Making Quality Count


The Science of Child Development
These resources help explain the science behind how brains develop and what happens to children as they grow physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally in the first five years.
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              Choosing a Quality Early Learning Provider
These resources offer useful guidelines for assessing early learning provider programs to help you select the best provider for your child.
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Helping Preschoolers Learn and Grow
These resources give you tools and guidance on how you can engage with your preschool age child to promote healthy learning.
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  Links for More Information
These resources offer more information on a wide variety of topics impacting child development as well as organizations and websites that offer different kinds of support to parents.
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 The Science of Child Development

  • Experiences Build Brain Architecture

A video that shows how connections are formed in the brains of babies and how they develop in the first few years of life.


  • Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry 

A video that shows the best way to interact with babies to help form strong connections in the brain.


  • Toxic Stress Derails Healthy Development

A video that explains how toxic stresses (such as neighborhood violence, poverty or child neglect) can negatively impact a child’s development.


  • Early Learning Matters - First Five Years Fund

A video that highlights the positive impact of quality in early learning for children, families and our society.



Choosing a Quality Early Learning Provider

  • Child Care Aware - Child Care Aware of America

Offers information and tips for locating quality child care, the types of care available and how to evaluate the early learning providers you visit.


  • Essentials for Your Child Care Visit - Child Care Aware of America

A publication with guidance on the important steps parents should take when conducting a search for a child care provider.


  • Is This the Right Place for My Child

A booklet highlighting a checklist of 38 indicators parents can use to assess quality in an early learning provider.


  • Chicago Early Learning - City of Chicago

An early learning portal designed to help parents find early learning programs near home or work that are funded or supported by the City of Chicago.


  • Chicago Ready to Learn Initiative

Chicago Public Schools

Offers information about a new preschool program, Ready to Learn, available in some public schools in Chicago.



Helping Preschoolers Learn and Grow

  • Better Brains for Babies Fact Sheets  - Better Brains for Babies

A series of practical fact sheets covering a wide variety of developmental issues for improving brain development in babies.


  • Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A free online resource offering parents tools and techniques for parenting skills with an emphasis on behavior issues.


  • Parenting Counts - Talaris Institute

An array of products to support parents and caregivers in raising socially and emotionally healthy children.


  • Helping Your Preschool Child - U.S. Department of Education       

A booklet offering quality activities parents can use to engage children from infancy to age 5.


  • Toddlers Get Ready to Read - National Institute for Literacy

Booklet that presents a parent’s-eye view and a checklist of how to help children ages 2 and 3 develop language skills.


  • Preschoolers Get Ready to Read - National Institute for Literacy

Booklet that presents a parent’s-eye view and a checklist of how to help children ages 4 and 5 develop language and reading skills


  • Your Baby’s Development - Zero To Three

A series of helpful handouts and guidelines (in English and Spanish) to understand what parents can do to support health development in language and literacy in babies from infancy through the first year.



Links for more information

  • A to Z Child Care Information Links - National Resource Center

A comprehensive list of resources related to everything associated with child development and support resources.


  • Child Care Aware - Child Care Aware of America

Information, tools and resources to help parents find quality child care.


  • National Resources  - Bright Starts

A “go-to” list of organizations and resources focused on early learning nationally.