6. Usually when you're cooking or doing chores at home:

Sometimes it is safer for your child to be separate from you while you do chores. Other times, having your child “help” in the activity can build their skills and your bond with your child. You will teach your child a million things in everyday moments.

If your child is watching video, TV or tablets, watch what they are watching. Studies show that young children cannot always tell the difference between watching violence on TV and seeing it first-hand. Choose shows that help children learn and encourage good things like friendship and sharing. And don’t forget about the commercials! You may have learned to tune them out, but your child hasn’t. Learning is Everywhere has some tips to take control of television habits.

Make the most of everyday moments.

  • Your child is becoming more mobile and curious. Keep sharp or small items she could swallow out of reach. Anything that can fit in a toilet paper tube is too small for toddlers to play with.
  • If your child cannot help with what you are doing, provide safe toys that mimic what you are doing.
  • Talk to your child about what you are doing. Ask your child questions that get her talking – not just answering “yes” or “no.” That’s how she learns words.
  • Your toddler is probably becoming more interested in make-believe, so she may want to make up a story about the activity you are doing. Washing dishes might turn into a space journey. Go with it!
  • Pay attention to what your child pays attention to. Encourage her to talk about and explore it. For example, when you are in the kitchen, give your child plastic or metal measuring cups. Show your child how to stack the cups on top of each other according to size. Talk about which one is biggest, which one is smallest, then count them. Have your child do it again.
  • Check out Learning is Everywhere for more ideas.

Including your child in some daily activities can help her learn new words, how things work, and build your bond together.

Make the most of everyday moments.

  • Your child is becoming more mobile and curious. Keep sharp or small items she could swallow out of reach. Anything that can fit in a toilet paper tube is too small for toddlers to play with.
  • If your child cannot help with what you are doing, provide safe toys that mimic what you are doing.
  • Talk to your child about what you are doing. Ask your child questions that get her talking – not just answering “yes” or “no.” That’s how she learns words.
  • Your toddler is probably becoming more interested in make-believe, so she may want to make up a story about the activity you are doing. Washing dishes might turn into a space journey. Go with it!
  • Pay attention to what your child pays attention to. Encourage her to talk about and explore it. For example, when you are in the kitchen, give your child plastic or metal measuring cups. Show your child how to stack the cups on top of each other according to size. Talk about which one is biggest, which one is smallest, then count them. Have your child do it again.
  • Check out Learning is Everywhere for more ideas.

Toys are important ways to build a child’s skills and have fun. Why not invite your child to help in your daily activities as well?

Including your child in some daily activities can help him/her learn new words, how things work, and build your bond together.

Make the most of everyday moments.

  • Your child is becoming more mobile and curious. Keep sharp or small items she could swallow out of reach. Anything that can fit in a toilet paper tube is too small for toddlers to play with.
  • If your child cannot help with what you are doing, provide safe toys that mimic what you are doing.
  • Talk to your child about what you are doing. Ask your child questions that get her talking – not just answering “yes” or “no.” That’s how she learns words.
  • Your toddler is probably becoming more interested in make-believe, so she may want to make up a story about the activity you are doing. Washing dishes might turn into a space journey. Go with it!
  • Pay attention to what your child pays attention to. Encourage her to talk about and explore it. For example, when you are in the kitchen, give your child plastic or metal measuring cups. Show your child how to stack the cups on top of each other according to size. Talk about which one is biggest, which one is smallest, then count them. Have your child do it again.
  • Check out Learning is Everywhere for more ideas.

Sometimes, taking care of kids and doing chores just don’t mix. Other times, you may be able to combine spending quality time with your child and taking care of daily activities.

Make the most of everyday moments.

  • Your child is becoming more mobile and curious. Keep sharp or small items she could swallow out of reach. Anything that can fit in a toilet paper tube is too small for toddlers to play with.
  • If your child cannot help with what you are doing, provide safe toys that mimic what you are doing.
  • Talk to your child about what you are doing. Ask your child questions that get her talking – not just answering “yes” or “no.” That’s how she learns words.
  • Your toddler is probably becoming more interested in make-believe, so she may want to make up a story about the activity you are doing. Washing dishes might turn into a space journey. Go with it!
  • Pay attention to what your child pays attention to. Encourage her to talk about and explore it. For example, when you are in the kitchen, give your child plastic or metal measuring cups. Show your child how to stack the cups on top of each other according to size. Talk about which one is biggest, which one is smallest, then count them. Have your child do it again.
  • Check out Learning is Everywhere for more ideas.

7. Your toddler's playtime usually involves:

If your child is watching TV or playing games on a table or device, watch what they are watching and playing. Young children cannot always tell the difference between watching violence on TV or within games, and seeing it first-hand. Choose shows and games that encourage good things like sharing. Don’t forget about the commercials or ads!

Play is how young children learn. When your child plays with blocks, he learns colors, coordination, creativity, even math.

Toddlers get more active and interested in how things work every day. They are learning more words and testing their independence. They need to play in lots of different ways, with a variety of toys, near or with other children, or playing pretend.

Children should have at least 30-60 minutes of active play, where they move around, every day.

Make the most out of your child’s playtime. Let your child decide what he wants to play with and how he wants to play.

Toddlers like to repeat things over so they can really learn it. Get ready to read the same book over and over.

For young toddlers (12-24 months):
• When reading together, ask questions like, “Where is the dog?” Be excited when he points to it.
• Act out real-life activities, like playing phone call with a brush. (Anything that fits in a toilet paper tube is too small for toddlers to play with).
• Take walks outside and spark your child’s curiosity. Ask what he hears, sees, smells.

For older toddlers (24-36 months):
• When reading together, ask questions like, “What happens next?”
• Dance to music together. Make up your own songs!
• Encourage your child to play pretend with old clothes and other items. 

If your child is at a child care/early learning program, ask if children have at least one hour of free play a day.

Other things to look for in a child care or early learning program:
• Do children have access to different play areas that are developmentally appropriate (not too easy or too hard)?
• Are there enough toys?
• Do children get to move around, as well as, have quite play time opportunities?
• Do teachers make sure children are safe, but allow the children to decide how they want to play?

It’s great that your child spends time with other children. Toddlers become more interested in playing with other children and can learn to share and take turns. Playing with other children where they make up the games and set the rules teaches him important social skills he can’t learn anywhere else.

Play is how young children learn. When your child plays with blocks, he learns colors, coordination, creativity, even math.

Toddlers get more active and interested in how things work every day. They are learning more words and testing their independence. They need to play in lots of different ways, with a variety of toys, near or with other children, or playing pretend.

Children should have at least 30-60 minutes of active play, where they move around, every day.

Make the most out of your child’s playtime. Let your child decide what he wants to play with and how he wants to play.

Toddlers like to repeat things over so they can really learn it. Get ready to read the same book over and over.

For young toddlers (12-24 months):
• When reading together, ask questions like, “Where is the dog?” Be excited when he points to it.
• Act out real-life activities, like playing phone call with a brush. (Anything that fits in a toilet paper tube is too small for toddlers to play with).
• Take walks outside and spark your child’s curiosity. Ask what he hears, sees, smells.

For older toddlers (24-36 months):
• When reading together, ask questions like, “What happens next?”
• Dance to music together. Make up your own songs!
• Encourage your child to play pretend with old clothes and other items. 

If your child is at a child care/early learning program, ask if children have at least one hour of free play a day.

Other things to look for in a child care or early learning program:
• Do children have access to different play areas that are developmentally appropriate (not too easy or too hard)?
• Are there enough toys?
• Do children get to move around, as well as, have quite play time opportunities?
• Do teachers make sure children are safe, but allow the children to decide how they want to play?

Lessons and sports are an important part of a child’s life. Some of the most important lessons children learn happen during playtime when they are setting the rules.

Play is how young children learn. When your child plays with blocks, he learns colors, coordination, creativity, even math.

Toddlers get more active and interested in how things work every day. They are learning more words and testing their independence. They need to play in lots of different ways, with a variety of toys, near or with other children, or playing pretend.

Children should have at least 30-60 minutes of active play, where they move around, every day.

Make the most out of your child’s playtime. Let your child decide what he wants to play with and how he wants to play.

Toddlers like to repeat things over so they can really learn it. Get ready to read the same book over and over.

For young toddlers (12-24 months):
• When reading together, ask questions like, “Where is the dog?” Be excited when he points to it.
• Act out real-life activities, like playing phone call with a brush. (Anything that fits in a toilet paper tube is too small for toddlers to play with).
• Take walks outside and spark your child’s curiosity. Ask what he hears, sees, smells.

For older toddlers (24-36 months):
• When reading together, ask questions like, “What happens next?”
• Dance to music together. Make up your own songs!
• Encourage your child to play pretend with old clothes and other items. 

If your child is at a child care/early learning program, ask if children have at least one hour of free play a day.

Other things to look for in a child care or early learning program:
• Do children have access to different play areas that are developmentally appropriate (not too easy or too hard)?
• Are there enough toys?
• Do children get to move around, as well as, have quite play time opportunities?
• Do teachers make sure children are safe, but allow the children to decide how they want to play?

Giving your child the chance to play in different ways builds a lot of their skills.

Play is how young children learn. When your child plays with blocks, he learns colors, coordination, creativity, even math.

Toddlers get more active and interested in how things work every day. They are learning more words and testing their independence. They need to play in lots of different ways, with a variety of toys, near or with other children, or playing pretend.

Children should have at least 30-60 minutes of active play, where they move around, every day.

Make the most out of your child’s playtime. Let your child decide what he wants to play with and how he wants to play.

Toddlers like to repeat things over so they can really learn it. Get ready to read the same book over and over.

For young toddlers (12-24 months):
• When reading together, ask questions like, “Where is the dog?” Be excited when he points to it.
• Act out real-life activities, like playing phone call with a brush. (Anything that fits in a toilet paper tube is too small for toddlers to play with).
• Take walks outside and spark your child’s curiosity. Ask what he hears, sees, smells.

For older toddlers (24-36 months):
• When reading together, ask questions like, “What happens next?”
• Dance to music together. Make up your own songs!
• Encourage your child to play pretend with old clothes and other items. 

If your child is at a child care/early learning program, ask if children have at least one hour of free play a day.

Other things to look for in a child care or early learning program:
• Do children have access to different play areas that are developmentally appropriate (not too easy or too hard)?
• Are there enough toys?
• Do children get to move around, as well as, have quite play time opportunities?
• Do teachers make sure children are safe, but allow the children to decide how they want to play?

8. At your toddler's checkup, you ask the doctor a question, but don't really understand the answer. You:

A doctor has a lot of medical knowledge, but you are the expert on how your child is doing. It’s important you understand the doctor and the doctor understands you. You have the right to keep asking questions until you do understand what the doctor is trying to tell you.

Sometimes it is helpful to do check the internet before you go to the doctor, but choose a reliable site like the American Academy of Pediatrics Symptom Checker. Online searches should never replace a doctor’s visit.

Before you meet with your child’s doctor, teacher or other professionals, make a list of what you want to talk about. Write down questions. Give specific examples of what you are talking about to make it easier for the doctor to answer your questions. Bring paper and pen so you can take notes during the visit. Take as much time as you need to write down the answers, so you can later understand what you wrote.

Don’t be afraid to tell the doctor you don’t understand. Simply say “I don’t understand. Can you be clearer?” or ask another question.

You may also think of questions after you’ve left the office. Some doctors have ways to email them with non-urgent questions. Many insurance companies and hospitals also offer nurse hotlines you can call with general questions.

These are great tips for talking with any professional about your child. Again, you are the expert on your child, and what you have to say matters!

Check out the Be Your Child’s Champion booklet for more ideas on how to communicate with other important adults in your child’s life.

Doctors, teachers and other professionals get busy. Sometimes you may feel rushed. Calling back later to talk to the nurse or assistant can be a less stressful way to get your questions answered. But it might also take more time if they have to talk to the doctor before they can answer you.

It’s best to ask the doctor in person when you are there, again and again, until they give you an answer you can understand. You have the right to keep asking questions until you do understand. Don’t be afraid to tell the doctor you don’t understand. Simply say “I don’t understand. Can you be clearer?” or ask another question.

Remember, you are the expert on your child and no one will stand up for your child more than you.

 

Before you meet with your child’s doctor, teacher or other professionals, make a list of what you want to talk about. Write down questions. Give specific examples of what you are talking about to make it easier for the doctor to answer your questions. Bring paper and pen so you can take notes during the visit. Take as much time as you need to write down the answers, so you can later understand what you wrote.

You may also think of questions after you’ve left the office. Some doctors have ways to email them with non-urgent questions. Many insurance companies and hospitals also offer nurse hotlines you can call with general questions.

These are great tips for talking with any professional about your child. Again, you are the expert on your child, and what you have to say matters!

Check out the Be Your Child’s Champion booklet for more ideas on how to communicate with other important adults in your child’s life.

 

The best way to protect and care for your child is to make sure you get the information you need in a way you can understand. You are the expert on your child and no one will stand up for your child more than you.

Before you meet with your child’s doctor, teacher or other professionals, make a list of what you want to talk about. Write down questions. Give specific examples of what you are talking about to make it easier for the doctor to answer your questions. Bring paper and pen so you can take notes during the visit. Take as much time as you need to write down the answers, so you can later understand what you wrote.

Don’t be afraid to tell the doctor you don’t understand. Simply say “I don’t understand. Can you be clearer?” or ask another question.

You may also think of questions after you’ve left the office. Some doctors have ways to email them with non-urgent questions. Many insurance companies and hospitals also offer nurse hotlines you can call with general questions.

These are great tips for talking with any professional about your child. Again, you are the expert on your child, and what you have to say matters!

Check out the Be Your Child’s Champion booklet for more ideas on how to communicate with other important adults in your child’s life.

It is a good idea to touch base with all the major adults in your child’s life. That may include a teacher, family member, and others who care for your child. Ask them about specific examples of things you can share with your doctor at the next visit.

It is also important you and your child’s doctor understand each other. The doctor has a lot of medical knowledge, but you know your child best.

It’s best to ask the doctor in person when you are there, until they give you an answer you can understand. Don’t be afraid to tell the doctor you don’t understand. Simply say “I don’t understand. Can you be clearer?” or ask another question.

Before you meet with your child’s doctor, teacher or other professionals, make a list of what you want to talk about. Write down questions. Give specific examples of what you are talking about to make it easier for the doctor to answer your questions. Bring paper and pen so you can take notes during the visit. Take as much time as you need to write down the answers, so you can later understand what you wrote.

You may also think of questions after you’ve left the office. Some doctors have ways to email them with non-urgent questions. Many insurance companies and hospitals also offer nurse hotlines you can call with general questions.

These are great tips for talking with any professional about your child. Again, you are the expert on your child, and what you have to say matters!

Check out the Be Your Child’s Champion booklet for more ideas on how to communicate with other important adults in your child’s life.

9. In addition to being safe, when your toddler is not with you, it is most important to you that he is:

How young children spend their day affects how they will learn things like their ABCs when they get older.

You want your child to be safe, well cared for and given lots of learning activities. The activities should build on what your child can already do, without being too easy or too hard. This is called developmentally-appropriate. Playtime counts as learning time! This will help prepare him for learning throughout school.

Here are things to look for in a caregiver or child care/early learning program. Check out the Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania for more tips to compare several programs.

• To make sure your child will be safe, do a little research. Visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov and search for a program to see if it has a current child care license and it if has any violations. 
• Young children need to spend time with other children, called socialization, to learn and grow. Toddlers enjoy playing near (called parallel play) and sometimes with other children. In quality child care/early learning programs, children build social skills, like how to follow directions, by playing with other children. Playgroups can also help build these skills.
• Ask the caregiver or program if they have activities that are developmentally appropriate. If they don’t know of any activities, show them the activity calendars that are based on Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards, like Learning is Everywhere.
If you are looking for home-based services or a child care /early learning program, look for Early Head Start, Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, Parent-Child home Program, Keystone STARS, Head Start, and PA Pre-K Counts programs.
These programs have developmentally-appropriate activities and use Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards.

Playing with other children is a great way to socialize your child and build skills that he can use for life! Young children need to spend time with other children, called socialization, to learn and grow. Toddlers enjoy playing near other children (called parallel play) and sometimes with other children. In quality child care/early learning programs, children build social skills, like how to follow directions, by playing with other children. Playgroups can also help build these skills.

Here are things to look for in a caregiver or child care/early learning program. Check out the Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania for more tips to compare several programs.

• To make sure your child will be safe, do a little research. Visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov and search for a program to see if it has a current child care license and it if has any violations. 
• Ask the caregiver or program if they have activities that are developmentally appropriate. If they don’t know of any activities, show them the activity calendars that are based on Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards, like Learning is Everywhere.
If you are looking for home-based services or a child care /early learning program, look for Early Head Start, Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, Parent-Child home Program, Keystone STARS, Head Start, and PA Pre-K Counts programs.
These programs have developmentally-appropriate activities and use Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards.

There are ways to guide children’s activities so they have fun and also learn skills they will need for school and life.

Here are things to look for in a caregiver or child care/early learning program. Check out the Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania for more tips to compare several programs.

• To make sure your child will be safe, do a little research. Visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov and search for a program to see if it has a current child care license and it if has any violations. 
• Young children need to spend time with other children, called socialization, to learn and grow. Toddlers enjoy playing near (called parallel play) and sometimes with other children. In quality child care/early learning programs, children build social skills, like how to follow directions, by playing with other children. Playgroups can also help build these skills.
• Ask the caregiver or program if they have activities that are developmentally appropriate. If they don’t know of any activities, show them the activity calendars that are based on Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards, like Learning is Everywhere.
If you are looking for home-based services or a child care /early learning program, look for Early Head Start, Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, Parent-Child home Program, Keystone STARS, Head Start, and PA Pre-K Counts programs.
These programs have developmentally-appropriate activities and use Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards.

Learning, socializing and having fun are all important to your child’s growth.

You want your child to be safe, well cared for and given lots of learning activities. The activities should build on what your child can already do, without being too easy or too hard. This is called developmentally-appropriate. Playtime is learning time! This helps prepare him for learning throughout school.

Here are things to look for in a caregiver or child care/early learning program. Check out the Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania for more tips to compare several programs.

• To make sure your child will be safe, do a little research. Visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov and search for a program to see if it has a current child care license and it if has any violations. 
• Young children need to spend time with other children, called socialization, to learn and grow. Toddlers enjoy playing near (called parallel play) and sometimes with other children. In quality child care/early learning programs, children build social skills, like how to follow directions, by playing with other children. Playgroups can also help build these skills.
• Ask the caregiver or program if they have activities that are developmentally appropriate. If they don’t know of any activities, show them the activity calendars that are based on Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards, like Learning is Everywhere.
If you are looking for home-based services or a child care /early learning program, look for Early Head Start, Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, Parent-Child home Program, Keystone STARS, Head Start, and PA Pre-K Counts programs.
These programs have developmentally-appropriate activities and use Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards.

10. When you are looking for a person or child care/early learning program to care for your child, your biggest challenge is:

You have to think about cost and convenience. So how do you find the quality you want that is affordable and nearby? 

Quality programs like Nurse-Family Partnership, Parent-Child Home Program, Parents as Teachers, Early Head Start/Head Start, Early Intervention and PA Pre-K Counts are free for families that meet income requirements. 

You may be eligible for Child Care Works if you meet work and income requirements. Child Care Works (CCIS) provides financial assistance for care from a person or an early learning program or provider. Most quality Keystone STARS programs accept Child Care Works. Your local Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) can help you find an early learning program or provider, and help you determine if you are eligible for Child Care Works. Visit www.raiseyourstar.org to find your ELRC.

When looking for child care, try to balance cost, convenience and quality. Try to visit 2-3 early learning programs or providers before you make a choice. Two programs may cost about the same, but quality may be very different. Bring your child with you to see if he’ll be comfortable there. 

When you visit, please ask about:
• Is this person or program safe to care for children? Do they meet regulations? Have there been any complaints? Visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov to see if an early learning program or provider have any violations.
• What is the Keystone STAR level of the early learning program or provider? Child care programs may earn a STAR 1 to STAR 4 rating by meeting quality standards. The higher the STAR level, the higher the quality.
• What experience and education does the person/teacher have caring for young children? Do the teachers and staff stay or is there high turnover? Are you comfortable with the teacher and feel the teacher will treat you as a partner in your child’s learning? Do teachers and home visitors encourage children to safely explore and try new things?
• Is there a kid-friendly atmosphere? Will your child have access to a variety of activities that are developmentally appropriate?
• How does the program feel? Is it clean? Are children having fun?
• Can you visit anytime?

Check out A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania to compare programs before you make a choice.

Your child needs to be safe. It’s important to know if there have been any complaints against a caregiver or child care/ early learning program.

First, find out what regulations or background checks are required. Do they meet the necessary regulations? Is this person or program safe to care for children? Do they meet regulations? Have there been any complaints? Visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov to see if an early learning program or provider have any violations. Here you can review their registration or certification history, results of their past inspections, and any complaints.

When looking for child care, try to balance cost, convenience and quality. Try to visit 2-3 early learning programs or providers before you make a choice. Two programs may cost about the same, but quality may be very different. Bring your child with you to see if he’ll be comfortable there. 

When you visit, please ask about:
• What is the Keystone STAR level of the early learning program or provider? Child care programs may earn a STAR 1 to STAR 4 rating by meeting quality standards. The higher the STAR level, the higher the quality.
• What experience and education does the person/teacher have caring for young children? Do the teachers and staff stay or is there high turnover? Are you comfortable with the teacher and feel the teacher will treat you as a partner in your child’s learning? Do teachers and home visitors encourage children to safely explore and try new things?
• Is there a kid-friendly atmosphere? Will your child have access to a variety of activities that are developmentally appropriate?
• How does the program feel? Is it clean? Are children having fun?
• Can you visit anytime?

Check out A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania to compare programs before you make a choice.

Only you can tell what caregiver or program is the right fit for your family. There are things you can look for that help you know it’s a quality program, where your child can be safe, happy and learning.

Try to visit 2-3 caregivers or programs before you make a choice. Two caregivers or programs may cost about the same, but their quality may be very different. Bring your child with you to see if he’ll be comfortable there.

When you visit, please ask about:
• Is this person or program safe to care for children? Do they meet regulations? Have there been any complaints? Visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov to see if an early learning program or provider have any violations.
• What is the Keystone STAR level of the early learning program or provider? Child care programs may earn a STAR 1 to STAR 4 rating by meeting quality standards. The higher the STAR level, the higher the quality.
• What experience and education does the person/teacher have caring for young children? Do the teachers and staff stay or is there high turnover? Are you comfortable with the teacher and feel the teacher will treat you as a partner in your child’s learning? Do teachers and home visitors encourage children to safely explore and try new things?
• Is there a kid-friendly atmosphere? Will your child have access to a variety of activities that are developmentally appropriate?
• How does the program feel? Is it clean? Are children having fun?
• Can you visit anytime?

Check out A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania to compare programs before you make a choice.

It’s great that your child can spend so much time with you! What a great way to bond.

The time your child spends with others is important, too. You want to be sure that your child is safe and know anyone your child spends time with, even family and friends.

If your child spends some time with your spouse or ex-partner, consistency can make the back and forth easier on her. Work with your ex-partner to make sure your child knows both of you love her. Try to set the same ground rules in both homes, and follow similar discipline and routines to help your child enjoy both homes and grow!

If your child doesn’t already spend time with other children, you may want to set up play dates so she can socialize with other young children. Time spent playing with other children will help her get ready for kindergarten. Many child care/early learning programs offer part-day or part-week care that can help add to what you are providing your child at home.

If the time comes when you do want to find a child care/early learning program for your toddler, check out A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania to compare programs before you make a choice.

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