Aug 222014

FROM:  Too Small to Fail: A Joint Initiative of Clinton Foundation and Next Generation. 8.21.14

** Family Routines Make Starting School Easier———————————————–

Parents of young children know that life is anything but routine with their little ones around. Things can be even more chaotic when kindergarten, preschool or daycareis thrown in the mix—it can be tough to plan for school schedules while balancing family life. Establishing routines with young children can feel like an uphill climb at first, but there are benefits that make it worthwhile. Routines are an important way to help children learn how to manage social situations and to establish good habits early on that will help them grow up healthy and ready to learn.

Researchers have found that family routines—establishing a regular bedtime, for example—are good for social-emotional health in young children. In fact, according to a study by the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, children who regularly sing, play, story-tell, and eat dinner with their families do better in school.

When children know what to expect on a daily basis, they are better able to handle stressful situations that come along later in life. In addition, establishing routines help children better manage simple tasks like brushing their teeth and eating breakfast, which will help them (and you!) when they begin school or daycare.

Families with young children can set up routines that encourage good habits by starting early. Snuggling on the couch and reading a book every night before bed will teach even a very young baby to look forward to going to sleep. Also, singing songs with toddlers while driving in the car or eating dinner together a few times a week will make the whole family feel more connected and maintain good health.


** Resources for Sharing: ———————————————————–

* This article

( from

ZERO TO THREE outlines how parents can use routine to guide positive behavior and set good habits. * Practical tips in this article


from NAEYC about how parents can help their toddlers transition to kindergarten.

* This article


from Raising Children Network explains how family routines work—and how they can help young kids prepare for school.!bGXAOg


** Video


This news clip featuring Camille Maben of First 5 California offers five tips for parents on establishing routines at home! >>





Jul 222014

Amazing new year for HCAP Head Start!!

HCAP Head Start has a new commitment to expand preventive oral health strategies.  Congratulations!!  And thank you to Family Advocates, Teacher Mentors, Comprehensive Services + the Health and Wellness Team, and Program Managers for such a successful July 14th training on WHAT THE TOOTH FAIRY FORGOT TO TELL US/PROMOTING ORAL HEALTH THROUGH POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS!!

You are so on it!! Check it out at


OUR INSPIRATION THIS YEAR!!  Educate, Motivate, Activate!

Jan 102014

National Children’s Dental Health Month

Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. NCDHM messages and materials have reached millions of people in communities across the country.

Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Whether you’re a member of the dental team, a teacher or a parent, the ADA has free online resources that can help you with oral health presentations, ideas for the classroom and coloring and activity sheets that can be used as handouts. We also have booklets, videos and other materials available for purchase through our ADA Catalog.

Please direct all questions to


Check out our Baby’s First Smiles Trailer…share it with a friend

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!!  “Baby’s First Smiles: Pass It On”  Click here
For every purchase on Amazon, Same Small Boat will donate one DVD to a parent in an Early Head Start Program.

For bulk purchases contact Same Small Boat directly Click here


Jan 012014

Great article from

Infants Need to Hear Adults Talk

Infant-directed speech plays a huge role in language development; Published on December 10, 2013 by Art Markman, Ph.D. in Ulterior Motives

By the time kids start school, there are already differences among them in their language abilities. These early differences can have an enormous impact on their performance in school, because teachers do most of their instruction by talking to kids.

Where do these early differences come from?

A growing body of evidence suggests that a huge influence on early language development is the number of words that children hear as infants and toddlers.  The more that parents speak to their infants and in front of their infants, the better infants get at understanding speech and learning words.

This issue has been explored in some previous work that has compared children who grow up in low socioeconomic status (SES) and high SES homes.  An interesting paper in the November, 2013 issue of Psychological Science by Adriana Weisleder and Anne Fernald examined this question just within a sample of low SES Spanish speaking homes in the United States.

They had 19-month-old infants wear an audio recorder for at least one full day. Many infants wore the recorder for several days, and the longest recording day was selected.

Using software, the recordings were analyzed to identify all of the words spoken in the infants’ presence during that day.  In addition, the researchers classified the speech by whether it was directed at the infants or whether it was just speech that the infants overheard.

Both when the infants were 19-months-old and again when they were 24-months-old, the researchers measured their efficiency at understanding speech. In these tests, the infants were seated in front of a screen. They saw pairs of pictures displaying common objects (like a dog or a ball). They heard the Spanish word for one of those pictures spoken and the researchers measured how much the infant looked at the picture corresponding to the spoken word as well as how quickly the infant looked at that picture after the word was spoken. In addition, at 24 months, the parents used a checklist to estimate the size of their child’s vocabulary.

Within this sample, there was a huge difference in the number of words that the infants heard.  Some infants heard fewer than 2000 words in a day, while some heard over 15,000. In addition, there were big differences in child-directed speech. Some families spoke fewer than 1000 words to their children in a day, while others spoke over 10,000 words to their children.

The number of words spoken to children at 19 months was a significant predictor of the child’s vocabulary at 24 months.  In addition, the number of words spoken to children predicted how quickly and effectively children looked at the picture associated with a word they heard.  Statistical analysis demonstrated that the ease of identifying the words in speech was an important reason why infants who heard more words had a larger vocabulary at 24-months than infants who heard fewer words.

This early language experience compounds itself over time. Not only do infants who hear lots of words understand language better than those who hear fewer words, they are also more likely to start vocalizing and speaking words earlier. When children talk more, adults talk back to them more often. So, the early advantage in language ability gets bigger over time.

This research demonstrates the importance of a rich environment for infants. Infant brains are developing rapidly, and that brain development is strongly influenced by what is going on around them. The more that these infants are embedded in a complex language environment, the more that their language abilities develop. And that early development gives them a huge advantage as they start school.

Dec 012013

Sharon and Lynn will be heading off to Atlanta with Baby’s First Smiles research advisor, Barbara DeBaryshe and Carla Juarez, one of the EHS Home Visitors on the project. We’re presenting a session on oral health leadership impacting young children with parents and staff of Early Head Start from across the country.  Congratulations to the Office of Head Start for it’s long-term commitment and recognition that mobilizing parents and families is the way to go!

Nov 252013

Our “Baby’s First Smiles” Video would not have been possible without the assistance from the Maternal Child Oral Health Resource Center. Here’s a shout out to Katrina Holt and Jolene Bertness who’s guidance on baby’s oral health made our Early Childhood Oral Health for Young Families video possible!! Check out Maternal and Childhood Oral Health Resource Center website on focusing on “Dental Home”.  MCOH recommended great tips for young parents on the University of Colorado AHEC Program Cavity Free Kids by Three, click on “Educating Parents”’ll find Baby’s Oral Health in many languages,



Oct 202013

AAPD President Provides Halloween Tips on

September 12, 2013 02:11 PM

Jillian Amodio, contributor to interviewed AAPD President Dr. Warren Brill about the impending Halloween holiday. Brill shared tips to parents and caregivers about how to limit the sugar high for your kids and how to manage the candy in your home during Halloween and the rest of the year. One of the important tips to keep in mind is controlling what kind of sugar your kids get and what form it comes in.
Brill recommends choosing candy or sweets that are eaten quickly, rather than something that stays in the mouth. “The important thing with sweets is how long the sugar sits in the mouth,” he says. “The sugar turns into acid and demineralizes teeth.”
If your child has not been to the dentist in a while, don’t panic. This is a great time to make an appointment. “As soon as a child gets teeth, they need to see a dentist,” says Brill.
The article was posted online on August 14, 2013. To continue reading the entire article, visit
Sep 122013

’Nursery school dropouts’: Poverty as a health crisis for many of America’s kids.

Check out this feature story on the Academic Pediatrics Association’s latest task force.

….American Pediatricians are sounding the alarm…“the most important problem facing children in the U.S. today”: childhood poverty, which they say is a serious threat to children’s physical and mental health, and a barrier to their development, achievement, and future.

Dr. Benard Dreyer, a New York Professor of Pediatrics and Co Chair of the Academic Pediatrics Association Task Force, points out : For some bizarre reason, children are the poorest group in our society, as opposed to being protected from poverty. Twenty-two per cent of children live below the federal poverty level but 43% are below 200% of federal poverty level. Almost half our children are in danger. Many of the problems that we as pediatricians care about and want to work on to help children are based in the fact that they’re poor. We know if they don’t have a good early childhood, it’s difficult to catch up.


Apr 212013

Debates over federally funded universal preschool for 4-year-olds are timely for Hawaii (“Should universal preschool be federally funded?” Star-Advertiser, March 31). The Heritage Foundation says, “No,” claiming to use science-based arguments while ignoring the larger scientific consensusin the field. Sound familiar? Think global warming.

National research on early childhood is well documented.  Brain architecture is largely set in the early years. Nurturing, safe relationships promote healthy brain development.High-quality programs with well-trained teachers and home visitors are effective in supporting the healthy development and well-being of young children. All children deserve to have positive relationships, rich learning opportunities, and safe environments.

During the next few weeks, Hawaii’s legislators will decide on strengthening Hawaii’s legislators will decide on strengthening Hawaii’s early childhood system by creating opportunities for all 4-year-old keiki to attend preschool.  Let’s let them know Hawaii supports these measures.

Letter to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, published 4/4/13. By Lynn B. Wilson