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Too Small to Fail Releases New White Paper and Parent Resources on Early Social-Emotional Development

Report demonstrates strong evidence base for young children’s social-emotional development as critical to learning and lifelong success; calls for greater investment in intervention programs and broad-based awareness efforts

Berkeley, California — Too Small to Fail has unveiled a new white paper on the importance of cultivating a child’s social-emotional development from birth. The paper is complemented by resources for parents and caregivers – including videos, tip sheets, and share-friendly graphics – to help build a strong social- emotional foundation for their children through talking, reading, and singing. Both the white paper and resources can be found on talkingisteaching.org/big-feelings.

“Children’s earliest experiences meaningfully shape who they are. From the moment they’re born, parents and caregivers can help children build a strong social-emotional foundation through their nurturing and loving relationships, including through their everyday routines and moments when they talk, read, and sing together. All learning is interconnected and the earlier we start, the better off all children will be,” said Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, and Joshua Sparrow, M.D., in an op-ed on the topic for the Huffington Post.

Too Small to Fail defines social-emotional development as a combination of the relationships we share with others, emotional awareness, and the ability to recognize, understand, express, and respond to feelings in socially appropriate ways. The white paper focuses on the multiple benefits of supporting a young child’s social-emotional development from birth, including a clear link to academic success and healthier outcomes in adulthood. Among the other findings:

“Social-emotional development is a critical component of a child’s brain growth and is interconnected with all other types of learning – such as language, literacy, and math,” said Kara Dukakis, director of Too Small to Fail. “Our goal is to support a dialogue around the importance of early social-emotional development while providing parents with the resources that can help them better understand a child’s behavior, manage it, and take care of themselves during the more challenging parenting moments.”

The release of the white paper also times with new resources distributed through Too Small to Fail’s campaign to reach parents and caregivers directly, titled “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing.” Resources can be found at talkingisteaching.org/big-feelings and include:

Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” is a national public awareness and action campaign in 12 communities that encourages parents to engage with their children in meaningful, language-rich activities like talking, reading, and singing every day, and provides helpful tips and resources to support their early brain development. Using creative graphics, parent videos, social media, and information from expert partners, the campaign empowers parents and caregivers with fun and easy ways to support their children’s learning. The campaign also works with local communities to meet parents where they are – from the pediatrician’s office to the playground – by partnering with trusted messengers to distribute high-quality tools and information, and sharing messages and conversation prompts with families in the spaces where they spend time, like bus stops, laundromats, and grocery stores.

 Learn more at toosmall.orgFind resources for parents and caregivers at talkingisteaching.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/2smalltofail), Twitter (@2SmalltoFail), and Instagram (www.instagram.com/2smalltofail). 




About Too Small to Fail

Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and The Opportunity Institute, is leading a public awareness and action campaign to promote the importance of early brain and language development and to empower parents with tools to talk, read, and sing with their young children from birth. Today, almost 60 percent of children in the United States start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language, math, and social-emotional skills. Through partnerships with pediatricians, hospitals, faith-based leaders, community based organizations, businesses, entertainment industry leaders, and others, Too Small to Fail is meeting parents where they are to help them prepare their children for success in school and beyond. Whether at the pediatrician's office or the playground, Too Small to Fail aims to make small moments big by creating opportunities for meaningful interactions anytime, anywhere.