March 2023
Fun activities, aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards, to help prepare children for school success!
We're learning while in the bedroom!
As you dress your baby, tell them about what you're doing as you're doing it. Tell them, "The shirt goes over the head, one arm in, another arm in, and then cover the belly!" Read more. 

Let your toddler pick out their clothes. If it's not possible to pick out their entire outfit, let them choose one item, like socks or shirt. Ask them to identify where different items of clothing belong on their body. Don't forget things like mittens, scarves, and shoes. Read more.

Do a nighttime countdown. Before turning out the light for the night, help your preschooler count the number of same or similar items in the bedroom, like two doors, one window, six dresser drawers, etc. Together find pairs of items, then sets of three, etc. Encouraging your preschooler to sing or sign songs like '1, 2 buckle my shoe', sign finger plays, and play counting games together. Read more.  

Have your kindergartner tell you where items of clothing are worn and help them figure out what the purpose is of each item. Ask why we wear boots while in the snow, for example. Don't forget items like aprons, belts and mittens! If your kindergartner is having difficulty with this, playing with paper dolls or cut out pictures from magazines provide an opportunity to practice dressing. Read more. 
9 Bedtime Books
In My Bedroom  by Carol Thompson
The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room  by Stan and Jan Berenstain
There's a Barnyard in my Bedroom  by David Suzuki
Good Night, Gorilla  by Petty Rathmann
Mr. Messy  by Roger Hargreaves
I Love You, Stinky Face  by Lisa Mccourt
June B. Jones Has a Monster Under her Bed  by Barbara Park
What You Never Knew About Beds, Bedrooms & Pajamas  by Patricia Lauber
Who Will Tuck Me In Tonight?  by Carol Roth

Language Development and Young Children
A delay in language development can impact the way a child learns, not only while young, but as they get older.

Every family—regardless of income, education level or their spoken language—can help their child develop the language needed to learn and be successful in school. There are many ways parents, families and caregivers can help children develop language skills and set them on a path to learning. Read more and access resources to support your child's language development.
First Step: Kindergarten Registration!
What's the first step for Kindergarten? Registration! Although each school district has their own process for Kindergarten Registration, typically families will need to bring specific documents to register their child. This may include:

  • The child's birth certificate
  • Proof of residency (like a utility bill or copy of a lease)
  • Vaccination records (the PA Dept. of Health shares which ones your child needs)
  • Any forms required by the school district, like an application or emergency contact list.
  • There may be other documents needed, so check with your school district. 

Some schools set aside specific dates to register for Kindergarten. Others may provide special events, like summer orientation for their incoming students. Find your school's contact info and check for specific registration dates.

You can start now to help your preschool prepare for kindergarten. Sign up to get the Kindergarten, Here I Come eNews and check out these books families recommend about starting school.
Sleepy Time, Bed Time: Ways to help your child sleep
What do sleepy babies, tired toddlers, yawning preschoolers, and cranky kindergartners have in common? They might not want to go to sleep at bedtime! Having a bedtime routine or activities you do every night, can help your child go to sleep with little fuss.  

Click here to get tips for a bedtime routine that can work for your child.
Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides eligible low-income households a subsidy of up to $30 per month on internet service plans offered by participating internet service providers. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. 

Households with income at or below 200% of the poverty level are eligible for the subsidy—about 30 million households, or one in four of all households in the US. However, households are also automatically eligible for the ACP—without the need to prove their income—if at least one member of the household is receiving benefits from certain government assistance programs. See if you quality and get more information.
Brain-Building Through Play: Activities for Infants, Toddlers and Children
Are you ready to try a few new imaginative play ideas and fun activities with your child? Check out the latest set of resources from the Center on the Developing Child: Brain-Building Through Play: Activities for Infants, Toddlers and Children, developed with support from the LEGO Foundation.

This series includes a host of age-appropriate activities that are easy to do at home, inside or out! 
April 3, 2023: Give Kids a Smile, Philadelphia
Give Kids a Smile is hosting a special event for all children 16 years and younger in the Philadelphia area on April 3, 2023, from 9am-3pm at 3223 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19140. (Dental Clinic at North Broad and Allegheny) Dental Care includes cleanings and exams plus fun activities and more. Pre-registration is required by calling 215-707-2863.
Kids Smiles Oral Health Toolkit
The Kids Smiles Oral Health Toolkit is an inclusive digital resource for children, adults, families, educators, and others to learn about the importance of dental health and how to maintain a healthy smile for life. Using videos, animations, infographics, downloadable lesson plans, and more, the Toolkit offers an interactive learning experience for all ages. Explore the Kids Smiles Oral Health Toolkit, interact with the videos, animations, and activities, and share it with others. 
MyPlate Food Quizzes
Eating healthy foods is part of helping your child grow. How knowledgeable are you about fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy? The U.S. Department of Agriculture has five short online quizzes to test how much you know. Click here to take one or all of the quizzes!
Financial Help with Your Child's Medical Expenses
The United Healthcare Children's Foundation can help provide financial help/assistance for families with children that have medical needs not covered or not fully covered by their commercial health insurance plan. 

Qualifying families may receive funds to help pay for medical treatment, services or equipment such as surgeries, counseling, prescription medications, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses, hearing aids and physical, occupational and speech therapies.  Click here to learn more. 
Bedroom Safety for Children of All Ages
A child's bedroom can be a multi-purpose room, used for sleeping, quiet time, or play. The bedroom should also be a safe place for your child. Take time to ensure that your child's safety won't stop at the bedroom door.  

Keeping Your Child Healthy
Did you know there are vaccine-preventable diseases you can protect your young child? You may have almost forgotten about diseases like Diphtheria, Chickenpox, Mumps, Whooping Cough (Pertussis) and others because of vaccines. It's still important for your child to have vaccines though! While these diseases are preventable, they can still exist and infect those who are not vaccinated. Vaccines can help keep your child healthy, and vaccines may be required for your child to attend school or an early learning program. Find out which vaccines your child should receive and when.

For children without insurance, PA CHIP may be able to help. CHIP is short for the Children's Health Insurance Program, Pennsylvania's program to provide health insurance to uninsured children who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance. Regardless of the reasons your children might not have health insurance, PA CHIP may be able to help you. Learn more about PA CHIP.
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The PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) provides families access to high quality services to prepare children for school and life success. 
Find more information about Quality Early Learning in Pennsylvania
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