically important—and researchers learn more every day. Children experience their most profound cognitive, social, and emotional growth in the first eight years of life. Children’s Institute has put together a series to share educational resources and the latest news from experts about young children’s growing brains and how their caregivers can support and nurture this growth. In this series,...
Description: Resilience has often been defined as the ability to bounce back in times of adversity and to develop in a positive way when faced with setbacks (Dillen, 2012; Masten, 2009). Children routinely show high amounts of resilience mostly because of temperament and a built-in sense of autonomy. Children are able to overcome adversity to bounce back before social and emotional harm is done, even after being exposed to extreme risks. Dr. Ken Ginsburg, a contemporary resilience expert, wrote that...
Description: Childhood trauma is common. More than two thirds of children in the United States experience a traumatic event or circumstances—such as abuse or neglect, death of a loved one, or community violence—by the time they turn 16. Young children in particular are disproportionately exposed to traumatic events and circumstances. Children exposed to trauma may display heightened aggression, impulsivity, or poor social skills. They often struggle...
Description: Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue. Much of the foundational research in this area has been referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Description: What is ARC? ARC is a framework for intervention with youth and families who have experienced multiple and/or prolonged traumatic stress. ARC identifies three core domains that are frequently impacted among traumatized youth, and which are relevant to future resiliency. Designed to be applied flexibly across child- and family-serving systems, ARC provides a theoretical framework, core principles of intervention, and a guiding structure for providers. ARC is designed for youth from early...
Description: Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to...
Description: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC) Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) (Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute) Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators (2008) (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, NCTSN) Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence (Activities Guide) Handbook: The Heart of Learning: Compassion, Resiliency, and Academic Success (Compassionate Schools: The Heart of...
Description: Families are the enduring presence in the lives of young children with disabilities. This volume contains activities to support early care and education staff and families in developing positive relationships that support collaboration and family leadership. Session 1: Creating Bright Futures (Building Relationships with Families) Session 2: Listening to Families Session 3: When Concerns Arise: Learning from Families' Experiences Session 4: Getting...
Description: The SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library was designed to strengthen the inclusion of young children with disabilities and their families in programs serving infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The Library includes four learning modules. Each module contains a presenter’s guide, training scripts, handouts (in English and Spanish), and videos (in English, and with English and Spanish captioning). The materials can be used in a variety of professional development settings. They...
Description: On January 25, 2018, the Board of Education approved the proposed Guidelines for the Prevention of Suspension and Expulsion of Young Children:  Supporting Children with Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood Settings. The Department of Education has posted links to the Guidelines for the Prevention of Suspension and Expulsion of Young Children: Supporting Children with Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood Settings on the Division of Instruction's Early Childhood webpage.The primary...
Description: For parents, daycare providers, and early educators, new research describes a simple and powerful way to build children’s brains: talk with them, early and often. A study in Psychological Science shows how conversation — the interplay between a parent or caregiver and a child — ignites the language centers in a child’s brain. It’s the first study to show a relationship between the words children hear at home and the growth of their neural processing capacities...
Description: Evaluation is an essential beginning step in the special education process for a child with a disability. Before a child can receive special education and related services for the first time, a full and individual initial evaluation of the child must be conducted to see if the child has a disability and is eligible for special education. Informed parent consent must be obtained before this evaluation may be conducted.
Description: Title |  Building the Legacy for Our Youngest Children with Disabilities: A Training Curriculum on Part C of IDEA 2004 By Whom? | This training curriculum was produced by NICHCY at the request of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education. The Center for Parent Information and Resources is pleased to house this curriculum and to make it continuously available. For Whom? |  The curriculum is intended to help all those involved with...
Description: Wherever you work, children come to you with gifts, curiosity, challenges, and needs.  They are small wonders, to be sure, and as full of diversity as society itself. And because disability is a natural part of life, it’s also likely that some of your little ones may have a disability or a developmental delay that can impact their learning and growth. As a child care provider or preschool teacher, you may even be among the first to notice a child’s difficulties or...
Description: The birth of a child is an exciting, life-changing event. A beautiful new baby comes to your house, family, and neighborhood. It is a time for celebration. But what happens when this new child has a disability? What if there are health problems? What if, as time goes by, it seems as if the child isn’t learning and progressing as quickly or easily as other children? What do you do? CPIR offers a suite of resource pages that can help you find answers and people who can...
Description: Early intervention is full of terms that people constantly use in writing and in conversation, and it’s important to know what those terms mean. We are pleased to provide this handy reference to early intervention terminology, and hopes it helps our readers quickly connect with the meaning of pivotal words and phrases in the field.
Description: Module 1 welcomes everyone to Part C of IDEA—the early intervention program for infants and toddlers with disabilities.
Description: The education of children with disabilities is a top national priority. Our nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), sets high standards for their achievement and guides how special help and services are made available in schools to address their individual needs.
Description: Cerebral palsy—also known as CP—is a condition caused by injury to the parts of the brain that control our ability to use our muscles and bodies. Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. Often the injury happens before birth, sometimes during delivery, or, like Jen, soon after being born. CP can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild CP may mean a child is clumsy. Moderate CP may mean the child walks with a limp. He or she may...
Description: Kids grow fast, don’t they? And early intervention is designed for children from birth up to age three.  At that point, services under EI end. If the child will need continued support once he or she moves on to preschool, it’s very important to plan ahead so that the transition is smooth.  The resources below will help you do just that.
Description: Healthy brain development is essential for realizing one’s full potential and for overall well-being. For children and youth who experience child abuse or neglect and associated trauma, brain development may be interrupted, leading to functional impairments. Ongoing maltreatment can alter a child’s brain development and affect mental, emotional, and behavioral health into adulthood. Frontline child welfare professionals are in a unique position to recognize developmental delays in...
Description: In almost every early care and education (ECE) program across the country, there are children who have experienced trauma or who will, during their early childhood, experience traumatic events. Trauma in early childhood takes many forms, including abuse or neglect, witnessing violence, and having prolonged separation from or loss of a parent. An extensive body of research has documented the negative impacts of trauma on young children’s behavior, learning, and other long-term school- and...
Description: Assistive technology is any kind of technology that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Often, for people with disabilities, accomplishing daily tasks such as talking with friends, going to school and work, or participating in recreational activities is a challenge. Assistive Technology (AT) devices are tools to help to overcome those challenges and enable people living with disabilities to enhance their quality of life and lead more independent...
Title: Read to Them
Description: Read to Them educates families and schools on the benefits and importance of reading aloud at home. A growing body of research describes the complex and permanent effects of reading aloud. Children who are read to learn to read more easily and become better readers. Literacy skills provide the basis for a lifetime of learning and productivity. Students and families across Virginia will participate in a state-wide family reading event called Virginia Reads One Book in February of...
Description: File Folder Heaven was created by a Special Education teacher, for teachers and parents, working with early learners and students with Autism or developmental disabilities. There are a wide variety of printable file folder games, adapted books, cookie sheet activities clothespin tasks, task cards that provide students with hands-on opportunities to practice basic skills.
Description: This includes the following chapters: Enhancing Progress for Meaningful Family Engagement in all Aspects of Positive BehavioralInterventions and Supports (PBIS) and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Family Engagement Foundations: Supporting Children and Families Engaging Families Through School-Wide Positive Behavior Support: Building PartnershipsAcross Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Translating Family Engagement Strategies to Practice in Local Sites Implementing PBIS Promoting Family Engagement...
Description: The mission of Virginia's public education system is to educate students in the fundamental knowledge and academic subjects that they need to become capable, responsible, and self-reliant citizens. Therefore, the mission of the Virginia Board of Education and the superintendent of public instruction, in cooperation with local school boards, is to increase student learning and academic achievement.
Description: Join Dr. Jon Baylin for an overview of the science of attachment and how early experiences shape brain development. You will learn how children develop trust and mistrust of adults and peers, including early educators. Neurosciences tells us that when children come to school with brains dedicated to self-defense and core mistrust, they are not in a state of mind and body for learning. Children need to experience the teacher and the classroom as a physically and emotionally safe enough place to...
Description: The United States is more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing individuals and people with disabilities today than it was 50, 20, or even 10 years ago. A variety of laws ensures equality in the treatment of deaf and hard of hearing people. Communication barriers have been addressed, and wider opportunities are available in education, employment, and community. The legislation that ensures accessibility is presented in this article.
Description: This resource from Child Care Aware highlights ways in which infants and toddlers may show caregivers that they are experiencing stress. The publication also offers effective strategies to reduce children’s stress levels.
Description: Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed monthly. Each issue features resources that are high quality, readily available and free. To join the listserv, send an email with no message to subscribe-babytalk@listserv.unc.edu Past issues are archived here. To suggest resources, please contact Camille Catlett at camille.catlett@unc.edu
Description: The Administration for Children and Families, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations, the Administration for Community Living, the Offices of the Assistant Secretary for Health and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at HHS have worked together to develop the resources at this website, which was released in January 2017. Visit the site to discover concept papers, discussion questions, examples, and frameworks. Taken together they provide an...
Description: "Learn the Signs. Act Early" has developed a free library of photos and videos demonstrating developmental milestones from 2 months to 5 years of age. The Milestones in Action library was created to help parents, early care and education providers, and healthcare providers identify developmental milestones in very young children and recognize any areas of concern. No permissions are needed to use the photos and images in this library for educational or awareness-building purposes.
Description: There are numerous studies in early childhood that show that AT can have a positive impact in just a short amount of time, yet research and anecdotal data still show the underutilization of technology. Leverage the ever expanding category of helpful items in the category of assistive technology to help young children with disabilities be included, grow, and learn. We can do this by:• Increasing and/or expanding our understanding of what assistive technology for children ages birth to 5...
Description: The POWER (Parent Organizer With Educational Resources) web app provides parents and families with online resources to answer questions about child development, disabilities, community services, Special Education, diploma options in Virginia and transition to life after high school.  The questions and potential resources are separated into age levels: Early Childhood, Elementary School, Middle School and High School. This project is a collaborative effort between the Parent Resource...
Description: Resources Within Reason is a bi-monthly, one-way listserv. Each issue focuses on a topic of interest to individuals who support young children and their families, with emphasis on children with or at risk for disabilities. All featured resources are free. Join the listserv or send an email to dec@dec-sped.org and ask to be added to the list-serv. The January 2017 issue focuses on The Evidence for Inclusion and provides definitions of inclusion, research facts and barriers to inclusion. The...
Description: Celebrate the uniqueness of each and every child! In the U.S., 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In fact, almost every school and university in the country has students with autism. While the diagnosis is common, public understanding of autism is not. The lack of understanding around the condition contributes to discrimination, verbal abuse, even physical violence. A recent study reveals that children with autism are five times more likely to be bullied than...
Description: BULLYING BASICS in Early Childhood: Bullying can emerge in early childhood. If you don’t know that bullying happens among young children, you won’t see it or stop it. If you don’t stop bullying, it will grow and spread. When early childhood educators are prepared, they can nip bullying in the bud. Find out how to stop bullying before it starts.
Description: This free 10 minute video explores the value of play, playful inquiry and the role of adults in supporting, advocating for  and investing in children’s play.
Description: Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are now growing up in environments saturated with a variety of traditional and new technologies, which they are adopting at increasing rates. Although there has been much hope for the educational potential of interactive media for young children, accompanied by fears about their overuse during this crucial period of rapid brain development, research in this area still remains limited. This policy statement reviews the existing literature on television, videos,...
Description: What is  music therapy? How are children referred to music therapy services? Do music therapists conduct assessments? These are just a few of the questions that parents, educators, and allied health professionals may have when first encountering music therapy in the early childhood setting. This article provides a brief overview of music therapy and outlines the major aspects of the systematic treatment process.
Description: The US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs provided this letter of guidance  August 1, 2016 to clarify that the failure to consider and provide for needed behavioral supports through the IEP process is likely to result in a child not receiving a meaningful educational benefit or FAPE. In addition, a failure to make behavioral supports available throughout a continuum of placements, including in a regular education setting, could result in an inappropriately...
Description: Both the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED) recognize the critical role of family engagement in promoting children’s success in early childhood systems and programs. As such, both agencies have developed research-based family engagement frameworks to guide the development of effective family engagement policies and practices: HHS’s Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework and ED’s Dual Capacity-Building Framework for...
Description: The vision of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (hereafter known as The Departments) is that 1) all young children will have adults in their lives who are well-informed on how to use technology to support learning at various ages; and 2) all young children will have opportunities to learn, explore, play, and communicate through a multitude of approaches, including the use of technology.  The purpose of this policy brief is to:...
Description: This policy brief promotes developmentally appropriate use of technology in homes and early learning settings. It was created by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help those who care for 0-8 year olds make wise decisions about technology use.  It provides four guiding principles for families and early educators, and includes a call to action for researchers and technology developers, highlighting topics for further research and...
Description: The Clerc Center, a federally funded national deaf education center, ensures that the diverse population of deaf and hard of hearing students (birth through age 21) in the nation are educated and empowered and have the linguistic competence to maximize their potential as productive and contributing members of society. This is accomplished through early access to and acquisition of language, excellence in teaching, family involvement, research, identification and implementation of best practices,...
Description: If you have just recently found out about your child’s hearing loss or know of a child who has been recently diagnosed with a hearing loss you are on the right track to finding more information for Virginia residents. Knowledge is power! Being informed in the area of deafness/hearing impairment and teaching your child or children with hearing losses to be independent is important.
Description: Virginia’s Definition (PDF) of school readiness describes the capabilities of children, families, schools and communities that promote student success in kindergarten and beyond. Each component – children, families, schools and communities – plays an essential role in developing school readiness. Ready Children are prepared socially, personally, physically and intellectually to meet literacy, mathematics, science, history/social science and developmental standards for...
Description: This manual was developed by the Virginia Department of Education and the state system of Training and Technical Assistance Centers to help local school divisions meet federal and state mandates that children with disabilities be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). The manual contains 8 modules and extensive resources which provide critical information for understanding, building, supporting, and sustaining inclusive placement opportunities for young children with...
Description: The I’m Determined project, a state directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. This project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger. There are resources and videos for Educators, Parents and...