The Basics Mecklenburg

Toolkit for Parents


Science shows that 80% of brain growth happens by the age of three! Beginning from birth, young brains develop like little muscles, getting bigger and stronger the more you and your family interact with your child. The Basics are five fun, simple, and powerful ways to make sure that every child gets a great start in life.
Maximize Love, Manage Stress
Babies and toddlers thrive when their world feels loving, safe, and predictable. Respond with smiles, words, and touch to help them see, hear, and feel your love.You will help them develop a sense of security and self-control.
Talk, Sing, and Point
Babies learn language from the moment they are born. Respond to their sounds, and later, their words. Connect with eye contact and a loving tone of voice, while pointing to help them know what you are talking about.
Count, Group, and Compare
Every child's brain is wired for math. Talk about numbers, shapes, patterns, and comparisons as you go about your routines together. Watch your child lean to love math.
Explore Through Movement and Play
Babies are like scientists who love making discoveries. Watch to see what interests your child, then encourage their curiosity and help them learn when they play and explore.
Read and Discuss Stories
Reading turns kids into confident thinkers. Make books a regular part of your relationship from the very beginning. With infants, point at the pictures and speak with excitement. With toddlers, just make it fun.

Who is Involved?

Lots of people! Partners include hospitals, health centers, schools, community centers, childcare providers, churches, family members, and others.

What if I'm not a parent?

You still care about children! Learn about the Basics. Encourage parents and caregivers to make sure their children experience all five with everyone who cares for them.

How can I learn more?

Visit or connect with us on social media for information on the campaign, opportunities in your community, tips, and videos.


The Five to Thrive

Everyday interactions between children, their parents, and other caregivers provide plenty of opportunities to give children from every background a more equal start in life. The Basics are five evidence-based parenting and care-giving principles that include much of what experts find is important for children from birth to age three. Every child from every background can benefit from routinely experiencing The Basics. To learn more about including The Basics in daily routines, click the tips or daily checklist.


For more information on how to become a community partner, please contact:
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