Southwest Human Development, the leading nonprofit in early childhood development in Arizona, is celebrating the third annual Birth to Five Helpline Awareness Week from October 9 to 15.
This week-long event shines a spotlight on the organization’s free support line for Arizona parents, caregivers, and professionals to call, text, or email questions or concerns about parenting and the early development of children from birth to age 5.
“At one time or another, all of us as parents have had questions about raising our children, and many of us don’t have local family or friends to turn to,” says Jake Adams, chief development officer at Southwest Human Development. “We find ourselves asking, ‘Am I doing the right thing?’, or ‘Why is my child behaving this way?’ The Birth to Five Helpline is a critical resource for families that helps bridge that gap and provides much-needed support for families of the nearly 80,000 babies that are born in Arizona each year.”
Started in 2005 with support from First Things First and other community partners, the Birth to Five Helpline offers information and advice around a variety of early childhood issues such as feeding and eating, sleep, toilet/potty training, developmental milestones, fussiness/colic and difficult behaviors, general parenting questions, and more.
“The Birth to Five Helpline specialists take the time to listen and think together with the caller. Plus, our specialists serve as a gateway to programs and services throughout our community,” says Ricardo Reyes, manager of community outreach at Southwest Human Development. “Parenting can be hard, so our goal is to make sure every Arizona family with young children knows that this free service is available to them.”
The Birth to Five Helpline is also available to help staff of childcare centers and other professionals across the state who work with children from birth to 5 years of age.
Early childhood specialists who are bilingual in Spanish and English are available by phone or text (877-705-KIDS) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Birth to Five Helpline app available on the Apple App and Google Play stores and an on-line form found at birthtofivehelpline.org offer individuals an after-hours option.