Teaching Our Youngest
A Guide for Preschool Teachers and Child Care and Family Providers
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This booklet draws from scientifically based research about what can be done to help children to develop their language abilities, increase their knowledge, become familiar with books and other printed materials, learn letters and sounds, recognize numbers and learn to count.

Prepared by
The Early Childhood-Head Start Task Force
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

U.S. Department of Education
Rod Paige

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Tommy G. Thompson

Early Childhood-Head Start Task Force

April 2002

This publication is in the public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be: U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Early Childhood-Head Start Task Force, Teaching Our Youngest, Washington, D.C., 2002.

To order copies of this publication,

write to: ED Pubs, Education Publications Center, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398;

or fax: 301-470-1244;

or call: 1-800-228-8813;

or e-mail: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

or call in your request toll-free: 1-877-433-7827 (1-877-4-ED-PUBS). If 877 service is not yet available in your area, call 1-800-872-5327 (1-800-USA-LEARN). Those who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a teletypewriter (TTY), should call 1-800-437-0833.

or order online at: www.ed.gov/about/ordering.jsp.

This publication is also available on the Department's Web site at: www.ed.gov/teachers/how/early/teachingouryoungest/

On request, this publication is available in alternative formats, such as Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette. For more information, please contact the Department's Alternate Format Center (202) 260-9895 or (202) 205-8113.

Children's books are mentioned in this booklet as examples and are only a few of many appropriate children's books. Other materials mentioned are provided as resources and examples for the reader's convenience. The federal government does not endorse any particular book, article or author, and inclusion of these references does not reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed.

"We all have the duty to call attention to the science and seriousness of early childhood cognitive development because the ages between birth and age five are the foundation upon which successful lives are built."

Laura Bush
White House Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development,
July 26, 2001

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Last Modified: 08/31/2007