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First Five Years & Beyond January Newsletter

Happy New Year!

2021 is now behind us. Thank you for the great memories, inspiration and support.

Although this is an uncertain time for all of us as we navigate a global pandemic, some things are constant. Uncertainty has not prevented parents from advocating for their children. COVID hasn’t dimmed the courage of families of children furthest away from educational justice to seek resources and put parent education to action for their child(ren)'s future. The lack of normalcy has not stopped staff and volunteers at First Five Years & Beyond from pursuing our mission: providing parents with the skills, tools, and resources to support their children's early education and beyond.

It’s an honor to do this work, and all of us at First Five Years & Beyond are so grateful to have you as a member of our community. We're looking forward to a great year ahead and hope you and your loved ones start 2022 with good health, happiness and hope.

The Backpack Connection Series

First Five Years & Beyond is excited to promote the The Backpack Connection Series, created by TACSEI to provide a way for parents/caregivers to work together to help young children develop social emotional skills and reduce challenging behavior. Each Backpack Connection handout provides information that helps parents stay informed about what their child is learning at school and specific ideas on how to use the strategy or skill at home. Click on the image for more information.

New Partner

The King County Play Equity Coalition aims to increase the rates of King County youth meeting the CDC’s Physical Activity Guidelines through policies, programs, research, and information-sharing so that all youth have access to the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of movement. 

First Five Years & Beyond is now member of the King County Play Equity Coalition. The coalition is committed to reducing inequities in youth access to physical activity, organized sport, and outdoor recreation in King County. More information about the coalition can be found here: https://kcplayequity.org/

December In Review

On December 4, 2021 caregivers and children learned how to play with friends by taking turns, sharing, and how to help and comfort others during Kaleidoscope Play & Learn. These skills help children become successful at school where they will need to get along with others and work in a group setting.

On December 11, 2021 caregivers and children learned how singing can improve early reading skills by strengthening their vocabulary and narrative skills. This helps children better able to describe things and events, telling stories.

On December 18, 2021 caregivers learned that it is never to early to start talking, reading and singing with their child as it will further strengthen their milestones when they reach them. We topped it all off with an End-Of-Year event later in the day where parents and grandparents visited the Kent location to enjoy Mediterranean & Liberian food and celebrate all of the children's accomplishments in 2021 with a 6-minute recap video, voiced over by Roseline, Amy, and Julia -- all of whom echoed that First Five Years & Beyond had it's best year ever and will continue to do more for families in King County! Children left the office with at least 1 educational toy to practice some of the early education skills they had previously been introduced to by FFYB staff.

Kaleidoscope Play & Learn is an organized playgroup for young children and the people who take care of them. Our KPL facilitator and Co-facilitator (Amy & Phoebe) plan and set up activities for the children and their caregivers. The facilitators also provide caregiver handouts, describing what caregivers can do at home to help the children grow and learn. Playgroups are hosted in our Kent office on Saturdays in person from 12p-1:30p. Learn more about KPL on our website.

Discussing COVID-19 with Children

Would you like to know how to best talk to children under 7 about the Coronavirus? Manuela Molina is the author of this free CoviBook designed to assist parents in the conversation about COVID-19 with their children. She says, "This book is an invitation for families to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation. It is important to point out that this resource does not seek to be a source of scientific information, but rather a tool based on a fantasy. Remember that emotions are processed through repetitive play and stories read multiple times. Share COVIBOOK and help ease kiddo's anxiety all over the world. With love, Manuela Molina (the author)".


King County Covid-19 Resources for Families

  • Need help with child care costs? You may qualify for financial assistance to help pay for child care if you live in King County, meet the income guidelines, and have been negatively impacted by Covid-19. Complete their application here. Deadline: As long as funds are available.
  • Applications are now open for rental assistance in King County. Deadline: As long as this program is available.
  • FEMA is now accepting applications for funeral expenses paid after January 20, 2020 for deaths caused by COVID-19. If you would like to apply, please gather the necessary documents and call 1-844-684-6333. They are not accepting online applications.There is no deadline.
  • Do you and your family need financial support to successfully isolate or quarantine? Anyone living in King County who tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19 may be eligible to receive a one-time household bill payment of up to $1,500 to help pay their current rent, mortgage, utility, water, phone and internet bills. For eligibility information, visit the King County website. Deadline: As long as funds are available.
  • Washington Listens provides support to people who feel sad, anxious, or stressed due to the events of this year including COVID-19 and wildfires. If you're experiencing stress from COVID-19, call or text us today at 1-833-681-0211

For more information and links to these resources, visit the Covid-19 resources page on our website.

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First Five Years & Beyond

Providing parents with the skills, tools, and resources needed to support their children

https://www.ffyb.org 206-504-9560

302 W. Harrison St, Suite 101 Kent, WA 98032