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Who Should You Trust for Early Childhood Information?

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

As a parent, you want early childhood information from trustworthy sources. But when anyone can post anything about anyone online, how do you know which sources to trust?

At Edward Street, we want you to feel confident in the information you receive from us and other sources for parents.

We partner with Central Massachusetts educators, policymakers, and many others to provide early childhood information from trusted sources.

Along with this, we offer tips, recommendations, and resources to help you find high quality information you can use to help your child grow, develop, and thrive.

How Can You Tell If a Source Is Credible?

Just because a parent posts a video on YouTube or TikTok doesn't mean they're a credible source of information for other parents.

Much in the same way, anyone can claim they're a doctor or educator in a blog post or podcast and share early childhood advice, in spite of the fact that they may or may not have relevant experience and expertise.

"With more information flooding our feeds and inboxes than ever before, parents need to be savvy consumers," says Kim Davenport, Vice President of Initiatives & Aligned Programs at Edward Street.

Woman doing homework with child

Ultimately, it's critical to act in your child's best interests when you search the internet for early childhood information.

Here are some of the best ways to distinguish a credible source for early childhood information from a non-credible one:

  • Consider the source of the information. Look at who supports an organization or business providing information and how it's funded, Kim says. Sometimes, research funded by an organization or company reinforces what a seller wants you to believe.
  • Look at the source's experience and expertise. Learn as much as you can about a source. A doctor, teacher, or other care provider who has pertinent experience and expertise is more credible than someone who doesn't.
  • Follow up on a source. Perform research to see if education or healthcare publications or other credible sources agree with what a source is saying. If there aren't any facts or research to support a source's claims, the source probably isn't credible.
  • Connect with your community. Ask your child's pediatrician, childcare provider, playgroup facilitator, librarians, and other trusted resources in your community for early childhood information. "One of the best resources is your community," Kim points out.
  • Trust and verify. Even if you believe a source is credible, trust and verify any information they provide. Always verify health information with your child's pediatrician or healthcare provider, so you can check the information and make the best decisions for your child.

Man babysitting and working

Finally, when it comes to early childhood information, trust your gut. "Information, photos, and videos can all be altered or manipulated, so be a skeptical consumer," Kim says. "If something sounds too good to be true, it just might be."

Trustworthy Sources for Early Childhood Information

The sheer volume of early childhood information available online may be overwhelming.

Fortunately, we're here to help you quickly and easily find early childhood information from trustworthy sources.

Man on tablet with child

Here are five of the best nationally and globally recognized sources for early childhood information:

  1. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC): Access books, research-based, parent-focused articles, and other early childhood resources.
  2. Zero to Three: Attend virtual events and access resources focused on the idea that the first three years of a child's life are the most important for their long-term mental health and wellbeing.
  3. Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University: Watch videos, read articles, and access other science-backed early childhood resources designed specifically for parents.
  4. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Get information, tools, and resources you can use to support your child's physical, mental, and social health and wellbeing.
  5. Talking is Teaching: Learn how simple, everyday actions can help boost a child's early brain and vocabulary development.

In addition to these, here are five trusted sources for early childhood information in the Worcester area:

  1. Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC): Access community resources and learn about childcare and educational opportunities for children through age 5.
  2. Worcester Day of Play (DOP): Attend the annual Worcester Day of Play Family Festival and sign up for a monthly newsletter that highlights fun learning activities.
  3. Seven Hills Foundation Worcester Family Resource Center: Join multi-cultural parenting programs and support groups and get information and referral resources for families.
  4. Worcester Family Partnership (WFP): Access supports and programs like playgroups, family literacy nights, and summer activities available to Worcester families with children from birth to school age.
  5. Together for Kids Coalition (TFKC): Connect with local early childhood resources and share your ideas about what young children and families need.

Children don't come with instructions. At Edward Street, we're here to help connect you with trusted sources that may make your job as a parent a little bit easier.

Follow our blog for news and updates from trusted sources for early childhood information.

Edward Street proudly supports high quality early learning and care. Donate today so children, families, and businesses can thrive, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.