April 2023

April is upon us and with it comes Child Abuse Awareness month. Although child abuse is a difficult subject, it is an important one that requires careful attention.

Parents or other adults living in a household are the number one abusers of small children.

  • The highest rates of child abuse occur under the age of one (23.1 per 1,000 children).
  • More than one-quarter (27.3%) of victims of child abuse were younger than three years.
  • Almost 70% of children that are victims of child abuse are under the age of four.

Parenting is difficult and can be challenging, and adults need support during the early years of parenthood in order to prevent child abuse. One important strategy is parents having an understanding of child development so their expectations can be realistic. For example, part of the reality of infants and younger children is that they cry. If parents do not understand this, children may be at risk for abuse.

Parents know their children best. However, they may not always know what is considered to be typical during early childhood and what age or stage. With this in mind, we are engaging with a new tool that will inform classroom teachers and parents how to individualize learning for each child’s specific needs: the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The ASQ will be filled out by parents and involves looking at their child’s development in different areas. After submitting the questionnaire, parents will then meet with the site director and lead teacher to celebrate their child’s accomplishments and make a plan to support emerging skills.

The ASQ tool is available to Giraffe Laugh centers due to a grant through IdahoSTARS. We hope the funding continues long-term so we can continue to empower parents, provide the best environment for children and support teachers in their daily efforts to ensure school readiness, while building strong futures along the way.

When parents understand child development, their knowledge goes a long way towards success as a family. The Strengthening Families Protective Framework is embedded into our core mission of empowering parents. Click here to learn more about how you can strengthen families every day in the simplest of ways.

Happy spring, fake winter, sometimes autumnal, mercurial, shifting weather that keeps us guessing. I hope by next month we are talking about May flowers!

To learn more about Giraffe Laugh, visit https://www.giraffelaugh.org/about/.

Learn More About Giraffe Laugh!

We can see the future from here!

Giraffe Laugh is a local nonprofit that provides early childhood education and nurturing to 170 Treasure Valley children annually by ensuring school readiness, empowering families, and building strong futures.

Giraffe Laugh has two full-time programs that serve children 0-5 years old, a full-time preschool program that serves children 3.5-5 years old, and a summer program that serves children that are of school-age.