Family Newsletter

July 2020

Family Engagement Toolkit

The Indiana Department of Education has compiled a list of free resources, offered by state and federal agencies, private companies, and non-profit organizations to help families during this time. Explore the resources here.

Upcoming Family Webinar

Understanding Children's Behavior as Communication ~ 2pm on August 13th

Behavior is an important form of communication, from infants to adults. Sometimes, we need to step back and look at children's behavior in a different way to understand what they are trying to tell us. Join CASY's Family Engagement Specialists for the August Family Webinar, as we discuss appropriate ways children communicate through behavior. Register here.
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Early Learning Family Guides

Explore guides, developed by the Indiana Department of Education, to help families continue learning over the summer and understand how to embed these practices into their daily routines.

What to Do (and Not Do) When Children Are Anxious

How to respect feelings without empowering fears

When children are chronically anxious, even the most well-meaning parents can fall into a negative cycle and, not wanting a child to suffer, actually exacerbate the youngster’s anxiety. It happens when parents, anticipating a child’s fears, try to protect her from them. Here are pointers for helping children escape the cycle of anxiety.


Even as families try to stay home as much as possible during the coronavirus pandemic, there are times when a trip in the car with the kids is essential. To support parents and caregivers during COVID-19, Safe Kids Worldwide has teamed up with the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association to provide parents and caregivers with a suite of online and virtual resources to properly use and install car seats and to keep kids safe in and around cars. Click here for links to several important topics.

Infants plus Nature: The Perfect Equation for Joyful Learning

The first time an infant knocks a cup of milk from the table, it’s an accident. The next time, it’s clearly intentional. Will the falling cup produce the same intriguing splash on the floor (and the same exciting noise from any adult nearby)?

Science is about forming and testing hypotheses. This is what babies do all the time! They are continually experimenting and investigating, fueled by curiosity and an innate drive to figure out their world. As long as these little investigators are surrounded by interesting things they will continue to explore and learn.

The natural world, with its constantly changing colors, textures, movements, and sounds, provides a uniquely stimulating environment for young children. Take a young child outside and you can just about see the “lights go on”. So why is it that this age group is mostly kept indoors? Read more.

Creating a Supportive Environment for Toddlers

Helping Your Child Thrive in Uncertain Times

Did you ever imagine you’d have to bring your vivacious toddler to work with you, let alone attend a business meeting with her on your lap? Taking care of a young child and working an office job are not exactly the best fit. For many parents, however, this has become the daily reality during the last months.

Toddlers are simply not programmed for office life. They demand (and deserve) a lot of focused attention and care. Responding to their needs is critical in fostering healthy development and learning, but this doesn’t mean you need to constantly entertain them. With a planned environment and schedule, toddlers can be completely satisfied playing independently.

Dr. Amy Sussna Klein, an experienced early childhood consultant, offers some helpful advice to parents and caregivers. Read more.

How Reading 5 Times a Day Dramatically Boosts Vocabulary by Kindergarten

Want to set a solid foundation for your children's academic future? Read to them multiple times a day, and they’ll enter kindergarten having heard more than a million words.

A study from The Ohio State University found that young children who are read to five times daily (it’s OK if books are repeated!) will hear nearly 1.5 million words by the time they turn 5 — boosting their language development and setting a strong foundation for school success.

Read more here.

Parents Guide to Developmental Milestones

Every child is different, and so is every parent's experience; but experts have a clear idea about the range of normal development from birth to age 5 — and signs that a child might have a developmental delay. Below you'll find milestones organized by period of development, and tips on when to contact a health professional about your concerns. Remember — there is no penalty for being cautious about your growing child, and if there is a problem, acting early can make all the difference. Click here for more information.

Supporting Sensory Development

Helping Your Child to Thrive in Uncertain Times

Spinning, swinging, dancing, climbing . . . children come wired with an internal drive to move. When confined to a small space, like your home, this constant need can easily overwhelm caregivers. Before you try to restrict the activity, remember that for a child, physical activity is much more than just satisfying an urge for exercise.

Moving and exploring are a child’s way of directly engaging with the world and processing sensory input. This is vital in the healthy development of sensory integration which affects a child’s perceptions, behaviors, and learning. Children who can’t effectively regulate sensory stimulation often struggle with related challenging behaviors. Click here for strategies, from Alicia Noddings, Ph.D., that parents can employ to cultivate self-regulation and resiliency.


Introducing your baby to water can be exciting. The important thing is to actively supervise your baby in and around water and to keep your baby’s bath and play areas free from hazards. Read the top safety tips here.


Water is so much more exciting now that your little kid can splash and swim and dunk his or her head. It’s also a time when active supervision and basic childproofing is critical – no exceptions. The best part is it’s a great way to connect with your child with no distractions. Click here to read more.


Being a big kid in the water means splashing around, playing games, using fun water toys and even learning how to swim for the first time. Learn how to make your pool or spa a safe place for kids. Read more here.


Older kids get a kick out of doing cannonballs and generally having fun in the water. Help keep kids safe with these simple tips.

NAEYC: Books to Support Families with At-Home Learning

Use these popular books from NAEYC to encourage and engage young children in learning at home. Find the list here.

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