Home Iowa Act Early Information for Childcare Providers

Information for Childcare Providers

You spend your day working with, playing with, and watching children.  You are already familiar with many milestones – such as pointing at objects, smiling, and playing with others – that mark a child’s development. All children are unique, but sooner or later, you will see a child who is not developing as they should.
You are a valuable resource to a child’s primary caregiver! They look to you for information on their child, and they trust you. “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” has resources to help you educate parents on the full range of child development.

What is "Learn the Signs. Act Early." and how can it help me?

Early Care and Education Primer
This primer is a one page resource sheet that highlights the benefits of integrating "Learn the Signs. Act Early." resources within early care and education settings. The primer provides tips on using "Learn the Signs. Act Early." materials in classrooms; tips for using "Learn the Signs. Act Early." to boost family engagement; resources for discussing developmental concerns with parents; and ways to support providers’ professional development.
Primer in English[PDF - 818 KB] Primer in Spanish[PDF - 2 MB]
Child Care Development Fund Primer
This primer is helpful for Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) grantees. It highlights the different CCDF requirements that "Learn the Signs. Act Early." can help providers meet such as the CCDF health and safety training requirements, professional development requirements, and consumer and provider education provisions on family engagement. In addition, resources for discussing developmental concerns with parents and ways to support professional development are included as well. 
Primer in English[PDF - 628 KB] Primer in Spanish[PDF - 1 MB]
Teacher working with young children

Tools and Resources

“Learn the Signs. Act Early.” materials are not a substitute for standardized, validated developmental screening tools.
"Learn the Signs. Act Early." For Early Care and Education Providers"
Free Online Continuing Education Training Course
As an early care and education provider, you play a critical role in the health and wellbeing of children. You are also very well positioned to help identify children who might need extra help in their development. This FREE, online training course, Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns,helps you fulfill this role by providing tools and best practices for monitoring the development of children in your care and talking about it with their parents.
Milestones in Action  photo and video library
View a FREE library of photos and videos of children showing developmental milestones, organized by age and developmental domain.
Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!
Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! is a coordinated federal effort to encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for the families and providers who care for them.
Go Out and Play!” Kit for early childhood educators
The campaign is happy to offer a new tool to help you monitor childhood development during an activity you do everyday with your students – play! The kit also contains information about monitoring developmental milestones, suggestions for a safe and successful activity day, tips about talking to parents if you suspect a child has a developmental delay, and a special pullout section with activities to share with parents for at-home play.
See milestones that children should reach from 2 months to 5 years of age, plus interactive tools for parents and staff to help keep track of the milestones.

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Development Tip
Understanding developmental milestones can make you a better teacher!  Read about Developmentally Appropriate Practice.
For more tips, click here.
Hand Out Milestone Checklists
You can print out milestone checklists for parents or your staff to complete. This information is useful to all parents as a child begins a new school year or celebrates a birthday.
Include “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” Print Ad in Your Newsletter
We have a print ad that would be great to include in your newsletter to tell parents about the campaign.
English JPG (Zip file)
English PDF
Spanish JPG (Zip file)
Spanish PDF
Tips for Talking with Parents about Developmental Concerns
This tip sheet provides sample conversations of ways to regularly talk with parents about their child’s development and also provides tips for talking to parents when you have concerns.