The Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Early Childhood has partnered with local celebrity presenters Stephen Brackett of the Flobots and radio personality Issa Lopez to release new resources for parents designed to support children’s learning and development during the critical early years.
In the first few years of a child’s life, more than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second, building the brain’s architecture and creating a foundation that affects all future learning, behavior, and health. Decades of research show that when young children have positive experiences and caring and consistent relationships with adult caregivers, they build a strong foundation for lifelong learning, health, and well-being.
That’s why the state has created this new series of fun and engaging online videos in English and Spanish to educate parents and other caregivers about child development and offer practical tips they can use to support children’s learning.
By offering information, activities, and ideas that families and professional caregivers can easily incorporate into their everyday routines, the videos seek to empower adults with the understanding that they already have all the skills they need to help their children grow up healthy and happy.
“Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher. Every interaction we have with children teaches them something about the world, and the Early Learning and Development Guidelines videos can make parents feel more confident in their role,” said Jeff Kuhr, executive director of Mesa County Public Health and member of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission.
“Supporting healthy development starts by simply getting involved – building strong, supportive relationships that help children feel safe so they can learn and explore the world around them. We all have a role to play.” Kuhr said.
The videos – available at EarlyLearningCO.org – are categorized by a child’s age and are based on the Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines, which align with the science of how best to support children in the early years.
“This video series honors parents by recognizing the challenges they face and showing them that they are not alone and also that they have abilities and gut feelings that they can trust,” said Stephen Brackett. “Where parents’ confidence might be lacking, the videos provide tools and model actions for problem-solving and finding community and finding support.”
The Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines were published in 2013 under the leadership of the Colorado Early Childhood Commission. The Early Learning and Development Guidelines Advisory Board consisted of a wide variety of stakeholders, including representatives from the Colorado Lieutenant Governor’s Office, Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Early Childhood Leadership Commission, Colorado Head Start Association, Region VIII, local child care providers, higher education, early learning professionals, and others.