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Press Release


May 05, 1998

The First Three Years: A Guide To Selected Videos For Parents And Professionals

A Unique Guide Aims To Help Parents And Other Caregivers To Navigate Their Children's Vitally Important Early Years

Just in time for Mother's Day, a new guide to informational videos on child-rearing and child development issues has been released by a coalition of three nonprofit health care and family policy research organizations. The First Three Years, A Guide to Selected Videos for Parents and Professionals, developed and researched by Families and Work Institute and KIDSNET, with support from The Commonwealth Fund, responds to parents' need for support and information during the crucial and challenging early years of their children's lives. The project is part of a nationwide campaign by Families and Work Institute to raise awareness of the importance of the first three years of life—a time that lays the foundation for how a child thinks, learns, feels, and relates to others for years to come. Ellen Galinsky, president of Families and Work Institute said, "We chose these videos because they provide important, up-to-date information on child development in an accessible format, and also because they are respectful of both parents and children. The videos are also parent-friendly: they show real-life interactions, rather than just spelling out ‘rules' for parents to try to follow." This unique guide provides detailed descriptions of quality videos on a wide range of topics, including newborn care, health and safety, discipline, early child development, family relationships, and child care providers. Fifty-five videos were chosen out of more than 350 reviewed by independent experts on early child development and education. Included in the guide are videos from the popular Touchpoints series created by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, as well as others less well-known, such as See How They Move, a fascinating depiction of babies' natural physical development. Kathryn Taaffe McLearn, assistant vice president at The Commonwealth Fund, noted, "Mothers, fathers, and other caregivers—as well as professionals¾ are eager for sound information about child development and childrearing to help give children the best possible start in life. While a number of books are widely available on parenting, high-quality videos have not been easily accessible or readily identified or evaluated. This is an additional tool for getting this vital information out to those who can use it to make a difference in the lives of young children." The First Three Years will be widely disseminated by Families and Work Institute to the public, libraries, child care centers, and pediatricians. The full text of the guide will also be available on The Commonwealth Fund's website,

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May 05, 1998