Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work With Infants and Toddlers: Issue No. 31, December 2013
A Portrait of Infants and Toddlers in the United States
Child Trends and the McCormick Foundation have published a report, The Youngest Americans: A Statistical Portrait of Infants and Toddlers in the United States (November 2013) that provides a comprehensive indicators-based portrait of the approximately 12 million infants and toddlers in America. It includes basic demographic data on these young children, including information about their health and well-being, and the well-being of their parents. The authors present observations about the composite portrait drawn and identify some common threads in the data. Some key findings show that:
- Many infants and toddlers in America today are starting out with severe economic hardship.
- There are considerable inequities marked by income and race/ethnicity and these inequities are often compounded by fragile family situations.
- The majority of mothers of infants and toddlers are working.
- Parental leave, high-quality child care, and access to early intervention services are out of reach for many families raising infants and toddlers.
Understanding How Infants Acquire New Words Across Cultures
While there are some universals in the earliest stages of language acquisition, recent studies show that infants learning different languages may actually acquire words in different ways. Read more about it.
Babies Learn to Aim Tools by Banging Toys
Babies have a natural proclivity for banging, but what may seem like haphazard movements—and a lot of noise—may actually offer hints to how humans learn to use tools. Tool use develops gradually, beginning in infancy when banging is uncoordinated through early toddlerhood when it is more precise and efficient, new research suggests. Learn more here.
Babies Use Body Map in Brain
Babies often observe others demonstrate how to do things and then copy those body movements. It’s how little ones know, usually without explicit instructions, to hold a toy phone to the ear or guide a spoon to the mouth.
The findings, published online in PLOS ONE, are the first to show that babies’ brains showed specific activation patterns when an adult performed a task with different parts of her body.
Ten Tips for Supporting Children’s Learning During the Holidays
This set of suggestions from NAEYC may come in handy over the next few weeks.
Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed monthly. Each issue features resources that are high quality, readily available and free. To join the listserv, send an email with no message to email@example.com. To suggest resources, please contact Camille Catlett at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 966-6635.
New Possibilities: Using Evidence-Based Practices That Support Inclusion – An exciting new professional development opportunity!
On May 1-2, 2014, the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Vermont DEC will offer a two-day professional development institute designed to strengthen the daily practices used by professionals to support infants, toddlers, and young children of diverse abilities in inclusive settings.
If you’re interested in a small, focused professional development opportunity that features outstanding presenters, new content, in-depth learning experiences, and a lovely setting (Burlington, VT) at a reasonable price, please consider registering for this event while space is still available.
For details on content, presenters, and logistics, please see the New Possibilities Institute overview 11-13. For specific questions about the content, please email Camille Catlett (email@example.com).
A new two-page policy brief from the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), Highlighting the Positive Development of Minority Children (October 2013), summarizes a number of facts and findings from the research underscoring the importance of focusing on and learning more about the positive development, adaptation and adjustment of minority children, rather than focusing mostly on maladjustment and adversity.
The brief summarizes a longer Social Policy Report, Positive Development of Minority Children (2013), by Natasha Cabrera and the SRCD Ethnic and Racial Issues Committee.