Early ACCESS: being a baby is hard work

By Gina Greene, Central Rivers Area Education Agency

You don’t have to be a child development expert to give a child a great start in life. In fact, it’s surprisingly simple – and fun. The first three years of life are a period of amazing growth in all areas of a baby’s development. Children are learning through everything they do. Providing a child with positive experiences can make all the difference for their future. Having safe and loving relationships and spending time with family and friends – playing, singing, reading and talking – are all very important.

Healthy development means that children can grow to be the most that they can be. You can make this difference. As a parent, grandparent, or caregiver you are the most important teacher your child will ever have. No two children develop, grow and learn in the same way or at the same pace. However, children do develop in certain predictable ways. If you have questions or concerns, Early ACCESS, Iowa’s System of Early Intervention, can help. Early ACCESS provides resources, support and information to parents and caregivers to help children grow and develop.

Kids who hear more words spoken at home, learn more words and are more ready for school. Kids who are read to regularly between ages birth and five hear more than 1 million more words than those who were never read to. Read to your baby from the very beginning!
If you have questions or concerns about how your infant or toddler 0-3 plays, hears, sees, talks, eats or moves, contact Early ACCESS. There is no cost to you for Early ACCESS services and support.

You can follow your baby’s development. To see what they will learn next each month visit Month by Month Development on the Iowa Family Support Network website. To get more information about Early ACCESS, including statewide and local resources and regional contacts, visit the Iowa Family Support Network at http://www.iafamilysupportnetwork.org/early-access-iowa To reach someone for Early ACCESS information or a no cost evaluation, contact us statewide by calling 1-888-425-4371.

Gina Greene is the Early ACCESS Regional Coordinator for Central Rivers Area Education Agency (AEA). Central Rivers AEA serves over 65,000 students. In addition, over 5,000 educators rely on Central Rivers AEA for services in special education, school technology, media and instructional/curriculum support. The agency’s service area reaches 18 counties and nearly 9,000 square miles.