Home language support is the foundation for developing English language skills. Today’s early childhood staff must be prepared to enhance experiences for a growing number of young children who are learning their home languages and English. We can promote positive experiences for these children by holding high expectations and emphasizing their strengths, including cultural and linguistic strengths. We also provide children and their families with the individualized learning supports necessary to succeed in school. All early childhood program staff want to understand what young dual language learners (DLLs) need in order to thrive in Head Start and beyond. These DLL Toolkit resources give teachers, caregivers, and family services staff support to foster the learning and development of young children.
The Head Start Disabilities Services Newsletter is produced monthly by the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (NCECDTL).
This guide provides information about two new federal programs that could help make student loans easier to pay back. All full time Head Start employees can use this information to apply for a reduction to their monthly student loan payments and begin down the path to loan forgiveness.
Making It Work: Implementing Cultural Learning Experiences in American Indian and Alaska Native Early Learning Settings for Children Ages Birth to 5
Making It Work is a resource that can help American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) early education staff meet school readiness goals. Learn how to use it while teaching traditional cultural skills, values, beliefs, and lifeways.
Learn how to support children with disabilities who are also dual language learners. Explore useful screening practices and teaching strategies for classroom teachers.
In this webinar series, federal staff share insights and information around issues related to serving children with disabilities.
Learn how to plan activities that use nature to teach children math concepts and skills.
One-third of the children in Head Start and Early Head Start are dual language learners (DLLs) who are learning English while also learning their home language. Virtually all of these children will code switch. In other words, they mix two or more languages in the same sentence while speaking. It is important that teachers, home visitors, and other staff understand what code switching is, the role it plays in language development, and how to respond to it.
Teachers know and understand the broad range of content areas and the developmental expectations (i.e., social and emotional, cognitive, expressive and receptive language, motor, adaptive, and English language development) appropriate for young children as outlined by the Head Start Early Learning Framework. Teachers consider what they want children to know, understand, and be able to do using the five essential domains.
For infants and toddlers, school readiness refers to their developing capacity to self-regulate, demonstrate curiosity, communicate effectively, and develop close, secure relationships. Good health and proper nutrition support this developing capacity. This happens within the context of nurturing, culturally responsive relationships with parents, caregivers, extended family, and community.