Fun. Simple. Powerful.
The Yonkers Basics are five evidence-based parenting and caregiving principles that encompass much of what experts find is important for children from birth to age three.
Every parent, family member or caregiver can use and share these principles.
MAXIMIZE LOVE. MANAGE STRESS.
Babies thrive when the world feels loving, safe, and predictable. Caregiving that is affectionate and responsive develops a sense of security and self-control.
TALK, SING, AND POINT
Babies learn language from the moment they are born. They learn through loving interactions with their caregivers, not TV or phones. Eye contact, pointing, and real words teach the most about communication.
COUNT, GROUP, AND COMPARE
Children are born wired to learn numbers, patterns, sizes, shapes, and comparisons. What they learn about math in the first few years makes a difference when they get to school.
EXPLORE THROUGH MOVEMENT AND PLAY
Children are born curious about the world. They are like scientists. Pay attention to your infant or toddler’s interests. Help them learn through play and exploration.
READ AND DISCUSS STORIES
The more we read with young children, the more prepared they become to enjoy reading and to do well in school. Even infants enjoy the shapes and colors in books. Let them hold the book, turn the pages. Point to the pictures and talk about what you see.