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Book Lists

Child Development

Early Learning and Reading

image of kids happily Reading
  • Baby Rhymes and Songs
    From bounces to lullabies, these first songs and nursery rhymes will spark baby’s love of language. Great to use when baby is too wiggly to sit still for books.
  • Colorín Colorado
    Colorín Colorado is the Spanish language version of Reading Rockets, giving parents and caregivers practical suggestions for encouraging reading and learning.
  • Leading to Reading
    Watch videos to learn fingerplays and reading techniques, play games, and learn all about making the most of your reading time with your child.
  • Preschool Fingerplays
    From the “Eensy, Weensy Spider” to “Wheels on the Bus,” all your child’s favorites are here to learn and enjoy. Songs and fingerplays are great ways to give busy children exposure to rich language when they won’t sit still.
  • Reading Rockets
    Reading Rockets, a PBS project, provides accurate, accessible information for parents, teachers, and caregivers on how to teach kids to read and help those who struggle. Useful sections include the Reading Tips for Parents, which are available in multiple languages, and cover children from infancy through grade three.
  • Rhymes in Spanish / Rimas Infantiles
    Fingerplays and songs in Spanish.
  • Tips to Make Your Child Smarter
    Believe it or not, talking, reading, and singing are all it takes!
  • Toddler Fingerplays
    Easy rhymes and movement activities to enhance your busy toddlers coordination and motor development.

Health and Nutrition

Local Resources

  • Bay Area Parent Silicon Valley
    A little heavy on advertising, but Bay Area Parent’s Silicon Valley Guides: b.a.b.y. (for new and expecting parents), Preschool and Childcare Finder, Summer Survival Guide (camps & activities), and Navigator (family friendly places to go), make it essential reading for local parents.
  • The Children’s Health Council
    The Children’s Health Council provides assessment and treatment for a wide range of children’s physical and emotional problems. The goal is to help children reach their maximum potential and teach them strategies to overcome challenges.
  • Choices for Children
    Choices for Children supports healthy child care environments for young children through nutrition programs at child care sites, parent and caregiver education, and child care subsidies for families in need.
  • Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County
    4Cs is a non-profit agency that serves as the community child care link for families and child care professionals in Santa Clara County. Services include referrals for both parents and child care providers, and training and workshops for child caregivers, and information about subsidized childcare.
  • Covered California                                                                                                                                 Subsidized health insurance for your family based on your income level.
  • HeadStart                                                                                                                                                  A federally funded preschool program for children 3 to 4 years of age offering half-day and full-day programs. Eligibility is based on family size, income and need.  
  • Healthy Kids                                                                                                                                           This program ensures that children in Santa Clara County receive access to comprehensive healthcare services. In partnership with the Santa Clara Family Health Plan, the Healthy Kids program offers low-cost health, dental, and vision insurance programs to children with immigration issues or those who are not eligible for state-subsidized Medi-Cal because their family income is slightly too high to qualify, yet too low to pay for health care coverage.
  • First 5 Santa Clara County
    First 5’s goal is to support the healthy development of children through age 5. It funds and sponsors essential services for young children and their families, including children's health insurance, training for early childhood teachers, parenting skills and arts and early literary programs. The First 5 website also offers extensive parenting information on many topics, such as Are You Ready? A Family's Guide to Starting Kindergarten Handbook , also in Spanish, and neighborhood family resource centers.
  • Las Madres
    Going strong for more than three generations, Las Madres is a non-profit umbrella organization for neighborhood play groups organized by child’s birth year. By joining (for a modest fee) families receive benefits including parenting workshops, support groups, and discount tickets for local events.
  • Medi-Cal                                                                                                                                                      No cost health, dental, and vision coverage for children and families who qualify based on income level.
  • Parents Helping Parents
    PHP provides lifetime guidance, supports and services to children with any special need, their families and the professionals who serve them. The organization is staffed by parents of children with different types of special needs.; who understand the challenges, fears and joys of parenting a special needs child.
  • Parents Place- The Peninsula
    Parents Place, with offices in San Mateo and Palo Alto, is a family resource center, providing parents with education and counseling about parenting, and also offers a wide variety of parent-child play groups.
  • The Saavy Source: Powered by Parents for Parents
    Find information on San Francisco Bay Area preschools, camps and classes, and things to do.
  • Santa Clara County CEL (Central Eligibility List)
    Santa Clara County CEL enables families to submit one application to have access to all programs for which they qualify, and allows subsidized child development providers to find children that are eligible for their programs. Families are ranked by eligibility factors such as income, size and need.                             
  • Santa Clara City Library: Children’s Calendar
    Find out what’s going on at the library for children on every day of the week.
  • Santa Clara Parks and Recreation: Activities and Classes
    Our Parks and Recreation Department offers activities for the whole family, including “Parent and Child Activities” and “Preschool Adventures in Learning.”
  • Second Harvest Food Bank
    Second Harvest Food Bank is a non-profit agency that collects and distributes food to help people who cannot afford to buy groceries. Low-income people of all ages are welcome, regardless of immigration status. Use the phone hotline to find out about food programs in your neighborhood. Staff members speak English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
  • Today’s Mama: Bay Area Mama
    A modern mom’s village square, with a daily calendar of events and local blog.
  • Trustline: California’s Background Check for In-Home Child Care
    A database of nannies and babysitters who have cleared criminal background checks through the California Department of Justice and the FBI.
  • Where Can We Go? Outings for the Youngest
    Bored? Nothing to do? Look no further than this list of great places to go between San Francisco and San Jose. Experiences are one of the lynch pins of early learning, and they are a great way to enjoy quality time with any child. Enjoy!

Parenting, Childcare, and Parent Education

Image of well read happy mom, with her kids
  • Living with Your Child with Special Needs
    Find support for raising a special needs child, and strategies to help them gain life skills and security.
  • Child Care Aware
    Everything you need to know to find quality child care, including Five Steps to Choosing Quality Child Car and Evaluating Providers.
  • Commonsense Media
    Confused by the vast number of movies, video games, phone apps, television programs, etc. that your child might be tuned in to? Commonsense Media gives you the real scoop on what’s best for what age, and also offers lists of the best of all things media and electronic for families.
  • Dr. Toy
    Visit Dr. Toy’s website for recommendations on age appropriate toys with lots of play value before you head to the toy store for those birthday gifts!
  • Family Education
    Popular interest parenting topics aimed at moms and other parents. Gives everything from printable games and coloring sheets to advice from parents and recipes.
  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio
    Find recommendations for the best in children’s toys, books, and media here.
  • PBS Parents offers something for everyone- including a child development tracker, issues and advice, food and fitness, your role as your child's first teacher, and even birthday parties!
  • Preschool Express by Jean Warren
    Veteran early childhood development author Jean Warren offers age appropriate, pedagogically sound learning activities for parents and child care providers. Especially valuable are the toddler activities, party, and art ideas.
  • Preschool Selection Checklist & Observation Visit
    Use this list when visiting prospective preschools to know what to look for and how to evaluate them.
  • Zero to Three
    Zero to Three focuses on how children learn and grow from birth to 3 years, and translates the science of early childhood into strategies parents can tailor to their unique family situation and to the needs of their child. Helpful articles include Helping Your Child Learn to Talk.
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