Child Care News for Parents & Carers
September 8, 2021
Welcome, this week how the Be You national mental health initiative works to support children and families to develop better mental health. Also, Professor Priscilla Ferronato from Brazil's Paulisa University explains how to teach your baby to reach and grab, and why you should. Plus, join Circle In's #askaparentiftheyareok campaign.
Join the #askaparentiftheyareok campaign
Life is always a balancing act for working parents, but the pandemic has made things especially hard as we try to juggle care-giving, homeschooling and work.

Since the arrival of COVID-19, we've had to pivot to new ways of living, learning and earning, often without our usual support networks.

Borders have been closed, lockdowns have been long, and whether we've been working remotely or on the frontline, the pandemic has taken its toll.

Circle In says eight in 10 care-givers admit that caring for family has resulted in financial, social, mental or physical setbacks, and this is why it's so important that we look out for one another and join the #askaparentiftheyareok campaign.
Building resilience and supporting mental health in early learning
Life isn't always smooth sailing, and for young children, there can be lots of concerning things happening in their lives.

Starting at a new early learning service, welcoming a new sibling, witnessing family stress, experiencing a natural disaster, or being swept up in a global pandemic are just some of the things that may cause concerns in young children, and grown-ups aren't immune from life's challenges either.

In Australia, three million people are living with depression or anxiety, and in the early learning setting, educators and families can feel weighed down by worries.

Fortunately, help is available.
How to encourage very young babies to reach and learn
The day your baby first deliberately reaches for something is an exciting one, because it shows that your tiny tot is gaining control of their body, starting to develop hand-eye coordination, and realising that they can use their fingers and hands in useful ways (e.g. to grab a toy).

Although your baby is born with a grasp reflex, which allows them to grip your finger when you put it in their palm, this response fades and your bub's autonomous reaching action emerges around the age of three or four months, when they try to get hold of things they want.

Now, new research suggests that instead of waiting for your young baby to exhibit a voluntary reaching and grasping behaviour, you should encourage them to handle objects from birth and show them how you use your own hands to do everyday tasks.

To learn more about this, we got in touch with Priscilla Ferronato, lead author of this research and professor at the Health Sciences Institute of Paulista University in Brazil.
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