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Early Connections: A Parent Café Curriculum from ZERO TO THREE

Almost 70% of parents say they would use more positive parenting strategies if only they knew them.

ZERO TO THREE’s Early Connections helps parents explore and practice critical caregiving skills and nurture parent-child connections.

A 15-site research evaluation found that Early Connections is effective in a range of settings that serve families with young children. Each of the ten 90-minute units provides opportunities for participants to explore their own parenting journeys, learning from each other and from ZERO TO THREE’s research-informed positive parenting strategies.

My parenting has changed because I got more information about why and how my child is feeling, and it helped me realize there are other parents going through this as well. Hearing all the strategies people use to calm themselves or calm their children has had a huge impact on our daily routine.

The Facilitator’s Guide sets the stage for delivering the program online or in person. Each lesson plan contains detailed instructions and all the resources you’ll need, including a slide deck and parent handouts in both English and Spanish.

Designed with Infants and Toddlers
in Mind.

Lifting Parent Voices to Nurture Early Connections

Early childhood professionals can use Early Connections to facilitate units in community-based settings such as Early Head Start and Head Start parenting groups, early childhood programs, parenting and family resource centers, home visiting programs, pediatric primary care or behavioral health settings, and others. 

There are opportunities in each session for participants to explore their own parenting journeys—for example, discussing the influence of their own childhoods on their parenting—as well as to learn and practice ZERO TO THREE’s research-informed positive parenting strategies.

10 Units to Support Parent Learning and Development

The units in Early Connections cover a wide array of topics.

mom dad and infant
  • Becoming a parent
  • Temperament
  • Social–emotional development
  • Nurturing the development of self-regulation
  • Practicing parental self-regulation
  • Understanding the meaning of challenging behaviors
  • Responding to challenging behaviors
  • Reducing challenging behaviors
  • Play and learning
  • Building strong families

Early Connections is designed to be facilitated either online or in person.

The digital curriculum includes:

  • Facilitator’s Guide
  • 10 slide decks (available in English & Spanish)
  • Handouts (available in English & Spanish)
  • Access to videos (English and Spanish subtitles available)

Help us spread the message that positive parenting matters.

A graphic promoting the ZERO TO THREE Conference for early childhood professionals.
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