Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest early childhood development nonprofit, will host the second annual Birth to Five Helpline Awareness Week on Oct. 10 to 16 to spotlight the organization’s free support line for those who have questions or concerns about parenting and the early development of children from birth to age 5.
With support from First Things First and other community partners, the Birth to Five Helpline (877-705-KIDS) allows Arizona parents, caregivers, and professionals to call, text, or email a Birth to Five Helpline early childhood specialist for support 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.
“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, the Birth to Five Helpline is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., by calling or sending a text message to (877) 705-KIDS (5437). To submit a question online, visit birthtofivehelpline.org. A Birth to Five Helpline app is also available for easy one-touch access on the App Store and Google Play.
“Parenting is hard, so our goal is to make sure every Arizona family with young children knows that this free service is available to them,” says Ricardo Reyes, manager of community outreach at Southwest Human Development. “The Birth to Five Helpline is unique to Arizona; you just don’t find these kinds of supports readily available in other states. Not only do callers get to speak directly with an early childhood expert who takes the time to listen and think together about their questions and concerns, the Birth to Five Helpline also serves as a gateway for programs and services throughout our community.”