Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families Early Experiences Matter

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From Baby to Big Kid

An e-newsletter that showcases how children learn and grow each month from birth to 3 years. From Baby to Big Kid translates the science of early childhood and offers strategies parents can tailor to their unique family situation and to the needs of their child.
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Early Language & Literacy

Many people believe that children learn to read and write in kindergarten or first grade. But developing literacy skills begins at birth through everyday loving interactions—sharing books, telling stories, singing songs, talking to one another, or pointing out and naming objects. Even painting, drawing or picking up things serve a purpose. These activities help develop hand muscles and coordination—skills necessary for learning how to write.

Adults—parents, grandparents and teachers—play a powerful role in preparing young children for future school success and in becoming self-confident and motivated learners.


What's New

Getting Ready to Read
Developing the skills necessary to read and write actually starts in your child’s earliest months of life. Take a look at this new ZERO TO THREE booklet which offers ideas for nurturing these skills in your everyday interactions with your young child. The information is presented in easy-to-reference tables, organized by age from birth to 5 years.

Dual Language Development: Double the Benefit
Many young children today are regularly exposed to two—or more—languages.  Read about how children learn multiple languages at the same time and how you can support your baby or toddler in the process.


A Scribble or a Masterpiece?  Your Toddler’s Developing Writing and Art Skills
For toddlers, writing and art are the same thing.  Learn how scribbles turn into shapes and patterns, which later on become letters and pictures.  Creativity is tied closely to both the development of fine motor (finger and hand) skills and the growth of thinking skills.  Watch how your child handles markers and crayons over time—you'll see him developing new abilities and grasping new ideas.  You'll also get to see his imagination take flight.  


School Readiness Interactive
Visit our resource—a web-based, interactive learning tool designed to help parents and caregivers support their young children’s early learning.  You'll find age-based information on how children develop the four key skills—language and literacy skills, thinking skills, self-confidence and self-control—that are critical to later school success.  To access the portion of our site, register or log-in now. 


Everyday Ways to Support Your Baby or Toddler's Early Learning
Download this handout (in both English and Spanish) to learn more about how you can support your child's development—and have fun together—in the everyday moments you share.  [682 KB Icon_pdf  ] 


Cradling Literacy: Building Teachers’ Skills to Nurture Early Language and Literacy from Birth to Five
Provides instructional materials for early childhood instructors and trainers for building teachers’ knowledge and skills in nurturing early language and literacy in young children birth to five years. 
Learn more about attending the upcoming training. See Upcoming Trainings.


Most Popular Resources

Beginnings of Literacy
article that explains how early literacy skills emerge in the context of imaginative play and loving relationships.  

What We Know About Early Literacy and Language Development
Provides information on how early language and literacy skills unfold across the first three years of life. 
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Bridges to Literacy: Early Routines That Promote Later School Success
Zero to Three Journal article that explains various mechanisms involved in children’s development of early literacy skills.  Includes suggestions for parents.
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The Emergence of Storytelling During the First Three Years
article which explores the powerful role played by stories and storytelling in early learning and development.

Tips on Helping Your Child Learn to Communicate
Offers suggestions to parents on supporting children’s language and communication skills.

Tips on Helping Your Child Learn to Talk
Provides a brief introduction to language development with age-appropriate language-building suggestions for children aged birth to three.

Tips for Choosing Books for Babies and Toddlers
Offers some general suggestions on the types of books that appeal to children aged birth to five.

Tips for Sharing Books with Babies and Toddlers
Provides ideas for making reading a fun and nurturing experience for children.

A Book Is a Child's Companion
essay which explores the magical way in which sharing books ignites a love of reading in infants and toddlers.

Getting Ready for School Begins at Birth 
Discusses strategies for using everyday moments and routines to help children develop early literacy and other school readiness skills.     To download this resource, register or log-in now.

 
Getting in Tune:  The Powerful Influence of Music on Young Children’s Development
Learn more about how music can be the spark that ignites all areas of your young child’s development—intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language and overall literacy.    To download this resource, register or log-in now.


Healthy Minds:  Nurturing Your Child’s Healthy Development
Outlines ways to support children's learning and development from birth.  Offers access to a series of age-based handouts that link research on child and brain development to the important ways babies and toddlers grow and develop in the first three years.


FAQ header

Back to Babytalk
My 2 1/2-year-old daughter has reverted to baby talk ever since our son was born.  What's going on? 

What's Your Sign
All my friends are teaching their babies sign language. Will this benefit my daughter?

Running and Reading
My 18-month-old is too busy running around to sit down and hear a story.  Will this affect his literacy skills?

Nixing Namecalling
I have a 10-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter who copies everything her brother does, including using words like "butt" and "shut up."  How do I teach her (and him) not to use these hurtful and rude words?



For Professionals

Creating Environments That Enhance Emergent Literacy
Examines how to create nurturing, engaging environments that support early language and literacy development in infants and toddlers.  Excerpt from by Betty Bardige and Marilyn Segal (2005) and published by the Zero to Three Press.  To learn more or order the book, visit the ZERO TO THREE eSTORE
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The Importance of Early Language and Literacy
Provides an overview of the importance of early language and literacy to future school success.

Beginnings of Literacy
Zero to Three Journal article that explains how early literacy skills emerge in the context of imaginative play and loving relationships.  

Why Begin with Infants?
Provides information on how the foundation for future learning begins at birth (and in many ways before birth).

What We Know About Early Literacy and Language Development
Provides information on how early language and literacy skills unfold across the first three years of life. 
[375 KB Icon_pdf  ]

Encouraging Literacy in Your Infant-Toddler Program
Provides tips to leaders and staff of infant-toddler programs on nurturing the development of early literacy and family literacy skills among the infants, toddlers and families they serve.

The Emergence of Storytelling During the First Three Years
article which explores the powerful role played by stories and storytelling in early learning and development.

A Book Is a Child's Companion
essay which explores the magical way in which sharing books ignites a love of reading in infants and toddlers.

Songs, Rhymes and Fingerplays in Spanish and English
Get fun songs, rhymes, and fingerplays for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and parent-child play groups.
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Copyright 2012 ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families
1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20037 | Phone: (202) 638-1144 | Fax: (202) 638-0851

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