• Use research-based, evaluated, quality messages before creating new content. Noise iconQuality icon
  • Build on existing metaphors and slogans rather than creating new structures.Noise iconQuality icon
  • Include benefits to parents and caregivers upfront; involve them in understanding why this information is beneficial to children. Quality icon
  • Use the general public reading level of 5th grade to create appropriate language for messages. Quality icon
  • Avoid using jargon and acronyms. If using acronyms, spell out the acronym the first time it’s used in a communication. Quality icon
  • Include actionable steps for parents and caregivers.Quality icon
  • Develop proactive and strength-based messaging that empowers parents and caregivers – provide guidance on what to do, not what not to do. Quality iconQuality icon
  • Develop messages for caregivers that are representative of various family structures like fathers, kinship caregivers, foster parents, and others that provide care for children. Quality icon
  • Include messages that are culturally appropriate and inclusive. Quality icon
  • Provide materials in multiple languages that are appropriate for the community. Quality icon
  • Include pictures that are representative of diverse family structures. Quality icon
  • Consistently include parents and caregivers in testing or developing messages before creating materials to ensure cultural relevancy and accessibility. Quality iconEngagement icon

Resources

Examples:

Colorado Early Learning and Developmental Guidelines
The Colorado Early Learning and Developmental Guidelines website provides resources, videos and materials designed so that everyone who cares for young children can play an important part in giving Colorado’s kids a healthy start. The Guidelines are based on research and bring together widely accepted strategies to help children develop successfully.

Earlier is Easier
Earlier is Easier website provides evidence-based resources that encourage parents to talk, read, sing, write, play, and laugh with their children to help develop their developing brain.

Storyblocks
Storyblocks is a project of Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy, working in partnership with Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Services. Storyblocks website provides video clips of adults and children engaging in a wide variety of culturally relevant fingerplays and stories, and are available in 9 different languages, including American Sign Language.

Bright by Text
Bright by Text incorporates “why is this important” into their content landing pages. The messages provided by Bright by Text are written for a 5th to 6th grade reading level.

Brush, Book, Bed
Brush, Book, Bed is a messaging campaign developed for parents and caregivers of young children and aims to improve oral health and align with early literacy and establishing bedtime routines. The campaign was developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and has been adopted by Reach Out and Read and HealthyChildren.org.

Social Emotional Communications Toolkit
The Social Emotional Communications Toolkit provides quality messages, print materials, and outreach tools for parents, caregivers, and professionals to learn how to care for young children’s social, emotional health. The Social Emotional Communications Toolkit used a focus group which determined the content met a 5th to 7th grade reading level and is transcreated from English to Spanish to include culturally appropriate resources.

Every Child Ready to Read
The Every Child Ready to Read program encourages parents to interact with their children using five early literacy practices with simple language that is easy to understand . In our state, nearly every library has adopted this slogan and use it to encourage early literacy among Colorado families including Denver Public Libraries and other entities. Find a library near you! – EXAMPLE

Shared Message Bank
The Shared Message Bank is a Colorado resource created by the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership to help guide messages used in collateral, web content, reports, taking points or other communications. The Shared Message Bank uses research from Harvard’s Center for the Developing Child to develop messages and advise messaging strategies.

First 1,000 Days
The First 1,000 Days of a child’s life are imperative for a healthy physical, mental, cognitive and behavioral development. Service providers at Children’s Hospital Colorado have used this slogan and campaign to draw attention to this critical time period for child development and positive parent-child interactions.

National Collaborative for Infants & Toddlers (NCIT)
The National Collaborative for Infants & Toddlers (NCIT), funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, is committed to advancing promising policies and programs that ensure every parent has the support they need to give their children a strong start in life. NCIT developed Prenatal-to-three research-based core messages, messaging research summary and messaging research key takeaways to support messaging work.

Readability Tracker
Use a Readability Tracker to ensure messages and language used are at a 5th grade reading level, such as: https://datayze.com/readability-analyzer.php.

Accessibility Checker
Use the Accessibility Checker during your material creation process to help identify opportunities for enhancing accessibility and usability. Testing your materials with actual users (for example, someone who uses a screen reader) is always better than only relying on a software’s Accessibility Checker tool.

Research:

Vroom
Vroom is a national initiative that educates parents and caregivers on the early brain science of 0- to 5-year-olds and equips them with over 1,000 brain-building activities that improve children’s executive functioning skills and facilitate positive parent-child interactions. Learn more about Vroom’s national initiatives and Vroom’s initiatives in Colorado.

Toolkits:

Growing Readers Together
Growing Readers Together parent tips align with content from Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) and provides information to parents to support their child’s healthy development, and supports local public libraries as they identify, locate and build partnerships with Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) caregivers in their communities. Through connection with their local public library, FFN can better support the early literacy development of their young charges.

Shared Photo Bank
The Shared Photo Bank, developed by the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership, provides quality, diverse, free-use images and graphics. All images fit within research-based frames that support best practice for visual communications.