TMW Center Newsletter September 2020

September 01, 2020

What We’re Reading

The Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap, from the Prenatal-3 Policy Impact Center at the University of Texas Austin, which describes the Roadmap this way:

The inaugural 2020 Roadmap provides baseline information on the current status of each state’s prenatal-to-3 system of care and will be updated annually to monitor:

  • states’ progress toward adopting and fully implementing the effective policies and strategies;
  • changes in the generosity of state benefits;
  • progress toward serving all children and families who are eligible for state benefits;
  • changes in the overall wellbeing of children and families in each state; and
  • efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in outcomes.

Early Childhood Educators’ Commitment on Display

The toll of the coronavirus crisis on child care providers is certain to be profound and long-lasting, with dramatic consequences on families and employers across the nation. Parents, providers, advocacy groups, and others are sounding the alarm about the unsustainable nature of the current system—one that was in crisis before the pandemic even began.

We support those efforts and echo those concerns, and, in recent months, have been reminded of the incredible commitment of early childhood educators.

Over the past six months, despite Herculean efforts to serve the needs of their communities, both home-based and center-based child care providers have struggled to keep their doors open. And during that same time, as individual educators faced various combinations of uncertainty, unemployment, the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, and other concerns, more than 675 of them registered to participate in our virtual 3Ts Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Course.

We applaud every educator who took the time during this crisis to sharpen their own skills and enhance their ability to promote foundational brain development through nurturing talk and interaction. As so many families know (now, more than ever), raising a child is not a solo endeavor. The more caretakers and adults who learn the science of early brain development, the better off all children will be.

We welcome any early childhood educator to enroll in our online course at

St. Louis Families Embrace their Power to Build Kids’ Brains with the 3Ts

We are thrilled to announce that we have launched a pilot of the 3T’s Let’s Talk program in St. Louis. Nearly 30 families are participating in the 10-week program designed to empower parents and caregivers with knowledge and skills to develop their children’s intellectual and educational potential.

The pilot, which is generously supported by the PNC Foundation and its PNC Grow Up Great initiative, is being conducted with groups of families from three early learning programs in the city’s Normandy school district and is the result of tremendous collaboration and enthusiasm within the St. Louis community.

Local non-profit United 4 Children (U4C) is overseeing the program’s implementation and has enlisted the support of other community leaders as well. S.T.A.R. Nonprofit Organization for Early Educators, a coaching and training institute that was founded by two community members and child-care center operators, is providing facilitation for the group sessions. St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature partnered with U4C to ensure that the 10 books provided to each participating family are culturally relevant and inclusive.

3Ts Let’s Talk is one of the TMW Center’s signature programs that teaches parents and caregivers about the critical role their talk and interaction play in their children’s foundational brain development, as well as research-based strategies to enhance that development. It is designed for group settings and aims to harness the social capital that results from individuals learning alongside one–even virtually.

The heart of the program is the “3Ts,” TMW Center’s approach to creating a rich early language environment: Tune In by being in the moment with your child; Talk More by using a variety of words; and Take Turns by engaging your child in conversation. Each Let’s Talk group session will include guided practice and goal setting to help families integrate the 3Ts into their everyday lives.

The St. Louis pilot is one of several planned for the upcoming year. Through this pilot process, we aim to strengthen the knowledge and behavior change impact of the Let’s Talk program, and more importantly, reach more families with this critical information and support.