This series of research-to-practice briefs covers a variety of topics related to early learning and child development. The briefs were developed to support home visitors in their work with children and families. They provide an accessible and usable overview of recent research as well as resources for families. In addition to home visitors, teachers and family child care providers can use these briefs to learn more about current research on early childhood development.
The briefs review the latest research on topics important to children’s development, such as social emotional development, early literacy, and supporting children who are dual language learners. There are two sections for each topic: “Research Notes” is for home visitors, and “Connecting at Home” is for families. Home visitors can use “Research Notes” to understand how key research findings inform effective teaching practices in early learning settings. “Connecting at Home” can be used directly with families or as inspiration for new activities to suggest during home visits. It also provides home visitors with a way to talk to parents and families about research on child development.
Infants are born ready to learn. Learn strategies to support babies’ sensory experience of the world around them during their first year of life.
Toddlers learn by following their curiosity. Learn how to support them as they gain new skills and concepts by exploring and experimenting. Discover ways you can guide their learning as they engage with the world.
As children play, their brain builds connections that support many skills, including self-regulation. Discover how you can be a family's "guide on the side" to help them support how their child learns.
Explore this brief to learn how home visitors can support children who are learning more than one language. Find out how a solid foundation in a child’s home language is key to later language success.
Messy play is the open-ended exploration of materials and their physical properties. Learn ways to manage the mess as children learn foundational cognitive principles and practice motor, language, and social skills.
Find out why young children exhibit behaviors that may challenge us. Learn about strategies to try when you are feeling challenged by children’s behavior.
Find out how children learn in social relationships. Explore how strong bonds with responsive, nurturing adults can support children’s social and emotional development.
Learn more about how to support Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) learning. Find out how STEAM skills help children analyze information, think creatively, and solve problems.
Through play, children learn about the world while practicing the skills that allow them to explore it. When we play with children, we provide learning environments that are rich with context and meaning. These joyful experiences help children learn!
When you read with children, they connect the words they hear with the pictures on the page and things in their world. Learn why story time is important for children’s brain development.
Learning environments are everywhere. They include the home, outdoors, classrooms, and more. Learn how to use the environment to support all children's school readiness.
Children with disabilities or suspected delays are children first. All children need individualized interactions and environments, along with a program culture that supports their natural differences.
Children need extra support in their earliest days to grow a healthy brain. Caring relationships, child-centered interactions, and responsive care are keys to nurturing healthy brain development.
Math is everywhere, from your home to the grocery store to the outdoors. Learn how to support children’s math learning during the activities and routines they already do every day.
From an early age, the arts can help children communicate and connect. Discover how arts experiences support young children's development across the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework domains.
During transitions, infants and toddlers need adult support. Learn how adults can help by building caring relationships, offering consistent routines, and being flexible to meet the unique needs of each child.
Discover the ways to support children as they notice differences and similarities in the world around them. Learn how to talk to them about what they observe as a learning strategy.
Explore the importance of adults’ responsive social interactions with children. Find out how these interactions allow children and adults to share attention and build bonds.
Last Updated: May 2, 2023