Parents are their child’s first teacher, and the first years of life are critical in a child’s brain development. There are many, every day, activities you can do with your baby to promote positive growth like

  • Talk with your baby, put words to the things they look at or hear;
  • Read to your baby, whether it’s the ingredients to their breakfast food, or a bedtime story;
  • Sing to your baby, songs with repeating lyrics are fun and predictable; and
  • Play with your baby – play is children’s work!

As babies become toddlers, they can match socks, start to count, use language (even sign language) to ask for things or express themselves, and play alongside others.

The Federation is a resource for parents and can help guide you on your parenting journey. Below are some popular resources you can access for free. Share your early childhood resources with us. It truly takes a village to raise a child!

Child Care resources for families, including finding a licensed program https://www.mass.gov/early-childhood-services-and-resources-for-families

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Program Standards https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/10-naeyc-program-standards

NAEYC High-Quality Preschool https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/high-quality-program-for-preschooler

Financial Assistance for Child Care https://www.mass.gov/early-education-and-care-financial-assistance-for-families

Inclusion in Early Childhood https://inclusiveschools.org/category/resources/early-childhood/

Text For Baby https://www.text4baby.org/

Small Talks, a newsletter/blog by Isabelle Hau https://isabellehau.substack.com/

Zero to Three https://www.zerotothree.org/

Milestones https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/index.html

aRPy resources https://ectacenter.org/decrp/type-pgfamily.asp available in English and Spanish

Every child develops at his or her own pace, even your own two children may not reach developmental milestones at the same time. As you track your child’s development, you can discuss any concerns with your pediatrician. They can help refer you to Early Intervention. You can also self-refer. Find out more by calling our Family TIES program at 800-905-TIES (8437).

Search for Early Intervention programs in MA https://www.massfamilyties.org/#EI

Early Intervention website https://www.mass.gov/orgs/early-intervention-division

Why Act Early if You’re Concerned about Development https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/whyActEarly.html