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Resources for Parents and Families

Information for parents and family members about early childhood education.
  • All About Young Children: Information for Families on Children’s Early Development External link opens in new window or tab.
    The online publication All About Young Children: Information for Families on Children’s Early Development provides resources for families based on the California Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations and the California Preschool Learning Foundations. Parents and family members can find out what skills help children from birth to five learn, how they learn language, how they learn about feelings and relationships, how they learn about numbers, and how they become skillful at moving their bodies.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics Literacy Toolkit External link opens in new window or tab.
    This is an interactive web-based resource designed to help health professionals encourage all parents to read with their children. The site introduces a wide variety of strategies and tools to support the mission of promoting child development and future school success. Many of these resources can easily be adapted for use by early childhood professionals.
  • Bright Futures/Child Care Health Partnership Handouts for Parents External link opens in new window or tab.
    Introducing new handouts that provide parents with information on what child care programs will be working on with a child based on the child’s age. Each handout includes tips, tools for healthy, active living, and questions for parents to ask their health care professional.
  • Care About Quality: Your Guide to Child Care
    This resource guide was published by the California Department of Education in 2000 to provide parents and family seeking child care with key indicators of quality child care settings, information on the types of child care available, and tips for interviewing potential child care providers.
  • Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) External link opens in new window or tab.
    Materials that provide parents and teachers with simple ways to enhance daily activities and routines with literacy specific opportunities.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources
    • Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers External link opens in new window or tab.
      The CDC Division of Violence Prevention has developed this free, evidence-based resource that gives parents ways to interact more positively with their children.
    • Learn the Signs. Act Early. External link opens in new window or tab.
      From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. The CDC has provided a resource to track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern.
    • Parent Portal to the CDC External link opens in new window or tab.
      The Parent Portal organizes and presents information and resources from across CDC to make it easier for parents to find credible, accurate information on raising healthy kids and providing a safe home and community. It is also a resource for diseases and conditions that can occur, as well as for developmental milestones and schedules. The Parent Portal also provides information on physical activity, diet, physical and mental health, injuries and violence, peer relationships, and a special section on risk behaviors geared for the parents of teens.
  • Drowning Prevention External link opens in new window or tab.
    In California, drowning is a leading cause of injury-related deaths among children under the age of five. Each year, near-drowning incidents result in life-long disabilities. The California Department of Developmental Services and the Drowning Prevention Foundation continue to raise awareness on this issue, and remind parents and caregivers that drowning is preventable.
  • Education Resources for Spanish Speakers / Recursos en Espanol External link opens in new window or tab.
    Resources from the United States Department of Education for Spanish speakers.
  • Finding a Child Care Services Provider External link opens in new window or tab.
    The California Child Care Resource & Referral Network assists families in the identification of local child care options. Provider services range from initial start-up assistance to a diverse number of program delivery trainings suited for established centers.
  • First 5 California/Children and Families Commission External link opens in new window or tab.
    The California Children and Families Act of 1998 is designed to provide, on a community-by-community basis, all children, prenatal to five years of age, with comprehensive child development services.
  • How Brains are Built: The Core Story of Brain Development External link opens in new window or tab.
    An animated video which presents the core story of brain development in an accessible and visually engaging format for public audiences.
  • NAEYC for Families External link opens in new window or tab.
    Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), this program offers guidance and information for families seeking quality child care or preschool programs for their young children.
  • Parent Toolkit Application (App) External link opens in new window or tab.
    The Parent Toolkit App is an online resource to help parents navigate their children’s journey from pre-kindergarten through high school. Also available in Spanish External link opens in new window or tab., the app allows parents to access academic benchmarks, as well as health and wellness resources including physical development and nutritional information.
  • Policy on Parental Involvement
    California State Board of Education Policy: Parental Involvement in the Education of Their Children.
  • Principles for Promoting Language, Literacy, and Learning for Preschool English Learners (English)
    Available translations of the Principles for Promoting Language, Literacy, and Learning for Preschool English Learners
    These ten principles will serve as a useful tool to guide practice and program planning for anyone who is involved in the education of preschool English learners. The document is a valuable resource for parents, the key partners in education, to support the language development of their own English learners.
  • Reach Out and Read External link opens in new window or tab.
    Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy and school readiness to young children and their families through thousands of pediatricians in all 50 states. Each year, medical providers at the nearly 5,000 Reach Out and Read program sites nationwide distribute 6.5 million books to children and invaluable literacy advice to parents.
  • Recommended Literature List
    A collection of outstanding literature for children and adolescents in grades pre-kindergarten through grade twelve in all disciplines.
  • Resources from the United States Department of Education External link opens in new window or tab.
    A broad range of publications are available free of charge in English and Spanish. To order online, click on the link above, or call 1-877-4EDPUBS (1-877-433-7827) to order by phone.
  • Talk, Read, Sing Together, Every Day! External link opens in new window or tab.
    A suite of resources from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education that can help enrich children’s early language experiences beginning from birth. The information includes tip sheets for families, preschool teachers, and infant/toddler teachers and caregivers, as well as a fact sheet that highlights the evidence behind the benefits of being bilingual and embracing children’s home languages. All tip sheets are available in English and Spanish, and can be downloaded for free.
  • Text4Baby External link opens in new window or tab.
    The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) has launched Text4Baby, a free mobile information service that provides pregnant women and new mothers with information to help them care for their health and give their babies the best possible start in life.
  • Training Resources for Informal Caregivers, In Support of Family, Friend, and Neighbor Learning (English)
    Printable version (PDF) of the Training Resources for Informal Caregivers Brochure
    Spanish translation printable version (PDF)
    Available translations of Training Resources for Informal Caregivers, In Support of Family, Friend, and Neighbor Learning
    A brochure from the Early Education and Support Division on training opportunities that promote quality child care and development practices to informal or license-exempt providers who care for children whose families are enrolled in California Department of Education-funded alternative payment programs.
  • Vroom External link opens in new window or tab.
    Vroom is a source of creative tools and materials that inspire families to turn everyday moments into brain-building moments. It was developed with thoughtful input from parents, early childhood experts, neuroscientists, parents and community leaders.
  • Zero To Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families External link opens in new window or tab.
    Zero To Three is a national nonprofit organization that provides parents, professionals, and policymakers with the knowledge and the know-how to nurture early development.

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Questions:   Early Education and Support Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Friday, January 29, 2016

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