Family members are the “forever” people in a child’s life who will make a deep and lasting difference.   To support families as they nurture and teach their young children, these resources:

  • Assume, articulate and build upon families’ strengths
  • Teach about how children grow and learn by translating theory
    into everyday language
  • Help adults understand what a child may be feeling or thinking through the use of charts, cartoons and stories in a child’s voice
  • Encourage parents to pause.  To take a breath.  To see how much they know and do.  To suggest something parents may want to
    think or talk about.
  • Share stories, lessons learned, struggles and suggestions of
    other families

The Ordinary is Extraordinary: How Children Under Three Learn (with Leah Wallach, available at major on-line bookstores).  This book explores wonder and rich learning opportunities of everyday moments for young children.   


"After reading the Ordinary is Extraordinary, I knew I could be a parent."

—Debra S.

A Parent’s Guide – To the Head Start Home-Based Program Option. A rich model for other materials written for families, this guide goes beyond conveying content to creating and sustaining a conversation and relationship between family members and those who support them.  

Starting Life Together:  Your guide for building a nurturing, healthy relationship with your child (with Mary Haust and Liz Isakson, MD, New York State Council on Children and Families, 2016).  Part of New York State’s New Parents Kit, this guide focuses on what a child’s important adults can say and do during everyday routines and play to promote a trusting relationship and learning.  In addition it invites reflection on Protective Factors, provides families with space to include photos and memories and includes numerous resources across the state.