Child Development Resources

Resources for Parents

Born Provides information on how children learn, and easy ways to turn everyday activities into fun, meaningful learning moments.

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL): Promotes the social emotional development and school readiness of young children birth to age 5. Information for families on understanding your child’s behavior and supporting your child’s development. Resources for early childhood professionals include: scripted stories for social situations, tools for working on building relationships, “Book Nook” extension activities, and resources for teaching social and emotional skills.

Child Care Exchange: Free e-newsletter that provides a short digest on top issues in early education; subscribe to the professional magazine, order publications, or explore a number of free trainings and publications that can be downloaded.

Dads Adventure: Designed specifically for dads by dads, the website provides articles, videos and the e-magazine Dads Adventure, offering helpful information on becoming a dad, taking care of baby, finances and many other topics. The website also features Ask a Dad,; submit your question to be answered by one of more than 300 veteran fathers who facilitate boot camp workshops for new dads.

Doing What Works: Research-Based Education Practices Online (Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education): Online library of resources that may help teachers, schools, districts, states and technical assistance providers implement research-based instructional practice.

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center: Information and resources for families including: everyday parenting, growing up and learning games and activities, and information and resources for professionals (assessment, planning and curriculum, and individualizing instruction).

Good to Go From Head to Toe!: Pretend City Children’s Museum’s child-development initiative educates parents, caretakers and the community about the importance of having children (0-5) receive regular developmental checkups as part of routine, well-child visits. Pretend City Children’s Museum hosts classes and special events to support children’s development and provides online resources on developmental milestones and recent research on children’s development. Wide variety of resources including activities, expert advice, city guides, and gift reviews.

Healthy (Brought to you by the American Academy of Pediatrics): Information on ages and stages of child development (birth through young adult), healthy living, safety and prevention, family life and health issues.

The Imagination Tree: Numerous easy-to-do activities to support all areas of development from birth through early elementary years.

Parent Further: The website provides practical, everyday parenting tips and helpful advice on topics such as: teaching children positive values, setting clear boundaries and enforcing reasonable consequences, finding the support and knowledge you need to help your children grow up successfully, and focusing on the things that matter most to your family.

NAEYC: National Association for the Education of Young Children is the leading membership association for those working with and on behalf of children from birth through age 8. The Families Today page features articles on various parenting topics such as reading to children, television’s impact on young children, and family concerns like divorce, challenging behavior, etc.

Scholastic’s Parent and Child Parenting advice, articles on children’s development, activity ideas, and free newsletter just right for you and your children ages preschool through middle school.

Sesame Information, activities and downloadable/printable materials to support children’s development in the areas of the workshop's four initiatives: Health and Wellness, Respect and Understanding, Literacy and Numeracy, and Emotional Wellbeing. Also includes link to children’s interactive website featuring educational games and videos.

Zero to Three: From Baby to Big Kid Newsletter: Showcases how children learn and grow each month from birth to 3 years. From Baby to Big Kid translates the science of early childhood and offers strategies parents can tailor to their unique family situation and to the needs of their child.

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Resources for Individuals Interested in Opening a Child Care Business

Child Care Connections
Online resource library including business plan development, facility design and financial resources and professional expert directory. This website was created by the Child Care Connections collaborative, which is no longer active, though the online resources are still available to the public.

Local Investment in Child Care (LINCC)
LINCC is an innovative project designed to build an infrastructure that supports child care facilities development, renovation, and expansion in California.

State of California Community Care Licensing Division
All child care centers and family child care homes must be licensed by the State of California Division of Community Care Licensing. To view Community Care Licensing information and updates, visit the Community Care Licensing Division website.

Children’s Home Society (CHS)
CHS provides a variety of vital informational, educational and resource services, including monthly family child care business start-up training, a quarterly child care and development services newsletter, referrals for parents looking for child care centers and homes, professional development and networking opportunities.  Call 714-817-8600 for more information.

Orange County Score
SCORE is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses. SCORE offers monthly workshops and no-cost personal counseling and mentoring from professional business women and men in a comfortable, non-confrontational environment.

Small Business Administration
Programs and services to help you start, grow and succeed.

Orange County Child Care and Development Planning Council
The mission of the Orange County Child Care and Development Planning Council is to mobilize public and private resources and foster partnerships to address the child care and development needs of Orange County children, families and providers.

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Resources for Early Care and Educational Professionals

Irvine Unified School Early Childhood Education Center
Provides an array of services to help families and early child care providers develop skills that build strong families with healthy children, ages 0-5, who are learning and ready for school.

Help Me Grow
Are you concerned with your child’s development? Are you challenged by your child’s behavior?  Would you like more information on parenting? Help Me Grow connects families and children with developmental, behavioral or learning concerns to resources in the community. To view its flier, click here.

National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA)
Resources designed to help parents find quality child care, get the latest information on child development and parenting issues, keep informed on current legislation and policies affecting young children, look at their work choices after having a baby, and have access to hundreds of fun learning activities to do with their children.

South Orange County Family Resource Center
To improve family and community life, the Family Resource Center brings together services and activities that educate, support and provide resources to families with children including parenting education, parent/child interactive classes, health care access services and counseling services.

Transitional Kindergarten and Irvine Unified School District
In 2010, California passed the Kindergarten Readiness Act, which will shift the birthday cut-off date for kindergarten enrollment from 5 years old on or before Dec. 2, to 5 years old on or before Sept. 1. The Irvine Unified School District began implementing this change gradually (please click on title for cut off dates and information) over the following three school years.

Orange County Department of Education (OCDE)
The Orange County Department of Education strives to make a difference in Orange County schools through world class resources, services, and opportunities for parents, educators, students, and community members. Visit OCDE online to learn more about the programs and services that support and foster excellence in Orange County schools.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for children from birth through age 8. For more information about the Orange County Chapter of the organization, click here.

National Association for Family Child Care (​NAFCC)
NAFCC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care. For more information about the Orange County Chapter of the organization, click here.

City of Irvine Disability Services
City of Irvine Disability Services provides support services and social programs to persons with disabilities, their families, caregivers, and providers who live or work in Irvine.

National Afterschool Alliance
The alliance works to ensure that all youth have access to affordable, quality after-school programs. One of the organization's leading goals is to serve as an information source on after-school programs and resources.

Help Me Grow
Help Me Grow connects families and children with developmental, behavioral or learning concerns to resources in the community. Help Me Grow also provides resources and information to child care providers to help support the families they serve.

State of California Community Care Licensing Division
All child care centers and family child care homes must be licensed by the State of California Division of Community Care Licensing. To view Community Care Licensing information and updates, visit the Community Care Licensing Division website.

Orange County Department of Education (OCDE)

The Orange County Department of Education strives to make a difference in Orange County schools through world class resources, services, and opportunities for parents, educators, students, and community members. Visit OCDE online to learn more about the programs and services that support and foster excellence in Orange County schools.

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Links to Child Development Resources

Literacy (International Reading Association): Age-appropriate book suggestions, rainy day activities, and information for parents and after school educators.

Reading is Fundamental: Resources for families and educators include: articles on literacy and development, suggested reading lists, lesson plans, activities, author and illustrator question and answer chats and interactive games for children.

Reading Rockets: A national multimedia project offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.

Jumpstart: Literacy resources for families include: favorite books and reading tips, family resource book, ideas for story time, and Playdate with a Purpose (presented by Parents Magazine), a downloadable guide based on carefully selected children’s books. Plan a literacy play-date today!

Center for Early Literacy Learning: Activities especially for parents of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. These practices show you how everyday home and community activities encourage infants to listen, talk, and learn the building blocks for early literacy. Practice guide activities include: storytelling, listening, scribbling, drawing, rhymes, sound awareness, vocalizing, singing, gestures and signing.


Center of Science and Industry (COSI): Instructions for interactive science experiments.

Exploratorium: The Exploratorium in San Francisco is a museum of science, art and human perception. At the Exploratorium website, visitors can engage in science activities that are miniature versions of the museum's exhibits. Subject categories include chemistry, color, electricity, heat, light, math, sound and waves.

Science Instructions and videos for interactive science experiments, science fair ideas, and links to many science sites. (By PBS Kids Go!): Instructions for interactive science experiments.

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Mixing in Math (Funded in part by the National Science Foundation): A bank of resources that add math to out-of-school time for ages 3-12.

Nutrition/Physical Fitness

Fruits & Veggies: More Matters Health Initiative: Offers expert cooking advice, nutrition information and shopping tips. The children’s companion site, offers games, activities and recipes.

Health and Nutrition for Kids: Resources for kids, parents and teachers including recipes, games, music, activity sheets, lesson plans and more.

PE Central: The Premier Site for Health and Physical Education: Provides the latest information about contemporary physical education programs for children and youth. Resources on the site include health and physical education lesson ideas, ready-to-print assessments, adapted physical education information, classroom management techniques, and information about best practices in physical education and programs designed to motivate children and help them improve their motor skills and understanding of the importance of physical fitness.

Deliciously Healthy Family Meals: Free online cookbook offering more than 40 kid-tested recipes featuring a variety of healthy entrees, side dishes, and snacks that parents and children can prepare and enjoy together. Also includes time-saving tips and helpful resources for busy families.

Keep the Beat-Deliciously Healthy Eating: Healthy recipes, nutrition guidelines for children, tips for getting children involved in the kitchen and much more!

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After-School Resources

California After School Resource Center (CASRC): Provides access to a comprehensive set of reviewed materials, resources, trainings, tools, and supportive services for after school programs. Browse through the resources and register online to borrow materials from the library, with free delivery in California.

ReadWriteThink: The International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English have created a Web site dedicated to promoting activities and books that encourage children to read. Resources for after-school professionals are categorized by grade. The resources are then grouped by activities and projects; games and tools; tips and how to's; printouts; and podcasts.

Healthy Kids Hub: Focuses on universal nutrition and physical activity principles (Drink Right, Move More, Snack Smart) to promote a healthy lifestyle for children. Includes evidence-based recommendations for caregivers to implement.

California Infant/Toddler and Preschool Learning and Development Resources

Guidelines for Early Learning in Child Care Home Settings: California Department of Education. The Guidelines focus on the special role you play as a family child care provider in educating the children you serve, and offers guidance to help create a positive, nurturing environment for the children in your care. The Guidelines will help you strengthen relationships with the children and families you serve, develop a home-based curriculum that will enhance children’s learning and development across domains, and ensure your home is both a caring and learning environment.

California Infant/Toddler Learning Foundations (Published by the California Department of Education): Presents 28 foundations in four domains that describe the competencies that infants and toddlers typically attain in the first three years of life. The descriptions of competencies are enriched with examples of typical behaviors at each age level in each of the four domains as well as behaviors leading up to attainment of those competencies. This publication is a counterpart to the preschool learning foundations and is a companion to the Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Program Guidelines.

California Preschool Learning Foundations: Volume 1 (Published by the California Department of Education): Describe the knowledge, skills, and competencies that children typically attain at around 48 and 60 months of age when they participate in a high-quality preschool program and with adequate support. They also help to inform practitioners about children’s academic and social development so that decisions can be made to support children’s curriculum and growth.

California Preschool Learning Foundations: Volume 2: The foundations are at the heart of the CDE's approach to promoting preschool learning. This book was developed to ensure school readiness for all children, including those with disabilities and those from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Volume 2 focuses on the domains of the visual and performing arts, physical development, and health. A summary list of the foundations is included at the back

California Preschool Learning Foundations: Volume 3: Establishes research-based foundations for the domains of history-social science and science. Like volumes 1 and 2, it provides examples under each foundation to describe the various ways in which a child might demonstrate skills and knowledge, whether in a home language or using alternative modes of communication. Instructional strategies provide ideas for how a preschool program can support children's learning. Appendix A provides an overview of the alignment of the preschool foundations with key early education resources, such as the Common Core State Standards. Appendix B displays all the history-social science and science foundations.

California Preschool Curriculum Framework: Volume 1 (Published by the California Department of Education): Created as a companion to the "California Preschool Learning Foundations, Volume 1", this framework presents strategies and information to enrich learning and development opportunities for all of California’s preschool children.

California Preschool Curriculum Framework: Volume 2: Focuses on the learning domains of visual and performing arts, physical development, and health. The framework takes an integrated approach to early learning and describes how curriculum planning considers the connections between different domains. Strategies are described for planning the curriculum, the preschool environment, and teacher interactions with children so that learning is maximized. The curriculum framework is designed to be a companion to the "California Preschool Learning Foundations."

California Preschool Curriculum Framework: Volume 3: Focuses on two learning domains: history-social science and science. It includes guiding principles, curriculum strategies, and ideas to support the learning and development of preschool children. Strategies for teaching children who are English learners are included.

Instructional Guide for the California Preschool Learning Foundations: Volume 1: Includes suggested activities and resources for use by faculty in community college and university courses in California.

California Comprehensive Early Learning Plan: This plan lays out a direction for California in the development of high-quality birth-to-five long-term success. It suggests changes to make California's early learning system more coherent and effective. The first few years of life are critical to long-term brain development, and early experiences are essential to successful long-term academic and social outcomes.

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Websites for Children

Between the Lions: Get Wild About Reading (PBS): Interactive website featuring educational games, stories and video clips for children and tips, information and resources for families.

Food Champs (Fruits and Veggies More Matters Campaign): Interactive website for children featuring games and activities focused on nutrition and physical fitness.

PBS Kids: Interactive website featuring educational games and videos.

Sesame Street Workshop: Interactive website featuring educational games, videos, playlists (a carefully selected collection of games and videos with content grouped around an educational theme, different every day) for children and information, printables and resources for families.