Monday 29 October 2012

Growing With Your Child Resource Kit

Parenting kits for 70,000 families
Kits with tips on how to develop children holistically will be given to parents with kids aged below three
By Melissa Lin, The Straits Times, 28 Oct 2012

Parents and caregivers now have a new resource with tips on how to develop young children holistically.

The 'Growing With Your Child' parenting kit, comprising a handbook and a series of video clips, was launched yesterday by Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob at the inaugural Child Development Network (CDN) seminar.

The new kit is meant for parents with children below the age of three and will be distributed to more than 70,000 parents over the next two years via childcare centres and hospitals.

Madam Halimah said it outlines the developmental milestones of children from birth through three years of age across five domains - physical, language, cognitive, social and emotional.

"With this resource, parents can be more aware of what to expect for their young children's development and how to apply some good parenting practices that will help build strong relationships and enhance the well-being of your child," she added.

Madam Halimah also unveiled plans by the CDN to conduct a study next year to better understand the types of resources and information that may be useful to parents.

CDN advisory committee chairman Aline Wong, who was speaking on the sidelines of the launch, said the study will allow the ministry to have a firmer basis from which they can gauge the concerns of parents and find solutions to them.

These concerns include parents' anxiety about their children's early academic learning, she said.

Dr Wong had mentioned during her speech that there is little or no evidence to show that early teaching and extensive training in the first years of life lead to mastery of skills or long-term benefits.

"In fact, educationists caution against doing so as rushing early learning may stress and harm the child's brain and development," said Dr Wong, who was Minister of State for Education previously.

"I think some industry players who provide enrichment activities and tuition centres make false associations between the methods that they teach the kids with and the children's development," she added.

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