Early Learning

Parent Resources

Parent/Caregiver Resources in Developmental Phase

Research has shown that supporting the healthy development of a child right from the start promotes significant educational, social, and financial benefits for children, as well as for their communities.

The OEL will provide resources that will enable all parents to identify the best early programs for their children and for districts to target professional development.


The following tipsheets were created for families, with hopes that school districts and educational centers will provide these tipsheets on a monthly basis or as needed to the families in their preschool programs. Each Tipsheet covers one area of learning, and provides strategies, activities that can be done at home, and additional resources. Districts can download the tipsheets, customize it with the district name and date, and distribute it to families.

Getting Ready for School: Healthy Bodies & Healthy Minds (.pdf)

Meeting the health and nutrition needs of your preschool child and establishing regular routines is important for your child’s success in school. The Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds tip sheet provides families with strategies for starting the school year.

Getting Ready for School: Play (.pdf)

Play is an important part of your child’s development. Play helps build children’s brains and bodies, and they learn about everyday life. Participating in your child’s play helps build strong bonds between you and your child. It’s fun to play together!

Getting Ready for School: Talking with Your Child (.docx)

Good communication skills are important for your child to be able to express what she or he needs, wants, thinks and feels. Talking with your child in any language helps your child develop good speaking, listening, and early literacy skills. It also strengthens your parent-child relationship.

Getting Ready for School: Reading with Your Child (.docx)

Reading books aloud with children in any language can introduce them to new information, expand their imaginations, and build their vocabulary. When your child sits with you and listens to a book you are sharing, you also are strengthening your parent-child relationship.

Getting Ready for School: Math (.pdf)

There are many opportunities for children to learn about math in their everyday routines at home. At home, children can practice counting objects, identifying shapes, make patterns, and sorting objects.

Getting Ready for School: Science (.docx)

Young children are natural born scientists! They are curious. When they play, they observe, experiment, ask questions and try to figure out how things work. Observing, experimenting, asking questions, and trying to figure things out are all key skills for school and life. You can support your little scientist!

Getting Ready for School: The Outdoors (.pdf)

Children need time outdoors each day to develop a variety of skills. Weather permitting, find a safe space outdoors that allows children to run, jump, skip, and explore nature. Outdoors, children can move in ways that use their whole body, such as rolling, without the confines of walls that indoor play spaces have. While outdoors, children learn through their senses and movement. Their senses are naturally stimulated through the ever-changing sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of the world.

Getting Ready for School: Helping Your Child Learn About Feelings (.pdf)

Young children need to learn how to identify and use language to express their feelings, how to calm themselves down when feeling strong emotions, and how to recognize what others are feeling. Children who learn these social and emotional skills will be more successful in school and life.

Getting Ready for School: Smooth and Successful Transitions (.pdf)

Transitioning from one early childhood setting to another or starting school in a formal setting for the first time can be overwhelming for both children and adults. Meeting new people, adjusting to a new routine and classroom environment can make children excited, anxious, or nervous. Whether your child is transitioning into a prekindergarten program or to kindergarten, it is important to talk with them and prepare them and yourself for the new experience. Having a plan and being prepared before the first day of school can help lessen the anxiety and pressure around the first day of school.

Getting Ready for School: Writing With Your Child Everyday (.pdf)

Writing is one of the most complex skills children will develop! Learning to write requires children developing knowledge about print, the alphabet, and how sounds are represented by letters. It also requires fine motor skills to hold a pencil and to control how it moves. Writing is a very complex skill, but you can support your child to become a writer!


Just for Parents

  • www.cdc.gov/parents/ External Link  The Center for Disease Control provides parents with information and resources about pregnancy, infants, and young children.  It includes videos, phone applications, and developmental milestone information tailored to parents of early learners.  This is a great website to support a healthy start!

    The ALLIANCE National Parent Technical Assistance Center (NPTAC) provides Parent Centersexternal link icon, Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), with innovative technical assistance, up-to-date information, and high quality resources and materials.  A major goal of the ALLIANCE National PTAC is to build the capacity of Parent Centers in order to improve results for children with disabilities ages 0 -26 in rural, urban and suburban areas and from underrepresented and underserved populations.

  • www.parentnetworkwny.orgexternal link icon

The Parent Network of Western NY is a community resource for families of individuals with special needs and for professionals who work with these families. Parent Network’s goal is to empower families to successfully advocate for their children with special needs and to see that they receive proper care and education by offering seminars, workshops, conferences, information and referral services and resources. Parent Network is designated as a Technical Assistance Parent Center by NYS Education Department and receives funding from several sources.  Parent Network's staff specializes in empowering parents to communicate effectively with professionals and to successfully advocate for their children. Parent Network also works with professionals by providing continuing education opportunities, resources and referral services. All of these services are free of charge for families, professionals and service providers of individuals with disabilities.

Resources for Children with Special Needs (RCSN) is New York City's only independent nonprofit organization that works for families and children with all special needs, across all boroughs, to understand, navigate, and access the services needed to ensure that all children have the opportunity to develop their full potential.  It provides various parent-centered trainings in English and Spanish.

Educational Child Based Web Resources

  • DaybyDayNY external link icon
    DaybyDayNY is a website geared towards families with young children and childcare providers that was set up by "Ready to Read at New York Libraries," an early literacy program for libraries throughout NYS. DaybyDayNY is a virtual calendar with content that changes every day. This unique setup gives families with young children numerous daily activities and a story to read together. The story, provided each day by One More Story, is in the form of an eBook that includes original music and sound effects, produced by former Sesame Street Music Director, Robby Merkin. In addition, the website includes monthly activities, storytelling and nursery rhyme videos, rhymes for young children, craft activities for children and their caregivers, a link to "Find Your Public Library," a New York State map of museums with activities for young families, health information, and reading lists. The website is designed to help parents and caregivers increase their young child's cognitive skills and have fun together at the same time.
  • Kids.gov external link icon
    Kids.gov is the official kids portal for the United States Government. It provides many links to educational sites where students can play educational games and engage in activities connected to the arts, math, and the sciences. See Professional Development page for more links to parent friendly sites.
  • OLogy external link icon
    OLogy is a site through the American Museum of Natural History that makes science fun with resources and activities to encourage your child’s curiosity.
  • New Philharmonic Kidzone external link icon
    The New Philharmonic Kidzone is the NY Philharmonic official kid’s website. Its activities encourage creativity and interaction with music.
  • Smithsonian Education: Families external link icon
    Smithsonian Education: Families provide activities, games and educational opportunities for children.
  • Kids - National Park Service external link icon
    The KidsZone provides opportunities for kids to link with the National Park System and become Junior web rangers while learning about the US park system and science around it.
Last Updated: October 26, 2020e -->