How Early Childhood Associations Can Help You

How Early Childhood Associations Can Help You

Discover how early childhood associations can support parents and educators, offering resources, training, and advocacy for optimal child development.

Early childhood education is a crucial part of children’s lives. It’s during this period that their social skills, self-esteem, perception of the world and moral outlook are established.

Alvarado says she has found that many of her students go on to work at non-profits, religious organizations, grantmaking and professional associations. Some also teach.

Zero to Three

Founded in 1977, Zero to Three advances the proven power of nurturing relationships and transforms early childhood research into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policymakers. Its multidisciplinary team of developmental experts works to ensure that the needs of babies and toddlers are understood, prioritized and met. The organization disseminates key developmental information, trains providers, promotes model approaches and standards of practice, and works to raise public awareness about the significance of the first three years of life.

Zero to Three’s New York Network, based in New York City, provides support and training to families with infants and toddlers. Its HealthySteps program offers developmental support to families through their pediatric primary care provider. The network also organizes a series of LEARN signature events including virtual events and an annual conference. Its professional journal, ZERO TO THREE, publishes the latest developments in child development research and practices.

The organization supports state advocates as they explore policy and systems strategies that advance infant-toddler-specific goals across its good health, strong families and positive early learning experiences agenda. This includes support around infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) consultation in child-serving settings, funding clinical workforce development efforts, and advocacy tactics to center family voice in equity-oriented policymaking. It also helps states strengthen their family focused economic security policies and programs, including paid family medical leave, safe, stable housing, and cash assistance.

National Association for Child Development

If you’re interested in early childhood development, joining a professional association can be an excellent investment. These organizations provide resources and networking opportunities that can help you improve your career. In addition, they advocate for policies that benefit children and their families. By carefully evaluating the missions, values, and focus areas of different associations, you can find one that is a good fit for your personal and professional goals.

Educators who want to advance their careers can join an organization like the National Association for Child Development (NAEYC). The NAEYC is the world’s largest professional membership organization dedicated to supporting early childhood educators and their students. It serves teachers, para-educators, family child care providers, center directors, trainers, college educators, policy makers, and parents.

The NAEYC offers four different membership options, each with its own set of benefits. The entry level option provides digital access to NAEYC publications, while the premium membership includes a subscription to Young Children and Teaching Young Children and access to the NAEYC bookstore. It also includes special discounts for conferences and books. The NAEYC is also an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of African-American Children, which focuses on issues that impact black children. These include health, welfare, literacy and family empowerment. In addition, the NAEYC has a program that provides training for educators.

Learning Games for Kids

Playing games is one of the most effective learning methods for kids of all ages. It can develop social skills, help build confidence, promote critical thinking, and increase creativity and curiosity. It also helps children practice sharing, taking turns, and using manners. Group games like peek-a-boo and duck-duck-goose are a great way to teach young children how to interact with each other.

Education experts like Kendra Cameron-Jarvis of Buncombe County Schools in North Carolina are incorporating game-based learning into classrooms to keep students engaged in lessons and boost their vocabulary. She believes that digital gaming can transform educational lessons from dry facts to immersive adventures that students will want to revisit.

For example, in a Google Maps Treks game designed by her school, sixth-graders learn about ancient Egyptian pyramids by walking inside them in augmented reality and interacting with them through an audio guide that plays through their headphones. They can also translate hieroglyphics, navigate the collection geographically, and take photos of their discoveries.

Other educational games that use digital gaming to engage kids include Prodigy English, which provides Common Core reading and language skills through creative, sandbox gameplay. It adapts questions to each child’s skill level and allows teachers to assign content and monitor student progress. Other games that gamify early learning concepts are the BrainBox series from MindWare and the Spot It! Series of matching card games.


The founders of Educare, a non-profit based in Central California, wanted to put “care” back into education. They believe that high-quality early learning can help children to grow into better students in school and to become responsible citizens in their communities. The program offers affordable childcare and preschool and helps families to be involved in their children’s educational journey.

The program uses a holistic approach to child development and care, with teachers focusing on the physical, social, and emotional well-being of the children. It also has a low child-to-teacher ratio, which allows for more individualized attention and learning opportunities for the children. Educare centers also have community outreach programs, which provide support and guidance to families in their community.

A previous randomized study of Educare found positive effects on language and social-emotional outcomes for children at age 2. This new paper builds upon those findings, reporting results from the same children at age 3. It finds that, even after controlling for a wide range of variables (e.g., IQ, birthweight, family income, maternal depression, work hours, education, child sex, and DLL), children who participated in Educare were significantly more likely to have receptive language scores above the national average, as well as higher WJ-3 math scores and fewer parent-reported behavior problems.

This latest report extends the initial results by examining outcomes at age 3 and using ITT analysis to account for differences in baseline characteristics between the control group and treatment group. The data indicate that, by age 3, the Educare children were performing at or near the national average in receptive language and math, with a larger effect size for English-speaking children who entered Educare earlier and stayed longer than the control group.


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