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Early Learning and Care Resources

Early Learning and Care Resources for Family Engagement and Professional Development.

April 17, 2020

As all of us continue to maintain a connection to the families each of us serves, a quick reference for early childhood resources can support providers, teachers, and directors in providing responsive family engagement. Maintaining engagement with families demonstrates your continued commitment to the youngest Californians and can provide needed information to families to continue to support their child’s developmental progress during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is also an opportunity for the workforce to continue to strengthen or build on their knowledge by staying up to date with current Early Learning and Care (ELC) professional development opportunities. Please see additional resources that can be used to continue your professional development during these uncertain times.

Family Engagement via Virtual Learning

Learning Genie External link opens in new window or tab. has activities parents can use at home and is a frequently used application that a provider can use with families to share information. The application has a parent’s page with songs, and activities to do at home.

HiMama External link opens in new window or tab. has compiled resources with the feedback and support from the childcare community to help child care centers, teachers and families make the most of these uncertain times to continue providing great care for our children.

Wide Open School External link opens in new window or tab. is a free collection of online learning experiences the child care centers and teachers can utilize for children and families.

Ready4K External link opens in new window or tab. provides a virtual family engagement and parenting curricula that will be free until the end of the school year and provides support to providers seeking to maintain engagement with families during the COVID-19 period.

The First 5 Association of California External link opens in new window or tab. has created a website that provides resources to help families, children, and communities in California cope with and understand the COVID-19 pandemic and response. Providers should also consider visiting local First 5 websites for locally provide resources. Resources includes topics specific to:

  • Social/Emotional Resources and Coping with Stress for Children and Families
  • Education and At-Home Learning and Resources for Children and Families
  • Spanish-Language At-Home Learning Resources for Children and Families

The Council for Exceptional Children External link opens in new window or tab. is offering free membership through May 31, 2020 to support teachers and families with applying good teaching practices remotely. These resources include access to journal articles, member discounts on publications and events, and an online membership community where you can ask questions and receive support from special educators, administrators, and support personnel.

And finally, the Division for the Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children External link opens in new window or tab. provides additional resources to support Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education professionals.

Activities for Early Learning Ages Birth through 5

The Head Start Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECLKC) External link opens in new window or tab. has various resources for providers and families, including an activities handbook for parents.

The California Department of Public Health (DPH) External link opens in new window or tab. created the Farm to Preschool Harvest of the Month which features ready-to-go tools and resources that can be used to engage in hands-on opportunities to explore, taste, and learn about eating fruits and vegetables and being active every day.

Kidango External link opens in new window or tab. has created Learn at Home kits and online resources to provide parents and teachers with the tools to play together, read together, and learn together while maintaining your physical and mental health.

Kindermusik External link opens in new window or tab. provides a fun and musical way to stimulate learning in young children at each developmental level. As your child learns and grows Kindermusik has activities to match.

Resources for Parents and Families

First 5 California External link opens in new window or tab. has a parent site that provides resources around early brain development and parenting. It contains a Learning Center, Activity Center, Health Center, Services and Supports, and a section on Free Resources. In addition, it’s the home for Talk. Read. Sing. It changes everything® and its corresponding materials.

The First 5 Association of California External link opens in new window or tab. has created a website that provides resources to help families, children, and communities in California cope with and understand the COVID-19 pandemic and response.

Teachstone External link opens in new window or tab. provides free articles about how to support your child’s learning in the home and how to establish daily routines for learning.

The Early Math Project External link opens in new window or tab. promotes awareness of the importance of math in early education (birth through age eight) and provides tools to parents and educators.

And finally, Scholastic External link opens in new window or tab. provides weekly learn-at-home activities for parents to keep their preschool and kindergarten children engaged and keep learning happening.

Self-Care

As you continue to be a resource to families, it is important to learn to manage your own stress response to the uncertain climate created by COVID-19 and identify concrete practical strategies to buffer stress and build resilience. Use Promo Code: FREESUPPORT to access this course External link opens in new window or tab. for free!

Resources for Early Care and Education Workforce

The California Early Learning and Development System (CECO) External link opens in new window or tab. provides an integrated set of resources based on state-of-the-art information for early learning and development and best practices in early education. CECO provides the required priority training areas related to Health and Safety for Child Care which includes:

  • Safe Spaces in Child Care
  • Transporting Children in Child Care
  • Handling Hazardous Material in Child Care
  • Infectious Diseases in Child Care
  • Safe Sleep Practices and Sleep Related Infant Deaths
  • Managing and Responding to Food Allergies
  • Shaken Baby/Abusive Head Trauma
  • Emergency Preparedness in Child Care

The Child Development Training Consortium External link opens in new window or tab. has an online community with easy access to early childhood education online college courses.

The California Early Care and Education Workforce Registry External link opens in new window or tab. is an online professional platform for the Early Care and Learning workforce. Participants can search online and find professional development training happening in nearby cities and counites.

The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) External link opens in new window or tab. : CSEFEL is a national resource center funded by the Office of Head Start and Child Care Bureau for disseminating research and evidence-based practices to early childhood programs across the country.

The Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) External link opens in new window or tab. is a website that has ready-to-use resources for use with large audiences, small groups, and individuals. Find self-instructional learning modules designed for individuals, they may also be used by a leader for small group learning experiences.

Quality Counts California (QCC) External link opens in new window or tab. is California’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. Find additional resources and information available through the Quality Counts California website.

The California Child Care Resource and Referral Network External link opens in new window or tab. is where current Information, policy, family services, provider services and research all related to Early Care and Learning services can be found.

*The resources provided represent ELC resources that can be found on the internet and do not imply any endorsement or financial benefit to the California Department of Education nor do they represent a complete list.

Questions:   Early Learning & Care Division | ELCDEmergency@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Monday, May 18, 2020
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