How Do You Support Children’s Growth?
Families are a child’s first teacher. They are instrumental in their child’s growth and development. Providers also play an important role in the early learning process. Together, families and providers can utilize the resources and links below to better support the children that they care for.
Developmental milestones can help you establish what a typically developing child is doing at certain ages. As each child develops individually, milestones can be used as a guide to see where your child is at.
Developmental screening provides information on how children are doing as they grow. Like a yardstick for measuring height, developmental screening is a tool that helps families’ measure important areas of their children’s development through the early years. Below is a list of resources with links to assist families and providers in supporting the children that they care for.
- Watch Me Grow: Watch Me Grow (WMG) helps New Hampshire families to ensure their child’s brightest future by tracking his or her growth and development. It is New Hampshire’s developmental screening, referral and information system for families of children ages birth to six years.
- Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment: The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit provides comprehensive and preventive health care services for children under age 21 who are enrolled in Medicaid. EPSDT is key to ensuring that children and adolescents receive appropriate preventive, dental, mental health, and developmental, and specialty services.
Specialized Supports and Services to Help Children Grow and Learn
The following programs provide support to families of young children who are in need of specialized services to help their children grow and learn.
- Parent Information Center: The Parent Information Center (PIC), a New Hampshire statewide family organization, strives to achieve positive outcomes for children and youth, with a focus on those with disabilities and special healthcare needs. This is achieved through its partnerships with families, educators, youth, professionals and organizations.
- Preschool Special Education: New Hampshire has a long history of providing a free, appropriate public education to children with disabilities, ages 3-5. By federal and state law, local school districts must work with families and community partners to find, identify and serve children who are eligible for special education and related services so that services can begin by the child’s third birthday.
- Family Centered Early Supports and Services: In NH Family Centered Early Supports and Services (FCESS) are delivered by contractual agreements between Bureau of Developmental Services and designated non-profit and specialized service agencies located throughout the state. Anyone who is concerned about an infant or toddler’s development, including a parent, may make a referral to FCESS. The program is designed for children birth through age three who have a diagnosed, established condition that has a high probability of resulting in delay, are experiencing developmental delays, or are at risk for substantial developmental delays if supports and services are not provided.
- New Hampshire Family Voices: New Hampshire Family Voices provides free, confidential services to families and professionals caring for children with chronic conditions and/or disabilities. We empower and inform families and professionals to feel confident when making choices for children and youth in their care. New Hampshire Family Voices has a specific page to help families learn more about early identification, screening, referral, and diagnosis. Click here to visit the page.
- Preschool Technical Assistance Network: The Preschool Technical Assistance Network offers a Child Care Inclusion Project to support child care teachers and directors so that they can successfully include children who have challenging behaviors and/or other special needs thus reducing the need to suspend or expel a child and family from their child care program.
The New Hampshire Early Learning Standards are a statewide resource for everyone who loves, cares for, and educates young children. The Standards provide essential information to support and enhance children’s development and learning.
To view the NH Early Learning Standards click here
Click here to view a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education about the NH Early Learning Standards.
Many children eat most of their daily meals and snacks while in child care and early education programs. Although they may seem to be active and energetic, most children do not get the amount of physical activity they need. Click here to view resources to improve nutrition and increase physical activity.
Your child’s brain is growing fast. Up to 92% of the brain develops by age five, making the early years a critical time in your child’s life.