The pArentZ pod – The Arizona baby and toddler podcast by First Things First – features interesting conversations with early childhood experts and information you can use to be the best parent you can be. Hosted by K Vilay, each episode also lets you know where you can find early childhood programs and services in your Arizona community. You can now listen, download and subscribe to FTF’s pArentZ pod on Apple Podcasts or Google Play, or listen below.
Episode 8: We’re Here for You
Your child’s early years are really important; 90 percent of a child’s brain develops by age 5. You don’t need to be a perfect parent — there’s no such thing — but you only get one chance to do the best you can for your child in their early years. Vince Torres and Christine Waldbeiser, both from the family support team of First Things First, talk about the many different, no-cost programs and services available throughout Arizona to help parents and caregivers like you support your little one’s healthy development and learning.
Episode 7: Eyes on Learning
Young kids take in a lot of information about the world through their eyes, and healthy vision is important for their overall development and later school success. But children don’t know what they can’t see. So how does vision develop in babies and toddlers, and how can a parent know if their child has a vision problem? Karen Woodhouse, who leads Eyes on Learning, gives great information and simple advice for parents on what to look for, where to get simple vision screenings (often at no cost), and how to follow-up to ensure your child’s healthy vision.
Episode 6: What Looks Like Misbehavior Might Be Stress
All parents feel stress, and so do little ones. Toddler tantrums or fussiness in babies can seem like misbehavior, but they’re very often the result of a child dealing with more stress than they can handle. In this episode of FTF’s pArentZ pod, we talk about stress in young children with Susan Hopkins, an expert in self-regulation, and about how parents can recognize the signs of excessive stress in young children and help their little ones through the big emotions that come with it. We also talk about how important it is for parents to regulate their own stress levels.
Episode 5: Kindergarten Readiness is Life Readiness
This episode of the pArentZ pod may change how you think about preparing for kindergarten. Dr. Isela Garcia explains that, based on our current understanding of early brain development, kindergarten readiness not about memorizing letters and numbers. It’s about things like language, social skills, persistence and the ability to work well with others. So what can parents be doing to help their child develop the skills and abilities they’ll need?
Episode 4: Language and Early Literacy
This episode of the pArentZ pod, the Arizona infant and toddler podcast from First Things First, is all about reading. Every parent wants their child to be a good reader, because it’s so important to being successful in school and life. But many people think learning to read just happens for kids as they grow up. Not so. Our guest, Jenny Volpe, the CEO of Make Way for Books in Tucson, AZ, is passionate about helping young kids on the path to being good readers. That path starts from birth.
Episode 3: The Basics of Baby and Toddler Development
This episode of FTF’s infant and toddler podcast features a conversation about child development with DeAnn Davies, with tips on understanding your baby’s cues, tummy time, and what your baby needs most.
Episode 2: What to Look For in Quality Child Care
Quality child care and preschool programs help children develop the skills they need to be successful in school, but recognizing a quality early learning setting isn’t easy. Listen to a conversation with Ginger Sandweg, First Things First’s senior director of learning, about what parents should look for.
Episode 1: Caring For Your Child’s Teeth
Good oral health is a basic but often misunderstood element to a child’s well-being. This episode features a conversation with pediatric dentist Dr. Jeanette MacLean about what parents might not know about oral health in early childhood and what they can do to prevent cavities even before their child’s first tooth comes in.