The first five years
“What happens in the first five years of life absolutely determines a child’s trajectory…school readiness, reading in third grade, graduation from high school, going to college, getting a job after college. They are determined by the quality of the child’s experiences during the first five years,” says L. Carol Scott, PhD.
Supports below include the Early Learning + Development Guidelines video library, early intervention services, social-emotional health resources, behavioral supports, followed by health and general resources
early Learning + Development Guidelines
The Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines (ELDG) describe the path of children’s learning and development from birth to eight years old. They’re designed so that everyone who cares for young children can play an important part in giving Colorado’s kids a healthy start. They are a helpful resource whether you’re a first-time parent or caregiver — or an experienced professional. The Guidelines describe kids’ abilities at certain ages and offer tips for how adults can help develop and support those abilities. For more information, visit earlylearningco.org. To view their website in Spanish, visit earlylearningco.org/casa.
Early intervention + Early Childhood Services
Are you concerned about the way your child speaks, plays, or interacts with others? No-cost evaluations are also available by connecting with The Resource Exchange (birth–three) or Child Find (ages 3–5).
The Resource Exchange provides developmental supports and services to children birth through three years of age, who have special developmental needs. It can help improve a child’s ability to develop and learn. It can also help parents and family members learn ways to support and promote a child’s development, within the family’s activities and community life.
TRE Early Childhood Services: 719.577.9190
Supports are provided and are based on your child’s school district. Click below for a full list of Child Find numbers.
social-emotional + behavior
EArly childhood mental health consultation
- Are you struggling to meet the social-emotional or behavioral needs of a child birth to eight years of age?
- Would you like help creating a plan to decrease behavioral challenges and promote success at home or in the classroom?
- Is a child in your care at risk of being removed from a child care setting due to behavioral issues?
The Resource Exchange can help you determine whether Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) Consultation is a good fit. Services Include:
- Teacher consulting and skill building for behavior guidance strategies
- Supporting partnerships between families and early childhood programs to support children with behavior challenges
- Assistance navigating community resources
Services are provided on-site at NO-COST. ECMH Consultants DO NOT provide diagnosis or evaluation. Programming provided in partnership with The Resource Exchange (see below).
ECMH Referral Line: 719.577.9091
MORE social-Emotional RESOURCES
Supporting your child’s social-emotional health is not just for times of crisis. Here are resources for any time you need help.
- Social & Emotional Foundations for Early Learning
- A Parent’s Resource Guide to Social and Emotional Learning
For details on all of the protective factors, click HERE
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has become the nation’s voice on mental illness. Click here to learn more about their resources and supports for families. These include events, support groups, classes, and more.
health + General resources
The resources below cover a wide range of supports available, including pediatric care, ways to strengthen families, dental care, nutrition, and a flu guide.
Pediatric care is vital to your child’s overall health. Children’s Hospital has active services in order to provide safe, thoughtful, high-quality care for children who need it. We are sharing information from the Children’s Hospital website and invite you to visit their site to learn more.
Learn what to expect – and all the ways Children’s Hospital is keeping patients safe. These measures include increased screening measures for all team members and visitors, testing patients and symptomatic caregivers, increased availability of telehealth appointments, and limiting the number of people at locations.
For ongoing updates, a list of open locations and how to get care virtually or in person, please see Children’s Hospital’s coronavirus resources for parents and resources for healthcare professionals.
Every family has strengths, and every family faces challenges. When you are under stress—the car breaks down, you or your partner lose a job, a child’s behavior is difficult, or even when the family is experiencing a positive change, such as moving into a new home—sometimes it takes a little extra help to get through the day. The tip sheets below are designed for parents and are based on information from organizations working to promote well-being.
Improving Safe Sleep Conversations: Strategies for Helping Families Adopt Safe Sleep Habits (Webinar Recording)
Stacy Scott, PhD, MPA, founder of the Global Infant Safe Sleep Center, leads a series of role playing exercises where she demonstrates tactics to engage families from different backgrounds in meaningful conversations about safe sleep. These actionable skills will benefit all health professionals, human service providers, community health workers, home visitors, peer supporters and family members working to improve infant health outcomes. Speakers include Stacy Scott, PhD, MPA • Jennifer Ustianov, MS, BSN, RN, IBCLC. Listen to the recording and access other resources on the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ)’s website.
Health First Colorado is Colorado’s Medicaid program. It provides dental benefits to enrolled children age 20 and under. Children enrolled in the full state plan have a wide range of benefits with no co-pays or out of pocket expenses. To receive the best dental care possible, it is important you find a dental home for your child. A dental home is a dentist or dental hygienist your child sees on a regular basis for dental care. If your child should have a dental emergency, call your dental home provider first.
Need more information or would like help finding a dental provider?
Call DentaQuest at 1-855-225-1729 (TTY: 711)
or visit DentaQuest.com/Colorado
For details in English, click HERE.
For details in Spanish, click HERE.
FreeDentalCare is a website that links you to local resources for free and low-cost dental providers.
Check out these colorful and engaging newsletters from the USDA, made for parents of young children. These newsletters can be shared to communicate information about popular nutrition topics. There are 12 newsletters available in both English and Spanish. Visit the USDA website or access them individually below:
- Child Care: What Will My Child Eat [English] [Spanish]
- Colorful Fruits [English] [Spanish]
- Encouraging Vegetables [English] [Spanish]
- Growing Strong with Milk [English] [Spanish]
- Healthy Celebrations, Lasting Memories [English] [Spanish]
- Healthy Meals with MyPlate [English] [Spanish]
- Healthy Snacks with Smiles [English] [Spanish]
- Portions for Preschoolers [English] [Spanish]
- Tips for a “Choosy” Eater [English] [Spanish]
- Vary Your Protein Foods [English] [Spanish]
- Water: It’s a Great Choice [English] [Spanish]
- Whole Grains Make a Difference [English] [Spanish]