To help families with young children adjust to the current situation brought on by the public health emergency, DC Child Care Connections developed a system to provide useful information and resources to help with at-home learning, maintaining mental health and other important early childhood topics.
We have worked with community partners to identify a series of daily resources and activities from nationally-recognized organizations that families can use to keep children engaged and to continue the learning process. All resources are developmentally appropriate for the ages specified and are aligned to the DC Early Learning Standards.
Healthy Kids, Happy Futures: Tackling Childhood Obesity Together
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, an annual observance which promotes healthy growth of children and brings awareness to the health challenges associated with childhood obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity affects nearly one in five children nationwide. While obesity is a complex disease with a range of contributing factors, below are a few ways that families can promote healthier outcomes for children:
- Implement a healthy, well-balanced diet. Food plays a key role in promoting healthy growth. Families can help prevent obesity by limiting drinks and foods with added sugars and promoting a nutrient-rich diet. The Mayo Clinic provides a comprehensive childhood nutrition resource for families.
- Adopt an active lifestyle. Exercise is an important way to help maintain a healthy weight. Children need at least 60 minutes of activity daily. Families are encouraged to decrease the time a child spends on sedentary activities like watching TV and playing video games, and encourage more active behaviors, such as dance, walks and outdoor game play.
- Promote healthy sleep patterns: Many early childhood experts have observed links between too little sleep and childhood obesity. Children who don’t get sufficient sleep may have less energy to be active and tend to eat more during the day. Families can help promote good sleep habits in children by ensuring they get enough sleep on a consistent schedule.
- Support lifelong healthy habits. Obesity is associated with a variety of health risks for children, such as increased likelihood for high blood pressure, asthma and type 2 diabetes. According to researchers at Georgetown University, these adverse health effects may extend into adulthood. Families play a key part in setting the foundation for future health.
Safe Kids Worldwide provides families with safety tips by age, activity and location. Families can learn more about safety through fun activities, checklists, research reports and infographics.
US Consumer Product Safety Commission provides families with practical safety tips for children.
Children’s Safety Network provides helpful information about common childhood safety risks and ways families can prevent childhood injury.
DC Child Care Connections’ Family Connections Workshops
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Knots and Knuckles: Developing Fine Motor Skills in Young Children
During this session, participants will learn about fine motor skill development in early childhood. The facilitator will introduce a host of hands-on activities for families that support muscle development and fine motor skills in children from birth to age 5. Register for the workshop here.
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Orientation to DC Child Care Connections (DC CCC) as a Community Resource
This workshop provides a virtual orientation to resources and services available for families and early child care educators through DC CCC. Register for the workshop here.
Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Falling in Love with Learning
The Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) is partnering with DC CCC to bring Falling in Love with Learning to FONA’s annual Fall Festival and Bulb Sale located on the grounds of the National Arboretum.
Join us for this family-friendly event for children ages 2 to 12 celebrating the intersection between science and nature.
Attendees should use the Arboretum’s New York Avenue entrance and park at the New York Avenue Parking Lot. A free shuttle will transport attendees between this parking lot and the event. Additional parking, without shuttle service, is available at the Grove Parking Lot and R Street Parking Lot.
Baby Safety Month
Let’s Read Together!
Read with your child throughout the day, each day during the week.
- So Big! by Mike Wohnoutka
- Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex
- If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen
- Hattie Harmony: Worry Detective by Elizabeth Olsen and Robbie Arnett
- Someone New by Anne Sibley O’Brien
Week of Sept. 11, 2023
- Music and Movement Monday: Explore animal movements with a fun jumping game.
- Tasty Tuesday: Make easy and refreshing popsicles.
- Wellness Wednesday: Take a mindfulness break that explores the five senses.
- Textured Thursday: Create a colorful llama puppet craft.
- Family Fun Friday: Have fun together at home by exploring virtual amusement park rides.
Week of Sept. 18, 2023
- Music and Movement Monday: Get moving with fun dancing games.
- Tasty Tuesday: Skip the oven and make no-bake cookies and cream bars.
- Wellness Wednesday: Explore a kid-friendly yoga session at home.
- Textured Thursday: Make a paper windmill craft.
- Family Fun Friday: Write secret notes to each other using homemade invisible ink.
Well-Child Care Visits
Well-child care visits to the doctor’s office help ensure children stay healthy. These visits provide children with preventative care; allow a doctor to track their growth and development; give families the opportunity to raise concerns about a child’s health or development; and provide families with adequate support to make informed decisions about their child’s health and wellbeing. The American Academy of Pediatrics outlines the recommended schedule for well-child care visits, as well as what to expect during each visit, here.
Questions About Your Child’s Development?
Strong Start is DC’s early intervention program, offering free services for children under the age of 3 with developmental delays or disabilities. Strong Start provides therapeutic and other services for DC infants and toddlers and their families. Strong Start is currently offering and delivering services to children and their families through in-person visits; a combination of in-person and telehealth visits; or completely through telehealth visits.
If you have questions about your child’s development, call Strong Start today at (202) 727-3665.
Product Recall Alerts
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced the following recalls:
- Simplay3 Toddler Towers have been recalled due to fall hazard and risk of injury to children.
- Zipadee Kids Convertible House Bed Frames and Montessori Floor Beds have been recalled due to entrapment and strangulation hazards.
- Restwell Mattress Crib Mattresses have been recalled due to suffocation hazard.
- The Children’s Place Baby and Toddler Boy Jeans have been recalled due to suffocation hazard.
We are here to help! If you need support in navigating these resources or help planning experiences for your children, please contact one of our team members today. Please contact us at DC Child Care Connections (202) 829-2500.
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