School Readiness - Birth to Age 5

Teacher smiling and high-fiving small child as they paint at a table with two other little kids

The School Readiness initiative is a collaborative effort between parents and professionals that aims to prepare the non-school age child cognitively, socially, and emotionally for school. 

Resources and Supports for 0-5 years/Pre-Kindergarten Children and Caregivers

  • California Department of Education serves our state by innovating and collaborating with educators, schools, parents, and community partners. Together, as a team, they prepare students to live, work, and thrive in a multicultural, multilingual, and highly connected world. Includes transition-to-school guidance, FAQs, implementation guide, toolkit. Early education and elementary resources.
  • First 5 California recognizes that children's health and education are a top priority, especially in the early years of development. Each county provides services for families with children aged 0-5. Find a First 5 near you. Website also includes a wide range of resources including childhood trauma information, helping kids cope with stress, mental health services, immigration resources, new parent kit, parenting tips, child development, videos, activities, free books, discover local services and more. 
  • Head Start and Early Head Start programs promote school readiness of children under 5 from low-income families through education, health, social, and other services. Head Start and Early Head Start programs offer a variety of service models, depending on the needs of the local community. Many Head Start and Early Head Start programs are based in centers and schools. Other programs are located in childcare centers and family childcare homes. Some programs offer home-based services that assign dedicated staff who conduct weekly visits to children in their own home and work with the parent. Find out more in the comprehensive Head Start services video. Locate a Head Start Center near you. 
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats and to increase, nurture and improve the health security of our nation. From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he/she plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern. Free milestone tracker app as well as free training materials.
  • Parents Helping Parents supports, educates, and inspires families and the community to build bright futures for youth and adults with special needs. Early childhood special needs, services and support resources. Download valuable information from their E-Packet Information Library and watch videos at the E-Learning Library.
  • Desired Results Developmental Profile: Kindergarten© (DRDP-K) was created in order to provide transitional kindergarten and traditional kindergarten teachers with a valid, reliable measurement tool that will assist them to observe, document and reflect on the learning, development and progress of their students. Common core, FAQs, resources for teachers in a virtual environment, observation resources, toolkit ideas, videos, parent information and tip sheet.

Pre-Kindergarten and K-1 Teacher Training/Resources

  •  Teachers Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a questionnaire developed by Dr. Dan Offord and Dr. Magdalena Janus at the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University. It is a 103-item questionnaire completed by kindergarten teachers that measures children’s ability to meet age appropriate developmental expectations in five general domains. Information on the benefits of EDI to schools, importance of teachers, supporting healthy development, EDI implementation resources, FAQs, and quick tips.
  • Bernard Center for Infant Mental Health & Development promotes interdisciplinary research, education, and practice and advance policy related to the social and emotional development of all children during the first five years. This work is framed within a universal awareness of the importance of these early years and is aimed at supporting relationships between caregivers and young children. Training resources that focus on supporting trainees to evaluate and address the infant mental health needs of vulnerable families.
  • Administration For Children & Families is a division of the Department of Health & Human Services. ACF promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities. Resources specific to early childhood programs including webinars and videos on the importance of becoming more trauma-informed.

Trauma Focused Care

  • The Chadwick Center is a group of professionals from law enforcement, child welfare, probation, social work, medicine, gathered to create a better and coordinated community response to child abuse and neglect. Evaluation, Treatment, Intervention and Education remain the core programs at the Center. Links to national and local resource links, government sites, and organizations. Programs including medical services, failure to thrive clinic, kids and teens in court program, professional education services, trauma counseling, and KidSTART clinic.  
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting child welfare, adoption, and related professionals as well as the public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption, and more. The following resources help caregivers and families understand trauma and its impact as well as learn how to better support traumatized children and youth in their care.
  • Early Childhood Development has been focused on strengthening internal and external coordination, collaboration, and communication across ACF and with federal partners around early childhood to improve the health and well-being of young children and their families. Watch me thrive resources for early intervention, community help, early care and education, tips and tools, behavioral health and more.

Contact Us

Permanency Policy Bureau
744 P Street, MS 8-13-556
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 657-1858
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