SEATTLE — Parenting is a tough job that comes with no manual. But a new statewide education and awareness campaign aims to help make parenting a little easier by encouraging parents to focus on three actions that will give their child a great start in life: “Love. Talk. Play.”
Targeting parents with children age 3 and younger, the “Love. Talk. Play.” campaign kicks off this week, National Week of the Young Child (April 10-16). Communities started holding “Love. Talk. Play.” events this past weekend, and additional launch events and outreach activities are scheduled in communities throughout the state over the new few months.
“Parents agree that they are their child’s first and most important teacher,” says Nina Auerbach, president and CEO of Thrive by Five Washington, the state’s public-private partnership for early learning and one of the three main sponsors of the campaign. “But they’re quick to add that they’re not always sure what to do to make the most of this role and can sometimes be overwhelmed by all of the advice and ads coming their way. This campaign helps parents focus on love, talk and play — three actions that will really make a difference for their child — and gives them ideas for how to make them part of everyday activities, from diaper changes to trips to the grocery store to meal time.”
Right now, Washington state is home to more than 348,000 children age 3 and younger, which means there are a lot of parents who could use a little help. Parent awareness and outreach are priorities for the state’s Early Learning Plan that was released last fall.
“Our state has made great strides over the past few years to provide more support to young children and their families,” said Bette Hyde, director of the state Department of Early Learning, another campaign sponsor. “But parents are the key to giving kids a great start in life. This campaign provides information and support to parents about how very important they are in their children’s development.”
The “Love. Talk. Play.” campaign was shaped by input from national early learning experts and conversations with lower-income parents, who don’t often have access to parenting support and information and who the campaign wants to reach most with the campaign.
Thrive by Five Washington, the state Department of Early Learning and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction are the primary sponsors of the campaign, but, in an effort to unify messaging to
parents, other statewide and local organizations throughout the state have been engaged to participate in the campaign. Ten early learning coalitions that serve families throughout the state will help get the campaign into communities through people parents already trust and places they already go. Other campaign partners are providing content, advising on campaign development, and disseminating materials. Parent calls are being supported by Parent Trust for Washington Children’s Family Help Line: 1-800-932-4673.
Learn more at lovetalkplay.org.