* This blog post was updated 4/21/22 to include COVID-related resources
The Zero to Three 2016 national parent survey found that over 80% of parents used internet search engines to look for parenting advice but less than 50% of them found the results to be trustworthy. Many existing online resources are either biased, offer conflicting information or have advertising-driven business models.
Not everything on the web is bad though—university, research centers and hospital-based websites are sources of safe, accurate, and reliable information. But most parents aren’t aware of their existence because these organizations do not focus heavily on outreach.
Purva Gujar, former founder of Inceptive Education, a nonprofit that was developed to make it easier for parents to find reliable, unbiased resources, compiled this list of resources based on research and conversations with experts. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, there are other great websites and information sources, but here are some that are helpful.
- Hand in Hand’s Guide to Non-Toxic Cleaning: this is a great resource about why using non-toxic products is so important for our families, and those that visit and work in our homes.
- Children’s MomDocs: The Children’s MomDocs is from the pediatricians with St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. They work in the emergency room, the newborn intensive care unit, on the psychology team and more. They are also moms.
- Healthy Children: Healthy Children is a website by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that brings pediatrician-approved health information and guidance for parents and caregivers, along with interactive tools and personalized content.
- Covid-Related Resources for Domestic Employers: Hand in Hand along with NDWA made sample contracts, checklists and FAQ’s to navigate employing someone in your home during COVID.
- Common Sense Media: Common Sense Media is a nonprofit that provides entertainment and technology recommendations for families and schools. They rate movies, TV shows, books, and more so parents can feel good about the entertainment choices they make for their kids.
- Anti-Racist Resources for Children: Hand in Hand compiled a great set of resources for raising anti-racist kids!
Early childhood development
- I-labs: The Outreach Modules section of The Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington I-LABS is a great resource for parents interested in taking a deep dive in early childhood development. These free online training modules, each about 25 minutes long, explore topics in child development, such as brain development, language acquisition, or imitation.
- Understood.org: In collaboration with the other 14 founding nonprofit organizations, the National Center for Learning Disabilities operates and manages Understood. They have resources for parents of children with learning and attention issues. Their articles and checklists for the signs and symptoms of these issues are a great resource for parents of young children to track their child’s development and get help.
- Zero to Three: ZERO TO THREE is a national nonprofit organization that informs, trains and supports professionals, policymakers and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers in the early years. They cover various topics from brain development, emotional well-being to childcare and early litrearacy.
Early childhood education
- NAEYC: The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that provides research-based resources, tips and ideas for families—from child development to reading, writing, music, math, and more, for all young children, birth through age 8.
Food and nutrition
- LactMed: For pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, The Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) contains information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. It includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant.
- The Doctor Yum Project: The Doctor Yum Project is a nonprofit that teaches a healthy lifestyle to the families. They work with the youngest family members to make healthy food fun for families and give them information and ideas to create a foundation for healthy eating at school and home.
- What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl: What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl provides recipes and resources to support building healthy and budget-friendly meals. It was developed through a collaboration between the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Child Nutrition Programs (CNP), and the Food Distribution Division (FDD).
- World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.): World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) is a non-profit that educates the public about dangerous children’s products and protecting children from harm.
- Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC): The CPSC of the US government provides free safety alerts, guides, posters, brochures, handbooks and other materials that help consumers find product safety information. Their toys-safety guides alerts are very useful.
Guest author: Purva Gujar is the founder & president of Inceptive, a nonprofit designed to assist parents before, during, after parental leave and beyond.