Your child’s first 6 years are the most important!
All parents want to see their children grow up to become healthy and happy adults. Parents can give children the best possible start during their first 6 years.
3 building blocks for healthy child development
- Stable, loving and responsible relationships
- Safe environments where children live and play
- Healthy food
As a parent, you are your child’s most important connection to the world. You play an important role in your child’s development – including a healthy brain – through interaction, positive discipline, play and support.
Our resources in English
Alcohol and Drugs
Risks of Cannabis on Fertility, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Parenting - Booklet
Best Start Resource Centre, 2107
This resource is for women and men, who are thinking about becoming parents, are pregnant, or who are new parents. It provides information about the effects of cannabis on fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, on children and adolescents when their mothers used cannabis during pregnancy and on parenting. This resource summarizes the current knowledge about the effects of cannabis.
My Breastfeeding Guide - Booklet
My Breastfeeding Guide has information and answers questions you may have as an expectant parent or as a new parent. You can share this guide with the people who are supporting you.
Bilingual Online Ontario Breastfeeding Services Directory - Website
Breastfeeding mothers benefit from the support of other mothers. Visit the Bilingual Online Ontario Breastfeeding Services Directory to connect with and receive help and support from peers, professionals and experts.
Breastfeeding Matters: An Important Guide to Breastfeeding for Women and their Families - Booklet
This booklet will help women and their families explore breastfeeding from prenatal decisions, learning breastfeeding basics to gaining confidence. Topics include: making an informed decision, getting started, learning to breastfeed, common concerns, frequently asked questions and where to get help. The booklet was tested by many pregnant and breastfeeding families and contains some of their quotes.
The fact sheets complement the Breastfeeding Matters booklet in special situations. They can be downloaded when needed. The following fact sheets are available:
Mixing Alcohol and Breastfeeding - Printer-ready Handouts
The handout is a resource for mothers and their partners to help them make an informed choice when it comes to drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.
Mixing Alcohol and Breastfeeding - Brochure
The brochure is a resource for mothers and their partners to help them make an informed choice when it comes to drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.
Daddy and Me On the Move
Best Start Resource Centre, 2015
Aimed at fathers of children aged 0 to 6, the goal of the booklet is to encourage strong father-child relationships right from the start. It highlights activities that fathers can do with their children.
The booklet is easy to read. All the activities presented are meant to be fun and done easily.
Child Discipline - Mini Poster
This mini-poster (8 ½ X 11”) offers tips to parents to integrate positive discipline in the interactions they have with their children. The resource is in English on one side and in French on the other side. It directs parents to the website Children See. Children Learn.
Child Discipline - Videos
Originally developped for a ready-to-use workshop for service providers who work with parents of children from birth to age 6, these videos on the topic of child discipline show you positive ways to teach your child that do work. They are available on the website Children See. Children Learn.
You can also watch the videos from Youtube here.
When Children Speak More Than One Language
As a parent of a child who will learn two or more languages, you may have questions. This guide will give you information based on research to help you.
Healthy Baby Healthy Brain - Website
As a parent, you play an important role in the development of your baby’s brain. You are your baby’s most important connection to the world.
You interact daily with your baby. These interactions have a life-long effect on your baby’s ability to reach full potential.
This website will help you support your baby’s brain development.
Tips for Parents - Brain Development
This is a series of 15 lists of tips for parents on topics associated with brain development that can easily be shared through social media or printed. They cover preconception, pregnancy and child development ages 0-3.
For more information, or to download individual topics, click here.
Learning to Play and Playing to Learn: What Families Can Do
Best Start Resource Centre, revised 2017
This booklet helps parents and all who care for children support play-based learning at home, in child care and preschool settings and in kindergarten. Particular attention is given to attachment, self-regulation and play. This booklet uses language that is used in kindergarten and will be familiar to parents and the teacher and early childhood educator team.
Checklists relating to growth, development, health, nutrition, routines and self-help, including the revised nnds are included in the booklet. The literacy level of this booklet has been assessed at a reading level of about grade 6-7.
The ndds have been blurred in the online PDF of the booklet to protect the ndds copyright. You can access the checklists at www.ndds.ca.
Building Resilience in Young Children
This booklet is for parents of children from birth to six years and anyone who cares for children – like grandparents, relatives, foster parents and other adults. Many of the ideas will also help families with older children. It will help caregivers boost a child’s ability to bounce back from life’s challenges and thrive.
Healthy and safe sleep tips for infants 0-12 months : Did You Know? - Downloadable handouts
These tips for parents and caregivers of infants aged 0-12 months provide practical suggestions on healthy and safe sleep. The tips support the current recommendations on how to reduce the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
These messages are consistent with the information provided in the Sleep Well, Sleep Safe - Booklet.
Sleep Well, Sleep Safe - Booklet
This booklet is for parents of infants from 0-12 months and for all who care for infants. It provides healthy sleep tips as well information on how to reduce the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep related causes of infant death.
How to Feed Your Growing Child
This low-literacy resource was adapted from Vancouver Coastal Health. It provides information on feeding children from age two to five.
Have a Ball Together!
Have a Ball Together! - Brochure
This brochure (8.9 X 20.3 cm) is designed to provide parents with additional information about the promotion of physical activity for children aged 2-5 years. It is available in a culturally adapted Aboriginal version and in French.
Have a ball together! - Stickers
Originally designed as stickers, there are 24 images on a sheet with indoor/outdoor and seasonal activities. These can be placed on the family calendar to schedule plans for physical activity. They do not contain any text and can be used with all cultures and languages.
Managing Depression : A Self-help Skills Resource for Women Living With Depression During Pregnancy, After Delivery and Beyond – Workbook
This workbook is for women living with depression during pregnancy, after delivery and beyond, and their clinicians or service providers. It provides information about depression and healthy lifestyle behaviours, and skills for managing depression. Concerned partners, family members or friends may also find this resource helpful.
Information on Second and Third-Hand Smoke - Handout
This document contains information on second and third-hand smoke, a summary of the strategies and sources of supplementary information.
Creating a Smoke-Free Environment for Your Children - Video
This 24 minute video is on the social impact of second-hand smoke on young families. It contains testimonies of situations related to second-hand smoke experienced by families. Many strategies to reduce the exposure of young children and pregnant women to second-hand smoke are provided.
Smoke-Free Home - Image
Originally created as a sticker, this image can be applied on a door or window, indicating that the environment is smoke-free.
Also available in JPG format.
Returning to Work after Baby - Booklet
This booklet is for parents returning to work after a parental, maternity or adoption leave. The booklet contains many suggestions to facilitate daily life on topics such as: choosing a childcare, managing your time, making healthy lifestyle choices, budget planning, etc.
- 211 Ontario - Find services near you
- 24 Hour Cribside Assistance for new dads
- A Hop, A Skip and a Jump: Enhancing Physical Literacy
- A Parent's Guide to Vaccination - Government of Canada
- A Simple Gift - Infant Mental Health Promotion
- Active for Life - Raising physically literate kids.
- Are You a New Parent? - Public Health Agency of Canada
- Better Beginnings, Better Futures
- Billingual On-line Ontario Breastfeeding Services - Best start Resource Centre
- Breathe - The Lung Association
- Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs
- Canadian Child Care Federation
- Canadian Institute of Child Health
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- CANImmunize - A digital immunization record for Canadians
- Caring for kids - Canadian Paediatric Society
- Caring for You and Your Baby
- Children see. Children learn. - Best Start Resource Centre
- Children's Health and Safety Association
- Child and Family Programs - Ontario Ministry of Education
- Community Action Program for Children (CAPC) - Public Health Agency of Canada
- Dad Central
- Dental Care for Children - Canadian Dental Association
- Dieticians of Canada
- Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International
- e-Parenting Network
- Eat Right Ontario
- Eat Well and Be Active Educational Toolkit - Health Canada
- EI Maternity and Parental Benefits - Government of Canada
- Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development
- Exercise and Have Fun - for parents
- Exercise and Have Fun - for Grand-Parents
- Father Involvement Research Alliance
- Find a Family Doctor or Nurse Practitioner - Government of Ontario
- Finding Quality Childcare
- Food Banks Canada
- Food and nutrition - Health Canada
- Growing Healthy Canadians
- Have a Ball Together - Best Start Resource Centre
- Having a Baby - Service Canada
- Health Services in Your Community - Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
- Healthy Babies, Healthy Children - Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services
- Healthy Baby, Healthy Brain - Best Start Resource Centre
- Healthy Eating - Government of Canada
- Here to help - Mental Health and Substance Use
- Hidden Exposures - HealthyEnvironmentForKids.ca
- Immunization - Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
- Immunize Canada
- In Motion - Manitoba In Motion
- Infant Mental Health Promotion - Sickkids
- International Lactation Consultant Association
- Choose and Instal a Child Car Seat - Ontario Ministry of Transportation
- Is your Child Safe? - Health Canada
- Kids Health and Safety - Government of Canada
- LGBTQ Parenting Connection - Rainbow Health Ontario
- Life with a new Baby - Best Start Resource Centre
- Mental Health Helpline - Government of Ontario
- Mood Disorders Association of Ontario
- Mothers in Motion - Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport
- Multiple Births Canada
- Ndds Ontario
- New Parents - Healthy Families BC
- Nobody's Perfect Parenting - Public Health Agency of Canada
- Nutrition Screening
- Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services
- Ontario Early Years Centre
- Ontario Network of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
- Ontario Poison Centre
- Parachute - Preventing Injuries, Saving Lives.
- Parent-Child Mother Goose Program
- Parenting in Ottawa
- Parents Matter
- Parents Without Partners
- PFLAG Canada
- Physical Activity Resource Centre - OPHEA
- Play Sports Canada
- Rourke Baby Record
- Safe at School
- Special Needs - Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services
- Sport for Life
- Support to Quit Smoking - Government of Ontario
- Supporting Children's Growth - Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Service
- Tax Credit and Benefits - Government of Ontario
- The On-line PPMD Support Group
- The Period of Purple Crying
- Triple P Ontario
- Twins, Triplets and More!
- Welcome to Parenting
- When Dad Gets the Blues - Strong Fathers Journal
- Workers Health and Safety Centre