Research and Best Practices in Early Childhood Development
Parents and providers should have access to early childhood development information that is factual and up to date and that enables adults to promote the positive health and well-being of the children in their care. On this page, you will find an ever-growing library of resources to support you in your role as a parent or child care and education provider. All of the information here has been vetted by a team of early childhood experts. You can be sure the information is recent and in line with best practices articulated by local and national organizations that parents and providers can trust. The library is organized alphabetically by topic. Please use the Contact Us page to request additional topics. Come back often, as we are always adding more information.
Assessment and Testing
Assessing young children seems straightforward, right? Wrong. Cognitive and developmental skills testing in young children should only be conducted by someone who has been trained to perform assessments of young children ethically. The links below lead to a policy brief and position statement regarding assessment and testing of young children from national organizations that are leading voices in early childhood issues.
Curriculum, Standards, and Instructional Practices in Early Education Classrooms
Providers and parents may use the resources below to learn about best practices related to the content and delivery of educational material in early education classrooms.
Disability, Disorder, and Developmental Delay
Use the links below to learn more about disabilities, disorders, and other health issues that impact young children.
Diversity and Inclusion
Providers must take a strengths-based approach to diversity in an early care and education setting. Inclusive practice is a skill that teachers and directors must continually work to improve. Here are a few resources to help providers promote inclusion in their program.
Executive Function and Other Foundations of Learning
Learning begins the day a child is born. Use the resources below for insight about learning, including how to promote the cognitive skills that underpin a child’s ability to read, write, and calculate.
Nutrition and Physical Activity
It’s important to provide children the nourishment their bodies need to be the vessels that carry them through their earliest experiences. Establishing positive eating and exercise habits early in life sets a foundation for physical health in adolescence and adulthood.
Routines and Transitions
Routines help children understand their environment as predictable and safe. When children feel safe, they are free to play, learn, and grow as members of society.
Young children depend on adults to keep them safe from environmental dangers and physical harm. Use the links below to learn more about keeping children disease- and injury-free.
School Readiness and Kindergarten Transition
Use the resources to learn more about what it means to be “ready for school,” including how to make the transition from preschool to kindergarten easier for children, families, and teachers.
Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Skills
Social, emotional, and positive behavioral skills are the foundation of successful relationships. These skills are learned by children from adults. Adults must model appropriate behaviors and encourage children to develop positive relationship skills early in life. Use the resources below to learn more about promoting the social and emotional health of young children and the practice of positive behavioral skills.
Trauma, Abuse, and Hardship
Too many young children experience devastating circumstances in the earliest years of life. Use the resources below to learn about the lasting effect of trauma, abuse, and other hardships on child development and how to mitigate the impact of past negative experiences on children.