Tips for Families

Parenting can be challenging, we all need help sometimes. Click above to view tips for keeping your child safe, supporting your child's health and engaging in your child's learning.

If you are having trouble finding a resource you need, ParentLink can help.

  • If you are a Missouri resident, call 800-552-8522. ParentLink uses Language Select to answer calls from families and providers who speak any language.
  • Email
  • Send a Text to 585-FAMILY1
  • Send a message on Facebook
  • Submit a question online
  • Visit the ParentLink website.
  • Or visit the ParentLink location at 2800 Maguire Boulevard; Columbia, MO 65211

If your family needs immediate assistance with a crisis or an emergency situation, please contact your local Crisis Care facility who is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Find a Crisis Care Facility Near You




Vroom turns shared moments into brain building moments. Whether it’s mealtime, bath time, or anytime in between, there are always ways to nurture a child's growing mind. Download the Vroom app, sign up for their newsletter or take a look at their daily activities.

Learn more about Vroom


Text4baby makes it easy to get important information when you are pregnant or a new mom, and it's free. Women who text BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 receive free text messages three times per week, timed to their due date or their baby's birth date. Free text messages continue throughout the pregnancy and up until the baby's first birthday. Text4baby sends personalized messages directly to you, and the texts have information you can trust because they are developed by experts from all over the country. There is also a Text4baby app that provides additional information about baby's development, pregnancy, childcare tips, and more.

Learn more about Text4baby



Birth to Five Watch Me Thrive! believes combining the love and knowledge families have of their children with tools, guidance and tips recommended by experts can make the most of the developmental support children receive. Resources this organization offers include information on developmental milestones, screenings and identifying potential delays and concerns.

Learn more about Birth to Five Watch Me Thrive!


The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) has free tools that will help you teach your child to express their emotions, how to cooperate and how to make the most out of playtime among other topics.

Learn more about CSEFEL


The American Academy of Pediatrics website includes information on specific emotional wellness topics, like sleep and mental health, grief, or helping your child cope with death, stress, or tragic events, visit from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Learn more about the American Academy of Pediatrics


Strengthening Families is a framework developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) over the last decade to increase family strengths, enhance child development and reduce child abuse and neglect. Families thrive when protective factors are robust in their lives and communities.  By providing parents, child care professionals and others who work with children more information about these protective factors, we can help build protective factors in families with young children, building on family strengths and promoting optimal child and youth development.

Learn more about Strengthening Families


Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing"  is a public awareness and action campaign that empowers parents and caregivers with fun and easy ways to improve their child’s learning. Research shows that talking, reading, and singing with a child every day from birth builds their brain as well as important language, math, reading, and social-emotional skills.

When you talk, read, and sing with your child—even before she can use words—you’re building her brain and helping to prepare her for success in school and in life.

But it may not always be easy to talk to babies, especially when they can’t talk back. To help, Talking is Teaching has pulled together fun tips and resources grounded in the best science, to help you talk, read, and sing with your child every day.

Learn more about Talking is Teaching

Books for Children

The Racing to Read program focuses on five roads to reading for children from birth to age 6. Explore ideas and tips on how to help infants, toddlers, and preschoolers develop strong early literacy skills.

Learn more about Racing to Read


Borrow or download these books from your local library!

Mine! A Backpack Baby Story
by Miriam Cohen
infant to 2 years
ABC I like Me
by Nancy Carlson
ages 4 to 6 years
Glad Monster, Sad Monster
by Ed Emberley & Anne Miranda
ages infant to 5
A Rainbow of Friends
by P.K. Hallinan
ages 4 to 8 years
No Biting
by Karen Katz
ages infant to 5 years
Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Day
by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz
4 to 5 years

 Explore an extensive list of books that support children’s social and emotional development.

Books for Parents

Borrow or download these books from your local library!

Touchpoints: Birth to 3: Your Child’s Emotional and Behavioral Development
by T. Berry Brazelton
The Whole Brain Child
by Daniel Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson
Conscious Discipline
by Dr. Becky A. Bailey
Soft-Spoken Parenting
by Wallace Goddard
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk
by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Parenting with Love and Logic
by Foster Cline, MD and Jim Fay
Between Parent and Child
by Haim Ginott
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
by John Gottmant