InBrief: The Impact of Early Adversity on Children’s Development (Video)

This edition of the InBrief series outlines basic concepts from the research on the biology of stress which show that major adversity can weaken developing brain architecture and permanently set the body’s stress response system on high alert. Science also shows that providing stable, responsive environments for children in the earliest years of life can prevent or reverse these conditions, with lifelong consequences for learning, behavior, and health.

Source: Center on the Developing Child

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Transforming Sand and Asphalt into Inviting Play Spaces – Head Start

Mid Florida Community Services received Head Start Body Start (HSBS) grants for two sites, EVEC I and II, both located in beautiful Daytona Beach, Florida.

Before receiving grant funds from HSBS, the outdoor areas at both of these centers were bleak and uninviting. Sand was the main ground cover, and the spaces were surrounded by asphalt and chain link fence. Children spent time outdoors daily, but outdoor time lacked meaning and purpose beyond teacher respite and a chance for the children to briefly enjoy the Florida sun. In truth, outdoor play time at these centers was never truly considered an equally productive part of a balanced day by the children or the staff.

With HSBS grant funds, we were able to install a large climbing wall at both centers that gives the children the opportunity to develop gross motor skills while having fun.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center/Head Start Body Start

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Outdoor Gardening Connects Learning Outcomes Across Generations – Head Start

At Quaker Meadows Generations in Morganton NC, we started our garden project! Parents, children and community volunteers assembled garden boxes and filled them with potting soil. Volunteers from Western Piedmont Community College Early Childhood Education program assisted children and parents in planting seeds and flowers. All participants enjoyed this activity! We have never had the opportunity to add some “green” to the center and this project will be incorporated into all aspects of our curriculum – science, math, literacy, dramatic play and art.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center/Head Start Body Start

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News You Can Use: Outdoor Play


Take a look at your lesson plan. What is written under the section “outside time”? What? There is no place on the lesson plan for outside time? Well, then this is a great opportunity to learn about planning for time spent outside with infants and toddlers.

Infants and toddlers are very sensory learners. Babies will often look intently at an object, hold it, shake it, taste it, and smell it as they explore something (or someone). Learning about the natural world and what happens out of doors engages all of a young child’s senses. The light, air, and space invite different kinds of play and new ways to interact with materials and each other. These experiences can give teachers and families opportunities to observe children exploring and discovering.

Infants and toddlers learn so much each day that it is important to make the most of every moment. Often, we think of being outside as a time for gross motor play. Having time and space for very active play is great, but being outside also offers rich opportunities for language, social, and nature learning! Observe what children are interested in both indoors and out, and then plan to expand their experiences in ways that will engage and delight their senses.

Source: Early Head Start National Resource Center

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Four States Selected to Participate in Learning Collaborative


The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced four states—Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon and Pennsylvania—have been selected to participate in the Learning Collaborative on Integrating Chronic Disease Prevention Services with the Health Care Delivery System.

Chronic disease is a major contributor to rising health care costs in the United States, accounting for 84 percent of health care spending. To address one of the root causes of rising costs, state public health officials focus on preventive care by promoting physical activity and better nutrition, smoking cessation, screenings for cancer and diabetes and programs to help people control their blood pressure and asthma. However, these services are primarily funded through the governmental public health system, which has been cut by nearly $400 million over the last three years. While policymakers search for ways to reduce costs in the delivery system, public health dollars that contribute to preventing or mitigating one of the biggest cost drivers in the health care system are being cut.

Source: National Governor’s Association

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Be Safe This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here, and there are probably some festive decorations adorning your classroom or home. Take a look around.  Are your decorations safe for children? Below are some things to check for so you can make sure your holiday decorations are child-friendly

Source: Southern Early Childhood Association

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Yakima learning center awarded $25,000 grant


Enterprise for Progress In the Community (EPIC) has been awarded a grant in the amount of $25,000 by the Yakima Valley Community Foundation, Rick Doehle, EPIC’s CEO, announced today.

According to Doehle the grant will be used to create an outdoor classroom for the children ages 4 and 5, at EPIC’s Sunnyside Early Learning Center. “This outdoor classroom is designed to help children learn the importance of being active and staying healthy. Obesity is a growing problem across America, but even more so to underserved populations and children of poverty. With this playground we can help teach a child that they can have fun outside. That television is not their only source of entertainment and in the end they will be healthier and happier.”

Source: KIMA CBS 29

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Care for Their Air: Asthma Pilot Project for Head Start and Child Care Learning Settings

Presenters: Heidi LeSane and LaShon Blakely (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), Dorothy Mabry (Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families), Stephanie Hall (Georgia State Department of Health)

Listen to Heidi LeSane LaShon Blakely, Dorothy Mabry and Stephanie Hall share their experiences working with Head Start and Child Care communities in two Georgia counties to better integrate asthma education into program activities. Learn how you can apply their best practices and resources to create effective partnerships with federal, state and local agencies and integrate asthma education into your local Head Start and Child Care programs.


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Webinar series: Improving Children’s Health through Federal Collaboration

The Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, and the Health Resources and Services Administration,  Region VIII, have organized, in collaboration with other Federal partners, a one-year-long webinar series titled Improving Children’s Health through Federal Collaboration. Children, by their very nature, deserve our focused attention and care especially because:

  • Their bodily systems are still developing
  • They eat more, drink more, and breathe more in proportion to their body size
  • Their behavior patterns increase their exposure to environmental hazards.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

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The Other Learning Environment: Taking the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework Outdoors! – Head Start

Most, if not all, of the preschool outcomes for school readiness can be addressed during outdoor play experiences. Teaching teams will learn new strategies to include more intentional use of outdoor environments to support children’s learning.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

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