Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education

  • The Berenstain Bears (PBS)   The Berenstain Bears provides many activities for children 2-7. Play games, listen to music, do art!
  • Between the Lions (PBS)    Between the Lions is an award-winning PBS television series designed to foster the literacy skills of its viewers, while playfully demonstrating the joys of reading. Each show aims to give kids four to seven years old some of the experiences they need in order to become successful readers. There are more than 80 stories, games, songs, and other activities to develop a love for (and skill in!)reading.
  • Caillou (PBS)   Caillou is a wide-eyed four-year-old who learns about life - one adventure at a time! From his own backyard to his very first airplane ride, Caillou discovers the wonder and excitement of being a little boy in a very big world. Caillou is for children 2-6 years of age.
  • Child Development Tracker: This PBS website provides information for ages 1-9 in the areas of approaches to learning, creative arts, language, literacy, math, physical health, science, and social and emotional growth.
  • Clifford   Clifford provides games, stories, and printable activities for children ages 3 -7.  Additional information is also available for teachers and parents.
  • Developmental Milestone: Ages 3 through 5   Since birth, you’ve watched your child grow and develop. You’ve noted his height and weight, when he crawled, stood, and walked, even when he spoke his first words — and perhaps compared all of these milestones of his infant and toddler years to the "norms." The preschool and early school years are also full of changes. From three to five your child’s motor skills, language, thinking, and social development change dramatically. Knowing what to expect as your child grows can reassure you that your child is on track with his peers or alert you to potential concerns. Below are some milestones to watch for during the preschool years.
  • Early Childhood:  The Iowa Department of Education provides multiple connections and resources of information  to assure the success of children birth-age 5 and their families. 
  • Early Childhood Iowa:  This initiative seeks to empower individuals and communities to achieve desired results to improve the quality of life for children birth - age five and their families.
  • Headstart - Drake University    The Drake University Head Start Program offers a variety of program options to address each family's individual strengths and needs. Program options include preschool classrooms for three and four year olds, full-day and full-year preschool classrooms with childcare, home-based preschool program for three and four year olds, toddler center-based program for two year olds, and home visiting program for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers.
  • Helping Your Child Become a Reader     Other than helping our children to grow up healthy and happy, the most important thing that we can do for them is to help them develop their reading skills. This offers pointers on how to build the language skills of young children (birth through age 6), and includes a list of typical language accomplishment for different age groups, suggestions for books, and resources with reading problems or learning disabilities. Information is available in English and Spanish.
  • Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics    This booklet is made up of fun activities that parents can use with children from preschool age through grade 5 to strengthen their math skills and build strong positive attitudes toward math. Information is available in both English and Spanish.
  • Helping Your Child Learn Science    Everyday is filled with opportunities to learn science – without expensive chemistry sets or books. Parents and families do not need degrees in chemistry or physics to help their children learn science. All that is needed is willingness to observe and learn with them, and, above all, to make an effort to take the time to nurture their natural curiosity. This booklet provides parents and families of children ages 3-10 with information, tools, and activities they can use in the home and community to help their child develop an interest in the sciences and learn about the world around them. This booklet is available in English and Spanish.
  • Helping Your Preschool Child    How well children will learn and develop and how well they will do in school depends on a number of things, including their health and physical well-being, social and emotional preparation, and language skills and general knowledge of the world. This booklet highlights techniques parents and families can use to encourage their children to develop the skills necessary for success in school and life by focusing on activities that make learning fun. This booklet is available in English and Spanish.
  • How To Create a Literate Home    What exactly is a "literate home?" It is an environment that encourages children (birth through first grade) to learn to read and write and become lifelong readers and writers. Transforming your home into a literate home is simple and inexpensive. You need to consider what kinds of materials to have on hand and how to arrange materials so your child will use them. Follow these tips about what materials parents need and what parents can do.
  • Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children:  Iowa AEYC promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research. They advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.  Iowa AEYC provides professional development, advocacy, and leadership development opportunities for the early care and education field in Iowa.  Because of their work, their vision is that all young children in our state will thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential.
  • Iowa Early Childhood Standards:  The Iowa Department of Education provides these standards as a resource to help support and enhance children's learning and development, as well as inform policy and decision makers.
  • Iowa’s Early Childhood Parent Web site was created to provide FREE, objective, accurate early care, health, and education information for families in Iowa. Browse our database for great resources or take a look at the Early Childhood A to Z section for topics such as child care, health and safety, child development, learning to read and write, parenting, pregnancy, and many others.
  • Making Music: Literacy Tips for Parents    Music is a great way to introduce children to sounds and words! Here are some helpful hints from Reading Rockets on making music a part of your daily life as well as a list of recommended musical recordings and songbooks for you to try.
  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. They advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.
  • Parenting Counts is a research-based resource site developed to support parents and caregivers in raising socially and emotionally healthy children.
  • PBS - Fun and GamesAccess a data base of activities for you and your child based on the program you want (e.g., Sesame Street, Sid the Science Guy, Super Why), the type of activity (e.g., songs, games, post-card), and the skill (e.g., math and numbers, reading and language) you want your child to develop.
  • Preparing Your Preschooler To Read   As your child's first and most influential teacher, you’ve taught your 3-5 year old a lot about reading and writing. By providing opportunities each day for your child to practice emerging skills, you’re laying the foundation for her to become a successful reader. She’s learning that print is a powerful means of communicating knowledge and information and can be lots of fun, too.
  • Reading Milestones - Baby, Toddler, Pre-Schooler:  Find out how your child’s reading skills might progress in this age-by-age guide. Get tips on how to help them develop by talking, reading and writing together every day.
  • Sesame Street    Sesame Street's web site offers many activities, including Letter of the Day, Number of the Day, Spanish activities, coloring pages, and adventures with Elmo, Zoe, Ernie, Grover, and Baby Bear.
  • Twitter:  Check out these early childhood educators who tweet about early childhood -  @PreKPages  @prekinders  @Teach_Preschool   @Fun_A_Day   @tch2and3yearold    @Pktchr  @sxwiley  @ecctech  @happycampergirl
  • What Early Learning in ESSA Can Look Like for States and Districts Recently FFYF released a new resource, What Early Learning in ESSA Can Look like for States and Districts, which details new opportunities to develop and expand access to quality early childhood education through the recently-passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This resource identifies opportunities throughout the law for states and districts to invest in early learning, provides initial recommendations for what is allowable use of funding, and highlights additional supplementary resources. As state and local leaders begin implementing the new law, this tool showcases what early learning through ESSA can look like in practice.

This page was updated on 2/20/17.

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