Websites for Parents, Families, and Children

Parenting and Families

Websites for Parents | Websites for Children

Websites for Parents

Adventures in Parenting. Based on decades of NICHD research on parenting, this 62-page booklet gives parents the tools they need to make their own decisions about successful parenting.

American Academy of Pediatrics is committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental and social health for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

Answers4families is a project of the Center on Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and is supported by grants from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. is Nebraska’s support and information connection for families and professionals seeking assistance

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Parent Portal helps parents find information to give children healthier, safer lives. The Portal organizes and presents information for parents and provides resources from across the CDC, all in one location, making it easier for parents to find what they are looking for.

Children Now utilizes research and mass communication to make the well-being of children a top priority across the nation.

Children’s Literature—Resources for Parents provides a list of Internet resources on children’s literature and early literacy.

The Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting is part of the the Early Childhood and Parenting (ECAP) Collaborative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. CEEP provides publications and information to the worldwide early childhood and parenting communities.

¡Colorín Colorado! is a free web-based service that provides information, activities and advice for educators and Spanish-speaking families of English language learners.

Commonsense Parenting. Sponsored by Boys Town, this website offers information on parenting skills, books for parents and children, and a Q&A page.

Consumer Product Safety Commission—Publications. At this website, you can search all publications by topic, title, or general category and obtain copies of CPSC publications.

Consumer Watch is a comprehensive database featuring information and news alerts about thousands of products currently on the market or previously available worldwide. The Web site is dedicated to keeping the public informed about product recalls, manufacturer defects, and safety concerns associated with products ranging from household appliances, lawn equipment, and vehicles, to children’s toys and food.

Council for Exceptional Children—State Resources for Gifted Education. The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted.

Early Connections:Technology in Early Childhood Education provides resources and information on the appropriate and effective use of technology with young children. Early Connections provides a basic understanding of young children’s learning development, then connects technology to those essential learning skills.

Families and Work Institute is a non-profit organization that addresses the changing nature of work and family life. The organization is committed to finding research-based strategies that foster mutually supportive connections among workplaces, families, and communities

Family Education Network is all about helping your kids learn. It’s about friends lending advice and experts giving suggestions about parenting and education.

Fatherwork offers inspiring and encouraging stories about fathering in a variety of challenging circumstances. Intended for use by fathers and family professionals.

Un futuro brilliante empieza en un libra/A brilliant future begins with a book. This initiative through RIF (Reading is Fundamental) is to promote early childhood literacy among Latino families in the United States. This Web site is available in both Spanish and English

Health and Human Services Pages for Parents provides health and safety-related resources for parents.

Healthy Children is a site administered by the American Academy of Pediatrics which provides information to parents on child development, healthy living, safety, family life, and more.

Heartland Family Service in Omaha. Heartland Family Service offers programs on addictions, child abuse, domestic violence, early childhood development, juvenile delinquency, mental health, neighborhood enrichment centers, and poverty and homelessness.

Iowa Cooperative Extension Service is an excellent resource for information on early childhood, nutrition, fitness, guidance, sibling rivalry, parent-child relationships and more.

Kids Health provides the latest information on physical, mental and emotional health for kids, teens and parents. Features articles on: general health, infections, emotions and behavior, growth and development, nutrition and fitness, pregnancy and newborns, positive parenting, first aid and safety, medical problems, medical care and the health care system, and newsroom—latest news on kids health issues.

Leaving Your Child Home Alone is a page on the KidsHealth website that discusses whether your child is ready to be left alone, and how to approach the situation with confidence.

National Center for Fathering was founded in 1990 to conduct research on fathers and fathering and to develop practical resources for men in nearly every fathering situation. The website offers resources such as research on fathers and fathering, practical tips for dads, information on the fathering movement, and the opportunity to connect with other fathers.

The National Child Care Information Center provides on-line resources about child care.

National Fathers Network is dedicated to providing support and resources for fathers and families of children with chronic illness or developmental disabilities. Page content is available in both English and Spanish.

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities. NICHCY is the national information and referral center that provides information on disabilities and disability-related issues for families, educators, and other professionals. Our special focus is children and youth, birth to age 22. (English and Spanish)

National Network for Child Care. Over 1000 useful publications and resources on topics such as parent involvement, diversity and guidance. An e-mail listserv is also offered, as well as access to national newsletters for family child care, center-based care and school-age care. This site is designed for families and early childhood professionals.

The National Parenting Center. Dedicated to providing parents with comprehensive and responsible guidance from the world’s most renowned child-rearing authorities.

The Natural Child Project holds as its vision a world in which all children are treated with dignity, respect, understanding, and compassion. In such a world, every child can grow into adulthood with a generous capacity for love and trust. No society has a more urgent task.

The National PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the United States. A not-for-profit association of parents, educators, students, and other citizens active in their schools and communities, PTA is a leader in reminding our nation of its obligations to children.

Nebraska Extension Publications contains information on child development, adolescence, relationships and parenting.

Parents’ Action for Children is a resource for information on brain development, ages and stages, quality child care and other topics important to a child’s quality of life.

Parents Journal with Bobbi Conner is a weekly national radio series for parents, grandparents, and others who care for and about children. The program shares information from renowned authors, leading child psychologists, child development experts, and real parents. Each week, the host and nationally acclaimed guests discuss a variety of contemporary parenting issues such as kids and sports, discipline, childcare, sleep problems, temper tantrums, and homework hassles.

Parenting Pipeline. The North Dakota Extension Service sponsors this web page of newsletters for parents, divided by age through adolescence.

PBS Parents includes information on behavior, disabilities, reading and learning, health and safety, family life, behavior, communication, disabilities, and more.

Positive Parenting has links to numerous sites in parenting, children, marriage, family, health and physical and learning disorders in children. Available in English and Spanish. provides tips, advice and suggestions to make your family’s online social media experience fun and productive.

SAMHSA’s National Clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Information is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services. The site provides information about substance abuse prevention and addiction treatment. Search the website or use the toll-free number posted to speak with an English-or Spanish-speaking information specialist.

The State of Nebraska’s official website provides important information on services available in Nebraska.

Talaris Research Institute, Parenting Counts Campaign. KCTS/Seattle Television, in cooperation with PBS, has developed a public broadcasting, multimedia initiative, entitled Parenting Counts: A Focus on Early Learning. Using content provided by the Talaris Research Institute, the Parenting Counts campaign disseminates research-based information about how children think, feel, and learn and supports parents with examples of best parenting practices.

Zero to Three is the nation’s leading resource on the first three years of life. We are a national non-profit charitable organization whose aim is to strengthen and support families, practitioners and communities to promote the healthy development of babies and toddlers.

Web Sites for Children

The Adventures of Julia and Robbie: The Disaster Twins. Great for Spanish-speaking students and for English-speaking students learning Spanish; elementary ed. literacy level (not pre-K); would be good resource for teachers.

America Reads features activities for children, families, educators and communities

Children’s Television Workshop. A great resource for both parents and children; kids will dive into all sorts of game and online activities without even realizing they are learning. Parents can peruse interesting resources like the Sibling Rivalry Quiz, The ABC’s of Child Care, Age-to-Age Development and many more.

The Disney Family Website has lots of ideas for parenting as well as activities for children.

FEMA for Kids. The Federal Emergency Management Agency—FEMA—helps people who have been in a disaster. They also teach people how to reduce risk BEFORE a disaster. You can help your family get prepared. With this site, you can learn about what causes disasters, play games and read stories. You can also become a Disaster Kid! Disasters are serious, but you can have fun learning about them! Activities for both younger and older elementary kids.

Kidd Safety Challenge. Consumer Product Safety Commission is proud to introduce Kidd Safety and his pals in the premier website geared to prevent unreasonable risks of injuries to children. Includes Brain Busters, Sprocketman Comic Book, and information on bike helmets.

Websites for Parents, Families, and Children 2017-08-01T19:49:41+00:00


SpecialCare was brought to Nebraska through a coordinated effort of the Nebraska Department of Education and Health and Human Services. The goal is to train child care providers across the state.

What is SpecialCare?
This training curriculum was developed by Child Development Resources in Norge, Virginia through a federally funded project. It focuses on including children with disabilities in child care settings.

What is the content?
Understanding inclusion and children with disabilities
Building relationships with families
How to include young children with disabilities in daily activities
Community services for young children with disabilities
Develop a sensitivity to individuals with disabilities

How is the training delivered?
The training is 7 hours in length, this can be as a one day training, or divided into sessions. The training includes parent testimony, local community resource information, and interactive activities that develop a sensitivity to individuals with disabilities.

What have participants said about SpecialCare?

"I learned new words and terms I didn’t know."

"My attitudes changed about providing care for children with disabilities where before I didn’t think I could."

"I think what I’ll remember most was what I need to do in order to make my center appropriate for a disabled child."

"My attitudes changed about my ability to care for disabled children."

How can we bring SpecialCare to our community?

To arrange for training contact Linda Bray at, 402-557-689, or 1-800-89-CHILD.

SpecialCare 2017-08-22T19:10:13+00:00

School-Age Connections

School Age Connections

School Age Connections is a multifaceted online set of modules offering education about school-age children to teachers, caregivers, and parents across Nebraska and beyond. 

School Age Connections consists of three modules. Click here for a complete syllabus.

  1. Understanding the Development of the School Age Child
  2. Successful Programming for School Age Children
  3. Guidance for Working with School Age Children

Requirements of the modules include reading information, viewing video, completing assignments and taking short tests. All assignments and tests must be completed and graded prior to the end of the module.

A limited number of users can participate in a School Age Connections module at any one time.  Therefore, participants must first pre-register. To pre-register, click here.

Upon assurance that space is available, payment of a $10.00 per module fee is required.  Please do not send payment until you are requested to do so.  When the fee has been paid, participants will receive an email with the link to the course, a username and a password.  Participants will be allowed 30 days to complete a module.  By satisfactorily completing a module, participants will receive 5 in-service clock hours.  To find a complete list of School Age Connections policies and procedures, click here.

For general information, contact:  Linda Meyers, 402-471-2980,

For specific questions about School Age Connections, contact one of the following:

Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm central time, except for observed holidays.

Application process and login:  Tammi Hicken, 402-471-3184,
School Age Connections content:  Julie Jones-Branch,
Technical assistance with Moodle:  Drew Worster, 402-471-0533,

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School-Age Care

School-Age Child Care:
Resources for Out-of-School Time Programming

All local communities throughout Nebraska owe it to the children of their community to provide safe, educational, and fun places to spend hours outside of school time. School-age programs are a critical link to helping children become successful adults by keeping children safe and by providing supervised, structured activity as well as educational tutoring. Along with traditional before-and-after-school programs, some communities in Nebraska have 21st century community learning centers. A community school is a place where an integrated focus on academics, services, supports and opportunities leads to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities.

If your community does not have a program for out-of-school time, don’t give up! Residents and parents in partnership with schools and other organizations have created many after school programs. If you are looking for information on how to start a school-age program, how to fund a program, or how to use criteria for developing and implementing a high quality program, the Early Childhood Training Center has resources that may help you find the answers to your questions. Our media collection has books to help you with activities for the children as well as ideas for staff development and much more.

If you need further assistance we welcome your questions at 1-800-89-CHILD.



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Research Resources and Documents

Effective early childhood programs and practices are continually being informed by current research. This site provides a link to some selected resources regarding relevant early childhood research.

The Center for Children, Families, and the Law. Researchers and program officers in state departments work together to define issues relating to quality and the nature of the workforce, design research to assess key questions and interpret findings. This Web site has made available a number of papers from the study.

The Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) is a national center for research on early reading, representing a consortium of educators, teacher educators, teachers, publishers, professional organizations, and schools and school districts across the United States. Its website contains many resources related to early reading including reports of research.

Child Care and Early Childhood Research Connections offers a comprehensive and easily searchable collection of nearly 9,000 resources from the many disciplines related to child care and early education.

Early Childhood Research and Practice (ECRP) is a peer-reviewed electronic journal sponsored by the Early Childhood and Parenting (ECAP) Collaborative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The journal covers topics related to the development, care, and education of children from birth to approximately age eight. ECRP emphasizes articles reporting on practice-related research and development, and on issues related to practice, parent participation, and policy.

Early Developments, Spring 2005 (Issue 9, Volume 1) is devoted to the findings of research done over the past four years on public pre-kindergarten classrooms, teachers, and children. Articles include: Pre-K in the States, How is the Pre-K Day Spent, Who Goes to Pre-K and How Are They Doing, Who Are the Pre-K Teachers, and What Are Pre-K Classrooms Like. These articles may be freely printed and shared.

Economic Benefits of High-Quality Early Childhood Programs: What Makes the Difference? by Ellen Galinsky of the Families and Work Institute examines the factors associates with high-quality early education programs. Galinsky examines three well-known, high-quality programs–the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project, the Carolina Abcedarian Project, and Chicago’s Child-Parent Centers–and has examined what those programs actually did to have such lasting impact decades later.

ERIC, the Education Resources Information Center, provides the public with a centralized ERIC Web site for searching the ERIC bibliographic database of more than 1.1 million citations going back to 1966. Full-text non-journal documents (issued 1993-2004), previously available through fee-based services only, are available free of charge.

The HighScope Educational Research Foundation has been conducting research on early childhood programs since the early 1960s and is best known for its groundbreaking longitudinal study of the HighScope Perry Preschool Project. This study is ongoing along with other studies which look at effective professional development and curriculum comparison.

The National Institute for Early Education Research supports early childhood education initiatives by providing objective, nonpartisan information based on research. The goal of NIEER is to produce and communicate the knowledge base required to ensure that every American child can receive a good education at ages three and four. The Institute seeks to provide policy makers with timely information addressing the practical problems they face.

The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child strives to enhance the early development of children through the design and implementation of effective public and private policies and programs.

The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development: Findings for Children up to Age 4 1/2. This 62-page booklet, published in 2006, is a report on the collected information about different non-maternal child care arrangements, about children and families who use these arrangements, those who do not, and child outcomes.

Policymaker’s Primer on Educational Research. The Education Commission of the States (ECS) and Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) have launched a new online tool to help policymakers, education leaders, reporters and others to better understand and evaluate education research.

The Public Policy Forum of Wisconsin, a nonpartisan "government watchdog," has created an online chart that summarizes the findings of more than 20 early childhood education studies. Longitudinal studies, reviews and meta-analyses, and cross-sectional analyses were examined for outcomes in cognition, behavior, sociability, education, external benefits to society, and benefit-cost ratio.

The Research Network on Early Experience and Brain Development was founded in 1998 to address questions of how the experiences of early childhood are incorporated into the structures of the developing brain, and how, in turn, those changes in the structures of the brain influence behavior.

School of the 21st Century: Linking Communities, Families and Schools. Through both process and outcome evaluations at several 21C sites, the Yale University Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy has gathered ample evidence of the efficacy of the School of the 21st Century model. The findings from both sources provide compelling evidence that 21C benefits children, parents, and the school as a whole. Information about this, and related research, can be found on this Web site.

NAEYC’s Research Reports and Summaries page gives early childhood practitioners and policymakers essential knowledge to use in making decisions on behalf of young children and flimsiness supports the use of relevant, well-designed research to develop and evaluate early childhood services, and to better understand young children’s development and learning.

Evidence-Based Practice

California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
This organization provides ratings of child welfare programs, conducts literature reviews and offers other resources on effective practices.

Nebraska Evidence-Based Practice Policy Consortium
The Nebraska Evidence-Based Practice Policy Consortium is intended to be an outlet for policymakers, researchers, providers, and other stakeholders to gain knowledge about, investigate, and engage in the rigorous research of child and adolescent behavioral health practices in the state of Nebraska.

Promising Practices Network on Children, Families and Communities
The Promising Practices Network (PPN) is dedicated to providing quality evidence-based information about what works to improve the lives of children, youth, and families.


Research Resources and Documents 2017-08-22T19:10:10+00:00

Read for Joy Workshops

Read for Joy workshops are sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Education.

The Awareness Workshop (2 hours)

Audience: Parents and/or personnel from schools, local libraries, early childhood/parent education programs, and other adults involved in children’s literacy learning.

Prerequisite: None

Description: This workshop assists participants in understanding how children learn language and literacy from birth, and specific strategies that teachers and parents can use to support that learning. Participants will learn about:

  • How the child’s brain develops

  • Seven conditions which lead to engaged learning

  • Characteristics of home and school environments that support literacy development

  • What to look for in quality literature

In addition, participants will receive a copy of the Read for Joy booklet in either English or Spanish and an annotated bibliography of media center early literacy resources available from the Early Childhood Training Center.

View/Print the Read for Joy brochure.
Early Language and Literacy Resources

For further information, please contact Emily Nash at, 402-557-6893, or 1-800-89-CHILD.

Read for Joy Workshops 2017-08-22T19:10:09+00:00


The Nebraska Department of Education has the responsibility to approve all early childhood education programs operated by public school districts and educational service units. Nebraska law defines an early childhood educational program operated by a public school district or educational service unit as any prekindergarten part-day or full day program or in –home family support program with a state purpose of promoting social, emotional, intellectual, language, physical, and aesthetic development and learning for children from birth to kindergarten entrance age and family development and support.

The Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services licenses non-public school operated programs. Examples include preschools operated by community organizations, churches or private individuals.

Child Care Licensing

For additional information, contact Diane Kvasnicka at or 402-471-0951.


Preschools 2017-08-22T19:10:08+00:00

Nature Education for Young Children

Why Nature Education?

Our young children today are suffering from what Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, calls nature deficit disorder. This alienation from nature diminishes use of the senses and leads to attention difficulties and higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses. International landscape architect, Robin C. Moore, states:

“Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development. A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world.”

Children need to be given the chance to investigate, engage with, and experience nature in order to appreciate it and be able to pass that appreciation and love on to the next generation. The preservation of our natural environment will be dependent upon future generations who will have to believe in the importance of what it has to offer, and become an advocate for it.

Nebraska has taken the lead in bringing awareness to the importance of this movement with their Call to Action.


For further information on nature education, contact Linda Bray, training coordinator at the Early Childhood Training Center.


Nature Education for Young Children 2017-10-25T19:00:57+00:00

Infant and Toddler Care and Development

Infant and Toddler Care and Development

The early years of life are very important. Children are developing at an extremely fast rate. Everything they interact with becomes a part of their classroom, including the people in their lives, the environment, and all of their experiences.

Parents, caregivers, and early educators need to know about each child’s special qualities. Their temperament, strengths, and unique development are all part of what makes each child unique.

Infant Toddler Annotated Bibliography. The NDE Early Childhood Training Center has an annotated bibliography of selected titles available from the media center on the topic of infants and toddlers.


Infant and Toddler Care and Development 2017-08-14T18:23:12+00:00


Resource Documents for Practitioners: Functional IFSPs/IEPs

The technical assistance documents listed below can be used in the development of functional, participation-based IFSP/IEP outcomes and goals for young children with disabilities, birth to age five, and their families. Documents were jointly produced by the Nebraska Department of Education and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services in June, 2008.


IEP 2017-08-01T19:49:37+00:00
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