There are many types of good child care. Whether a child is cared for by a parent, grandparent, trusted caregiver or licensed child care facility, First 5 California is committed to making sure that all environments are safe and nurturing. In California, 62 percent of children under 5 years of age spend at least part of their day in the care of someone other than their parents. Research shows that children in high quality care environments show more advanced language skills, do better in school, and have fewer behavior problems and better social skills. Research also shows that teachers with bachelor's degrees and specialized training in child development provide young children with the best preparation to succeed in kindergarten.
Good eating habits and physical activity are key to a child's healthy growth and development. First 5 California knows the valuable role parents, care givers and families play in providing nutritious food choices that shape children's life long eating habits. Poor food choices, large portion sizes and lack of exercise contribute to the increase in obesity among children.
A smile can say a lot about a child. It can tell us that a child is happy. It can also tell us whether that child is happy and healthy. Caring for your children's teeth and mouth while they are young is essential for their overall growth and development. Although tooth decay is preventable, it is still one of the most prevalent childhood diseases.
Children develop at different rates and in different ways. Some walk early; some late. Some talk right away; for others, it takes more time. All of this is normal. But some children are born with disabilities and other special needs that will affect how they grow and develop. For parents and caregivers, this can be confusing and scary. At First 5 California, we want to make sure parents and caregivers know they are not alone in this process – and give them the information, resources and answers they need to make decisions and access services that will help their young children thrive.