As a parent, you are your child's first 
and most important teacher!

Ready ... Set ... Grow!
MAY 2020

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The First 5 Amador office is currently CLOSED, and staff are working hard from home.
If you need assistance, you may contact us at
 OR through our Facebook messenger. Please feel free to contact us at any time... we are here for you! For frequent and timely updates from us, please be sure that you have "liked" our Facebook page,  HERE... and check back often!

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, May 13 and May 21
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Click on flyer above for information on how to register.
* (Can also be counted towards professional development hours, for Amador Quality for Kids)

Dad & Me ~ Let's Build Book-ends! --  Activity Kits Curbside Pick Up
Saturday, May 23
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
975 Broadway, Jackson
Supplies are limited, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. One kit per child, aged 0-5.  For the safety of everyone, please adhere to local directives and maintain a 6-foot physical distance while picking up, and do not pick up if you are feeling ill. 

Program Updates

Summer Kindergarten Bridge Program
Details to be announced.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, plans for this year's Summer Bridge Program are reliant upon several other factors, so please keep an eye on our Facebook page for announcements. We will let you know whether or not we will have a program this year, and if we do, what the dates will be. 
"Crossing the bridge to kindergarten!" Just in case we are able to have a Bridge Program this summer, we are still taking sign-ups for this free program for children who may attend Kindergarten in the Fall of 2020, and could benefit from a summer transition program. T his  program is for children whose 5th birthday is on or before September 1, 2020.  Children who have not attended preschool or Transitional Kindergarten (TK) will be given pr iority . Click on link above for enrollment form, and include a copy of your child's immunization record when turning in to us. 

Toddler Playgroups   --  Activity Kits  Curbside Pick Up
Since our Toddler Playgroups follow the ACUSD schedule, playgroups are currently on hold until further notice. However, our fantastic playgroup coordinators have put together some amazing activity to-go kits for local kids  aged 0-5 , for you to PICK UP, AND TAKE HOME. 

Kits will only be available for pick up DURING THE WEEK OF MAY 4 (tomorrow is the last day), and each kit contains 4 weeks' worth of activities.  Please pick up your kit on the regularly scheduled days, times, and locations listed in the link above. 
Supplies are limited, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. One kit per child, aged 0-5.    For the safety of everyone, please adhere to local directives and maintain a 6-foot physical distance while picking up, and do not pick up if you are feeling ill. 

May is Mental Health Matters Month

 Half of us will experience a mental health challenge over the course of our lives. Yet every day, millions of people continue to face stigma related to mental health because they or their loved ones are facing a challenge.

The very real prospect of facing stigma and discrimination prevents many from reaching out for support. In fact, before people reach out for help, it takes an average of 11 years from the onset of symptoms of a mental health challenge. The goal of Each Mind Matters is to amplify the voices of all people who want to put an end to this stigma, creating a community where everyone feels safe reaching out for the support they deserve.

Check out  Each Mind Matters  for more information on self-care, along with activity guides, support guides, and fun ways to express yourself! 

Mental Health Support for  Child Care Providers

Due to the current pandemic situation and challenges that this has created for child care providers, First 5 Amador and Amador Quality for Kids has extended the use of our contracted behavioral specialists, to include clinical support to providers who may need it. This difficult situation will cause stress for just about everyone, but we want to help you maintain your mental health so that you can continue to provide quality care for your children. If you are feeling stress, anxiety, depression, overwhelmed, emotionally unstable, or distressed,  please let us know.

We can connect you to the licensed clinicians that we contract with, and they can provide you with support and emotional relief  over the phone.

This service is  FREE . Please don't hesitate to reach out, if needed. 
Contact us at

by Talia Filippelli, LCSW, CHHC, CPT, Founder of Starr Therapy 

Stressful times require an increase in communication. Kids look to their parents, caregivers and educators as a calming influence and most importantly for answers. When kids are overwhelmed, it can be a challenge for adults to help them understand and adapt to what is going on in their lives. Here are five helpful tips on how to talk to kids about what's happening...

Be honest: All conversations, regardless of a child's age, should be honest, age-appropriate, and promote a sense of safety and security. Too many of us try to sugar-coat life's realities because we can't bear to see our kids upset. Trust me when I say that our kids are more resilient and adaptive than we give them credit for. And if you think they're not, now is a good time to start cultivating those necessary life skills. When coronavirus is over, our kids will call upon the skills they develop now to get through future challenges.

Ask what they know so you can make the conversation age appropriate: Before answering questions, find out what your kids' understanding is of coronavirus. What are their fears? Anxiety is always about the future, and it's our job to be honest while providing a sense of safety and security. That may sound like a contradiction, but here's an example of what you could be saying: "I'm not sure how long your school will be closed, but we will do our best to stay connected to your friends and teachers through video chat."

Don't expect to have all the answers: We want our kids to see us as a reliable and trustworthy place to get information. If you don't know the answer to their questions, that's okay. Help your kids find valid, age-appropriate information online by searching together on websites like the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH).

Validate, don't minimize or disregard their feelings: When your child expresses worry, fear, or stress, validate it by saying, "Everyone feels a little scared/stressed/worried right now." Resist the urge to say, "You're fine. There's nothing to worry about. Just forget about it!" This only makes our children feel misunderstood and alone in their experience - which will guarantee their fears grow.

Encourage imaginative play to help them work through their emotions: When children create imaginary worlds, the characters and plots often match their emotional states, helping them learn to express and regulate their feelings. This type of play allows kids to act out fear, anger, and frustration in a situation they can control, providing a much-needed emotional outlet. Not to mention that pretend play also nurtures creativity and builds vocabulary - skills that will serve them long after the crisis is over.

Early Literacy Update 

Tune in every Thursday at 4:00 pm (PST)! 

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is excited to present Dolly Parton's new weekly read-aloud video series called "Goodnight with Dolly." The Book Lady sits down to read books from the Imagination Library to children and families.  "Goodnight with Dolly" launched on April 2. This 10-week series will focus on comforting and reassuring children during the shelter-in-place mandates. Dolly hopes these videos will provide a welcomed distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books in the hearts of the children who see them. To tune in, click  here!

If you missed any previous episodes, you can still watch them here

Sign up your child for the Imagination Library today and start receiving one free book every month (link is listed below)! This is a FREE  program, paid for by First 5 Amador and donations from local individuals and service organizations. Books are available to all Amador County children aged 0-4 (from birth until their 5th birthday)!

All you have to do is read to your child!   

For more information and to register online, click  HERE.    

Provider Appreciation Day is a special day in May to recognize child care providers, teachers and other educators of young children everywhere. This year, it falls on  Friday, May 8. Started in 1996 by a group of volunteers in New Jersey, Provider Appreciation Day is appropriately celebrated each year on the Friday before Mother's Day. The founding organizers saw the need to recognize the tireless efforts of providers who care for children of working parents. Momentum and support for this event has grown each year and recognition presently includes individuals and government organizations throughout the United States.  It's important that we recognize the value of our child care providers year round, as well. Please be sure to say a very special "THANK YOU" to your child care provider, on Friday! 

For more information and ideas, check out Provider Appreciation Day

Updates for Child Care Providers 
& Preschool Teachers!
For participants of "Amador Quality for Kids," if you are currently working on your professional development hours, we will accept hours that have been completed online, or other alternative ways. Please contact First 5 Amador for ideas on virtual trainings, and check the list of ideas previously emailed out to you. More ideas are listed in this newsletter, below. 

Any appropriate child development-related courses, trainings, or articles will be accepted. Be sure to save all Certificates of Completion, to turn in with your paperwork - due by June 15

How can you give kids the best start in life? 
... by taking your children to well-child and dental check ups and also, 
by doing an "ASQ."
The Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) is a way to make sure your child is "on track." The screening tools are designed  to be completed by parents or primary caregivers, that encourage parent-caregiver involvement. Child Care providers are encouraged to implement the use of these ASQ's into your programs.
Each questionnaire can be completed in 10-20 minutes, and is divided into five areas: Communication, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Problem Solving, and  Personal-Social. 
The benefit for all children and families is so that parents/caregivers know which areas they can focus on at home with their children.
For more information, please email First 5 Amador at 

We can connect providers with a home visitor who can visit you at your child care facility, train you in the use of the ASQ's, and help guide you in how to use them in your programs! 

Free Online Course for Child Care Providers

Attention Child Care Providers & Preschool Teachers ~ take this  FREE 30-minute online course to learn more about the latest recommendations for healthy beverages for children!  Save your certificate of completion, and count it towards your 'Amador Quality for Kids' professional development hours!

Click here  HERE  to access this free course.


  Child Care Provider  Tool Kit  for Supporting Breastfeeding Families 
Click the link above for a helpful toolkit that is designed to help child care centers, family child care programs, and in-home caregivers support 
breastfeeding families. 

You can also count this tool kit towards your professional development hours! Simply read through the kit, write out a 2-3 paragraph summary and submit with your 'Amador Quality for Kids' paperwork! 
Healthy Snacks for Kids ~ May 

Mother's Day Bagels 
that kids can make themselves! 

1) Toasted bagel with peanut butter, banana, and chocolate chips

2) Toasted bagel with cream cheese, avocado, and tomato

3) Toasted bagel with cream cheese, turkey, and spinach

4) Breakfast plate spelling out "MOM" - using 1/2 of a bagel, 8 strips of bacon, and garnished with heart-shaped strawberries

The  Amador Network of Care  community web site and community announcements page is a resource for individuals, families and agencies concerned with behavioral health. It provides information about behavioral health services, laws, and related news, as well as communication tools and other features. Regardless of where you begin your search for assistance with community resources or behavioral health issues, the  Network of Care  helps you find what you need - it helps ensure that there is "No Wrong Door" for those who need services. 

One day, California's success 
will be measured by the 
well-being of its youngest children.

 Click  HERE to check out the California Parent Guide, from First 5 California! This Guide includes what you need to know to help your child grow up healthy and thrive.

Calling all children 0 to 5 years of age.
Join Amador's favorite reading club!
Get free books for your children!

Over 800   Amador kids are receiving books each month!  

Imagination Library Logo
Sign your child up today and start receiving one free book every
 month from the Imagination Library! This is a free program, paid for by First 5 Amador and donations from local individuals and service organizations locally. Books are available to all Amador County children aged 0-4 (from birth until their 5th birthday).
All you have to do is read to your child!   

For more information click HERE.

It's Our Job as Adults to Keep Kids Safe

Stay up to date on all the news and information about keeping our kids safe from abuse and neglect. Sign up for the Amador Child Abuse Prevention Council's monthly e-newsletter HERE!
First 5 Amador | (209) 257-1092 |

PO Box 815 / 975 Broadway | Jackson, CA 95642
First 5 Amador supports and designs programs for children 0-5 years old and their Families.
For more information call us at (209) 257-1092, visit our website, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

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