As a parent, we know you are your child's first teacher. We also know that all parents have questions and are in need of support from time to time. The consortium offers parents education programs through your child's center. We have also put together this list of high quality resources to connect you with information about promoting your child's positive development, child care, and events and services in the Metro Detroit area. Click on the links below for information.
5-a-Day Parenting Program
For parents of all young children-- even the really busy ones
5-a-day Parenting is a program made to encourage parents of young children to do five activities a day that will help children do well once they start school. These activities include reading, playing, sharing meals, showing affection, and regulating your child's bed time.
For more information, visit www.5adayparenting.org
Promoting Positive Development
Growth and Development
Development of Infants and Young Children:
Children are individuals who develop at their own pace. Most parents are interested in what most children are doing at different ages. This knowledge is especially important for early identification of any challenges that may need the attention of professionals. Check out these age by age guides:
Supporting Child Development Through Play:
Playing and learning go hand in hand. Not only will your child learn from playing with their friends, they will also learn from playing with you, their parent. By playing with you, children can learn how to read and write, how to be curious about the world, and many more exciting things. To learn more about what kind of play is most beneficial for your child, check out this article: How to Support Children's Approaches to Learning.
Supporting Child Development Through Talking:
Having a large vocabulary is very important for a child's reading and school success. Families can foster children's vocabulary through conversations, reading aloud, and even singing. The following article has vocabulary-building ideas to try at home: Talk it Up!
Supporting Child Development Through Reading:
Reading to your child in their early years is important for brain development and literacy, and has lasting positive effects through your child's life. The 1000 Books Foundation pairs up with local libraries to encourage parents to read 1000 books to their toddlers before Kindergarten. Most libraries have a reward system in place for every milestone reached! Click here to find a library partner near you.
Complete a free screening:
Help Me Grow allows Metro Detroit Parents to complete a free questionnaire to learn about their child's growth and development.
"School readiness" refers to skills that help young children when they start Kindergarten. Research have identified several skill areas that help children do well. These include:
Having a strong vocabulary
An early understanding of letters and numbers
Being able to sit and listen
Cooperation with adults
Being able to stay calm when frustrated
Children develop at their own pace. All children have some school readiness areas they excel in, and others that are a struggle.
Looking to promote school readiness?
There are small steps you can take
everyday to help your child with School Readiness skills!
Check out the 5-a-Day Parenting program
to learn about the things you can do each day to help
your child with School Readiness skills.
Or, check out the Early Learning Community where you
can take classes, join play and learn groups, and use
lending libraries to help build daily reading habits with your
Click here for locations.
NAEYC has information for parents about the transition to Kindergarten.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has a webpage for parents devoted to the transition to Kindergarten, including videos and activities.
MiAEYC provides educational information on children ages birth to 8.
Interested in what research suggests promotes intelligence?
Check out this article, written with input from a Wayne state professor of Pediatrics and Child Development.
Looking for information about transitioning to Kindergarten?
Social & Emotional Development
Looking to better understand young children's social and emotional development?
From birth to age 5, your child will grow leaps and bounds in his/her ability to control strong emotions, show empathy towards others, form friendships, and recognize emotions. We call these things "social and emotional" development. Below are links to high quality information that can help you understand and promote your children's social and emotional development.
Zero to Three has information about promoting social and emotional development.
PBS lists typical changes in social and emotional development from birth-5.
The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Learning at Vanderbilt University provides research-informed strategies, including dealing with challenges, like biting.
Here is also a list of books you may enjoy reading:
There are many opinions and beliefs about what parents should do in response to children's challenging behavior. All children are different, and what works for one family may not work for yours. If you are looking for recommendations on how to respond to children's challenging behavior, the CDC Parenting Essentials website offers suggestions (including videos) of approaches that are supported by research.
Helping children with challenging behavior:
Promoting Your Child's Health
The resources below can help you protect and promote your child's health by increasing your knowledge of children's health issues, providing assistance on partnering with health care providers, and linking you to helpful organizations and tools:
Bright Futures connects you to resources relating to child health care. It also includes a Well-Visit planner, which creates a personalized visit guide for parents or guardians of children ages 4 months to 3 years old who are scheduled to have a well-child visit.
text4baby promotes maternal and child health through text messaging. Parents receive 3 free weekly text messages that are times to their due date, through pregnancy, and until the baby's first birthday.
Struggling to get your child to enjoy healthy foods?
Balanced meals are important! Getting plenty of fruits and veggies are important for growing bodies. There are many tips and tricks to help your child lead a healthy lifestyle. One website that offers ideas on how to make good food choices more attractive to everyone is PBS parenting food and fitness. Ideas range from making healthy snacks available and being a healthy role model!
Looking for information about accessing healthy foods? Check out the local resources below.
Physical Activities for Children:
Physical activity goes hand in hand with healthy eating. Children have a lot of energy, and Detroit has a lot to offer when it comes to activities to get your child moving!
Looking for Dental Care?
The website My Children's Teeth is run by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentist. The website lets you search for local Pediatric Dentists and also has resources about good oral care for children.
Family Medical Care:
Family Medical Center of Michigan offers a variety of services (including dental!) to those with and without insurance, and of all ages. There are many convenient locations listed on their website, as well as the company's values and available services.
Learn more about a well-balanced meal here!
Positive Parenting Tips
Parenting is a process that prepares your child for independence. As your child grows and develops, there are many things you can do to help them. This website will help you learn more about your child's development, positive parenting, safety, and health at each stage of your child's life:
Child Care Resources
Getting Your Child Started
Looking for a Program:
The NAEYC ensures the quality of children's daily experiences in early childhood programs and promotes positive childhood outcomes. They provide guides for how to pick the right early childhood center for your child. They combine integrated curriculum explanations, developmental stages, and teacher-family relationships all in to one to help you make an educated decision:
Michigan has a program to help connect families with high quality child care program called Great Start to Quality. A search feature allows parents to find lists of specific kinds of program in their area.
Southwest Solutions offers head start programs in many locations for varying ages. You can choose full or half days for your child, and there is a program for everyone from birth to age five. Check out their flyer for more information on the programs and for contact information.
Dealing with Challenges
Biting is a very common challenge in infant and early childhood programs. Your child's teacher will likely have ideas about how he/she has responded to biting before. Also check out the ideas form the resources:
"Understanding and Responding to Children Who Bite," From NAEYC
Metro Detroit Parent Resources
Calendar of Family Events
This calendar includes daily events you can do with your children in the Metro Detroit area! These activities range from plays, zoos, game nights, and more. The calendar is updated monthly with new activities and ideas, so you and your child will always have something to do.
The Great Start Collaborative web page includes a calendar with local events hosted by Great Start Wayne for parents and professionals. They also have a community calendar with family fun and support events in Wayne County.
Top Tips to Find Kids Summer Programming in Detroit!
Are you tired of watching your kid fritter away three months of the year every summer? Luckily there are plenty of engaging summertime programs in metro Detroit that'll stop the dreaded summer slide. This article from United Way for Southeastern Michigan originally published in Metro Parent Magazine provides information several summertime programs:
Learn about the stars! The Wayne State University planetarium has a public show most Friday evenings.
Metro Detroit Museums! Check out this list of local Museums.
Leaps and Bounds Activities! Leaps and Bounds Family Services has a schedule of all of their August events for families!
The United Way can help whether you are looking for medical help, foreclosure prevention programs, shelter or utility assistance, help with food or clothing, or any other challenge facing your family. A call to Michigan 2-1-1 may provide the answers you are looking for. They serve Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Monroe and Lapeer counties.
You may qualify for programs that help you and your family have access to healthy food:
Women, Infants and Children (WIC): Is for qualifying pregnant women and families with with children ages 0-5. WIC provides food boxes, referrals, and nutrition counseling.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): For qualifying families, SNAP issues a "Bridge Card" that allows for food purchases at participating stores.
The Metro Detroit Diaper Bank provides diapers to families in need of infant, toddler, or senior diapers.
Diapers for the D also provides diapers to Detroit babies and toddlers in need.
There are several agencies in the Detroit community that offer assessments and treatment for behavioral health and mental health challenges.
The Children's Center provides many behavioral and mental health services to children, among other helpful resources to families.
The Guidance Center provides support and mental health services to adults, children, and families. They also have an after-hours crisis hotline.
The Wayne State Psychology Clinic provides quality, affordable mental health services, especially psychological assessment and therapy.
Connecting to Other Families
Connecting with Other Metro Detroit Families
Meeting other people with kids can be hard! There are groups in Metro Detroit that help families connect:
The Detroit Parent Network brings together parents and primary guardians of children age 4-17 who are interested in getting more involved in education and learning more about effective parenting. They offer workshops, support groups, written materials, and leadership development.
MOPS groups are comprised of mothers of young children from birth to Kindergarten. MOPS groups meet to support each other and help each other navigate the unique challenges that face mothers of preschoolers. There are currently at least 20 active groups in Metro Detroit.
Parent- to- Parent Online Communication
Keeping up to date on the constantly changing information, facts, research, and studies about children can be hard to do. Here are a list of parenting blogs that crunch all of the information together and present it to busy parents:
Bundoo.com is a physician-driven resource for expecting parents and new parents of children from 0-4. Their content is evidence based, and everything is either written or reviewed by doctors.
PBS Parents is a website containing resources and expert advice about raising healthy children, encouraging literacy, and family-friendly activities.
The JustMommies blog is an area where moms can talk to each other about various child-related topics.
Empowering Parents is a place to read blog posts from experts and from a team of dedicated parent bloggers who write about their own experiences raising their children. Comment, ask questions, and share advice!