Family Connections

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.

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The Positives of Playful Parenting

Playtime offers children more than just an entertaining pastime. Children can learn a great deal about themselves and the world around them via play. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) shares that play is one of the most important ways that children can develop critical social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills.

Families are often a child’s first playmate. Research from the LEGO Foundation and other child development experts  show the benefits of what is known as playful parenting—a style of parenting that incorporates intentional and connected playtime between children and families. Families who build strong, play-based bonds with children set a strong foundation for future connection and developmental benefits.

  • There are five core components to playful parenting. According to researchers at the LEGO Foundation, play between families and children should be joyful,  engaging, meaningful, iterative (i.e., allowing for repetition of the same playtime scenario to explore different approaches) and socially interactive. Explore activities that center these components of playful parenting here.
  • Play offers families space to discuss feelings and explore reasoning. Pretend play between families and children offers a safe space for children to explore and discuss feelings. Families are able to engage in back-and-forth exchanges with children, which research has linked to strengthened communication and social skills. Further, playful parenting that incorporates this type of play allows children to practice reasoning skills and helps them better understand the perspectives of others.
  • Play holds important benefits for both children and families. In a recent study conducted by child development researchers at the LEGO Foundation, playtime was linked to less stress and increased happiness of both families and children. Aside from providing a fun experience for children, play allows families to center well-being in their everyday lives.

Resource Highlights

  • Learning Resources – offers essential advice and engaging resources to help young children build new skills at home.
  • Twinkl Resources – provides families with free, downloadable activity sheets for preschool-aged children
  • Tinkergarten – provides a fun, research-based curriculum for learning through outdoor exploration.

Giving Thanks

Many families will gather around the dinner table on Thursday, Nov. 24 to celebrate Thanksgiving. However, filling one’s holiday dinner table is not an easy feat for all. Families that may need help can use Feeding America’s Thanksgiving Dinners and Turkeys search tool to locate local resources providing free food to those in need during the holiday season.

Let’s Read Together!

Read with your child throughout the day, each day during the week.

Week of Nov. 21, 2022

Week of Nov. 28, 2022

Nutrition and Cooking Classes

DC Child Care Connections, in collaboration with the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program at the University of the District of Columbia, will host a virtual nutrition and wellness program for families. During the weekly one-hour sessions, participants will learn how to:

  • prepare healthy meals and snacks;
  • save money on food;
  • control portion sizes;
  • reach and/or stay at healthy weight;
  • keep food safe;
  • increase physical activity; and
  • plan meals.

Classes will take place on the following Wednesdays:

Classes will take place on the following Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m.:

  • Dec. 1, 2022
  • Dec. 8, 2022
  • Dec. 15, 2022
  • Dec. 22, 2022

Wellness kits and gift cards will be provided to everyone that completes the entire program. Families can register here for the program.

DC Early Education Expo

DC Early Education EXPO is a free citywide Child Care Fair. Come out and explore the city’s diverse offerings for children. Staff from more than 200 child care centers and homes will showcase their unique programs. Representatives from community service organizations that offer resources to families of young children and early educators will be on hand to share information. Claim your ticket on the DC Early Education EXPO eventbrite page!

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety Recommendation

The FDA recommends that families do not use infant head shaping pillows intended to change an infant’s head shape or symmetry or claim to prevent or treat any medical condition. The use of head shaping pillows can create an unsafe sleep environment for infants and may contribute to the risk of suffocation and death.

Families can find out more about this newly issued safety recommendation 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.

Submit a Strong Start Referral Now! 

Product Recall Alerts

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.

Check out our Facebook page to stay up to date on events and opportunities. 


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