Child Outreach and Family Engagement

This page provides information and resources on child outreach and family engagement.

Child Outreach is a universal developmental screening system designed to screen all children, aged three to five years old. Screening serves as a first step in the identification of children who might have developmental delays or disabilities and who could benefit from intervention. Child Outreach also serves as a resource to families, providing information about general development, the development of their child, opportunities for involvement in their child’s development and information regarding referrals to agencies and community programs.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services. In Rhode Island, the Child Outreach Screening Program serves as the vehicle for this requirement for children ages 3, 4, and 5. 

Child Outreach Screening Programs:

  • educate families concerning typical child development; 
  • build community awareness of resources available in the areas of education, medical/family support services, child care; and 
  • identify young children in need of further assessment. 
There is no cost to families for Child Outreach Screening. Child Outreach Screening is provided statewide by local school districts in the following areas:
  • vision, 
  • hearing, 
  • speech/language, and
  • social/emotional and general development. 
The goal of Child Outreach Screening is to provide screening for every 3, 4, and 5 year old Rhode Island child, each year prior to kindergarten. Local school districts report the percentage of the children screened through Child Outreach on an annual basis.

Child Outreach Contacts and Resources

Introduction

In 2004, parents, early childhood educators, and local experts worked with RIDE to develop the Fun Family Activities for Preschoolers, which encompassed Fun Family Activity Cards for Preschoolers, and later in 2004, a parent training series. Then, in 2013, with the release of new state Standards, called the Early Learning and Development Standards, the cards and trainings were updated to now include activities for children ages birth to 60 months.

Fun Family Activity Cards

Fun Family Activities cards give parents information and enjoyable ways to support the development and learning of young children at home. The activities are meant to help your child develop skills that are important for future learning and will further support a Standards-based education children may receive in early care and education settings. The Fun Family Activity Cards will soon be available through a link on this page.

Fun Family Activity Card Training

The training series titled Fun Family Activities is based on the knowledge that parents have a critical role in supporting children’s learning and development and preparing children for later school success. The content of the training builds upon information published within the Fun Family Activity cards and incorporated the latest research and best practice in both early childhood development and parenting.

At the start of the training, each participant receives a packet of Fun Family Activity Cards and a treasure box to hold their initial set of activity cards. During subsequent sessions, participants focus on the nine domains addressed in the RI Early Learning and Development Standards. They learn about each domain, review relevant research that impacts their role as parents, and experience fun and creative ways to support their child’s learning in each area through home and community activities.

The trainings are built on the premise that children learn best through play and as a result the trainings are very interactive, hands on and play-based. Thus, participants engage in a variety of activities utilizing materials and resources that are low cost and accessible. Participants are then encouraged to replicate the activities with their own child when they return home. Participants also spend time individualizing their treasure boxes by creating additional activity cards that represent their own child’s development, interests, and learning styles and reflect each family’s unique culture. As a result of participation in this training, families will:

  • discover new, enjoyable, and creative ways to support their child’s growth and development,
  • learn specific ways to support their child in the nine areas of learning addressed in the RI Early Learning Standards,
  • create individualized Family Treasure Boxes with activities that reflect each family’s unique culture and values,
  • strengthen connections with community organization and public institutions such as the public schools, libraries, parks and recreation facilities and more, and
  • commit to ongoing involvement in their child’s education.

About the Training

At the start of the training, each participant receives a packet of Fun Family Activities and a treasure box to hold their initial set of activity cards. During subsequent sessions, participants focus on the eight domains addressed in the RI Early Learning Standards. They learn about each domain, review relevant research that impacts their role as parents, and experience fun and creative ways to support their child’s learning in each area through home and community activities.

Participants engage in a variety of activities utilizing materials and resources that are low cost and accessible. Participants are then encouraged to replicate the activities with their own child when they return home.

Participants then spend time individualizing their treasure boxes by creating additional activity cards that represent their own child’s development, interests, and learning styles and reflect each family’s unique culture.

About Fun Family Facilitators

The Fun Family Activities trainings are led by well-qualified facilitation teams whose members hold the following credentials:

  • Expert knowledge in early childhood development
  • Knowledge and experience in the areas of family engagement and parent training
  • Experience facilitating a group process
  • Knowledge of the Rhode Island Early Learning and Development Standards through participation in Early Learning and Development Standards professional development plus experience applying the Standards to early childhood and parenting practice
  • Experience working with the population represented by the participant group

To learn more about upcoming Fun Family Activities trainings please contact:
Rhode Island Parent Information Network
1210 Pontiac Ave, Cranston, RI 02920
(401) 270-0101
www.ripin.org

Additional Resources

RIDE has also developed a Parent Guide which includes information for families and caregivers on how they can use the Standards with their child, why Standards for children are important, what families should know about selecting a Standards-based early care and education program as well as resources for additional information. The Parent Guide is meant to serve as a brief guide which provides families the key information they should know about the Standards.

Rhode Island Parent Information Network
1210 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920
(401) 270-0101
www.ripin.org

Bright Stars
535 Centerville Road, Suite 301
Warwick, RI 02886
(401) 739-6100
www.brightstars.org/providers/quality-resources/local-resources.aspx

211
United Way of Rhode Island
50 Valley Street
Providence, RI 02909
2-1-1

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