Hand to Hold recommends the resources created by Zero to Three, a national nonprofit organization that informs, trains and supports professionals, policymakers and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. Founded in 1977 by top experts in child development, their mission is to ensure that all infants and babies have a strong start in life. They do this by providing the knowledge and tools to parents, health care professional and lawmakers needed to support early development.
Since their start, this organization has evolved into one that plays a critical leadership role in promoting understanding around key issues affecting young children and their families. These issues include childcare, infant mental health, early language and literacy development, early intervention and the impact of culture on early childhood development.
Zero to Three promotes a multidisciplinary approach to child development. Their emphasis is on bringing together the perspectives of many fields and specialists and then rooting those perspectives in robust research. These studies show that all domains of development—social, emotional, intellectual, language and physical—are interdependent and work together to promote a child’s overall health and well-being in the context of his family and culture.
All of their work is:
- Grounded in research and experience
- Culturally responsive
- Clinically informed
Zero to Three offers a wide variety of resources, from an online bookstore and catalog to online references. Their popular 12-series podcast, Little Kids, Big Questions, addresses some of the most common (and challenging) issues facing parents of babies and toddlers, such as: helping a baby learn to sleep through the night, dealing with a picky eater, and learning to set limits on children’s behavior.
Their resources are organized by topic, including:
- behavior and development, which covers topics such as play, brain development, early language, school readiness, grandparents, mental health assessment and treatment, sleep, temperament and more.
- maltreatment, which describes the impact of trauma and ways to keep children safe.
- early care and education, which details how to find quality care from a child care center or other caring adults. This section also offers a free web-based, interactive learning tool designed to help parents and caregivers support their young children’s early learning. Age-based information covers the four key skills—language and literacy skills, thinking skills, self-confidence and self-control that are helpful for school success.
- public policy, shows a variety of ways to advocate on behalf of initiatives supporting the care, development and education of young children.