Category: Newsletter

Our 'Soft Skills' May Be Most Important Skills of All

Too Small to Fail
By Too Small to Fail

Learning how to take turns, control emotions, share with others and pay attention to instruction are important skills for all human beings, regardless of age. But recent research has found that these so-called “soft skills”—social and emotional development skills—are critical to success in school and life, and they actually begin forming earlier than previously believed. In fact, these skills may be the most important skills we learn as they open the path for all future learning.

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Giving Thanks

Too Small to Fail
By Too Small to Fail

Here at Too Small to Fail, our staff’s time is usually pretty consumed by the myriad things that we’re responsible for managing on a daily basis—collaborating with individuals and partner organizations, learning about and sharing new research that we think will benefit parents and caregivers, developing creative and engaging content for our different audiences, and so on. All while finding the time to manage our own family responsibilities at home.

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Encouraging Stability is Key for Families in Flux

Too Small to Fail
By Too Small to Fail

American families have changed dramatically since the 1960s. Whereas two parent households were the norm several decades ago, today families come in a variety of shapes and sizes that can present unique challenges to the stability and long-term development of children if not managed carefully.

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Quality Child Care Is Important for Healthy Development

Too Small to Fail
By Too Small to Fail

For working parents, child care is a critically important factor in their ability to earn a living for their families. The economic reality of our country is that most families today consist of working parents – either a single parent doing it on her own, or two working parents trying to juggle work schedules with caring for their children. For unemployed parents, affordable child care can provide them with the time to attend school, go to doctor’s visits, look for work or just get a much-needed break.

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For Vocabulary Development, Talking is Teaching

Ann O'Leary
By Ann O'Leary

The gap in school performance among minority students or those of a lower socioeconomic status is nothing new to the world of education policy. Yet it’s become increasingly clear that one of the early mechanisms of this difference in achievement – and one of the drivers behind our initiative, Too Small to Fail – is a distressing gap in the number of words some children experience when they enter school.

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Unemployment Takes a Heavy Toll on Children, Too

Too Small to Fail
By Too Small to Fail

More than 12 million children currently live in households where at least one parent is unemployed or underemployed; about 11 percent of those children, or 2.8 million, are five-years-old or younger. This population has approximately doubled in size since before the United States recession, and shows no sign of decreasing. Families that experience unemployment come from a wide range of ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds, though unemployment tends to be most heavily experienced among African American and Hispanic families.

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Attachment Parenting is Key to More Secure Children

Too Small to Fail
By Too Small to Fail

Decades of research have shown that positive interactions between parents and children have a major impact on the development of children’s brains.  When babies are first born, they look for the warmth of their mothers to help them feel safe and secure. As children develop, how their parents respond to their needs shapes their emotional, mental and social well-being.

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Parent Talk Proves Critical for Early Learning and Vocabulary Development

Too Small to Fail
By Too Small to Fail

A good vocabulary is vitally important to brain development because it serves as a framework for all later learning. Children who hear more words during the day spoken directly to them by their parents develop better vocabularies and are better prepared for reading comprehension and critical thinking in school. Without words, children cannot adequately express themselves and are hard-pressed to catch up later in life.

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Building Communities That Encourage Healthy Living

Too Small to Fail
By Too Small to Fail

While there are various factors to consider when gauging the health of a child, perhaps one of the most overlooked is the physical community wherein that child lives. A community determines what kind of food that child eats, the school she attends and even the level of physical activity that she can enjoy.

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Good Parenting Results in Better Adjusted Children

Too Small to Fail
By Too Small to Fail

From birth, children look to their parents first to help them interpret the world around them. It should be no surprise then that how parents interact with their children shapes their children’s emotional, cognitive and social skills. These first relationships serve as a reference point for all future relationships, and also influence problem-solving abilities, peer relationships and basic coping skills.

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