Provides early childhood resources that include the President’s early learning agenda, the monthly newsletter from the Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning, and the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge.
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Increasing Public Awareness of Child Well-Being
Project LAUNCH grantees aim to increase awareness of the importance of healthy child development for children ages birth to 8. In particular, grantees increase awareness about social–emotional development and the skills children acquire in early childhood that help them communicate their feelings, form relationships (attachments), and regulate their behavior and emotions.
In the past, public awareness campaigns have been successful in changing health and safety practices, such as the use of child safety seats, “back to sleep” campaigns, and the value of preschool experiences in school readiness. However, the general public is much less informed about how social and emotional skills developed in the very early years of life provide children with a solid foundation for all learning, health, and success later in life.
Project LAUNCH grantees have used many approaches to increase public awareness about child well-being. From promoting Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day to using current events to promote community resources, grantees have built awareness and support for programs and strategies that encourage child health, particularly children’s social and emotional development. For example, New Mexico Project LAUNCH funded the development of a series of videos to help parents understand the social–emotional development of infants and toddlers; these videos were widely distributed and shown in venues such as health clinic waiting rooms. Grantees also have engaged policymakers and encouraged them to support programs and initiatives that contribute to children’s social-emotional development and their physical and emotional well-being. For example, the Wisconsin Project LAUNCH State Council identified the development of a child psychiatry consultation line, accessible to primary care clinicians working with children, as a priority area for Project LAUNCH. A steering committee was convened to identify strategic opportunities to develop the consultation line. Activities have included information sharing, developing workgroups to advance efforts, drafting a strategic plan, and working with outside partners to share information about the line with the legislature.
Discusses the science of early childhood development, the impact of early adversity on children’s development, and the effectiveness of early childhood programs, among other topics. The Center on the Developing Child produces a range of tools, resources, and videos related to children’s well-being, including briefs that summarize findings from the latest scientific publications and presentations for the public.
Provides templates, a planning checklist, and other tools to prepare for National Children’s Awareness Day, a yearly event that raises awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and emphasizes positive mental health as essential to a child’s healthy development from birth.
Reports on research conducted by the FrameWorks Institute from 2008 to 2010 on how Americans think about children’s mental health. It provides advocates and experts with a communications map for improving public understanding of children’s mental health and the value of solutions that scientists and policy leaders seek to advance.
Offers a map of developmental milestones across several areas, including physical, social, and emotional development as well as thinking and communication skills. Physical development is often tracked and given more attention than social and emotional development, but all these areas overlap, as development in one area is reinforced and enhanced by growth in others.
Safe Schools / Healthy Students
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