The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness partnered with the National Head Start Association to create an online resource – Small Steps for Big Vision: An Eye Health Information Tool Kit for Parents and Caregivers – to provide parents and caregivers with the information, suggested actions, and assistance they need to be empowered partners in their children’s vision and eye health, and to care for their own vision and eye health.
It is our hope that the online tool kit will be used by Head Start and Early Head Start programs, as well as any early childhood education and care program.
About the Toolkit
Why did we develop this online tool kit?
We developed the Small Steps for Big Vision: An Eye Health Information Tool Kit for Parents and Caregivers with 5 goals to help
- parents/caregivers understand the importance of good vision for their children’s learning and development,
- encourage parents/caregivers to arrange and attend an eye examination when their children do not pass vision screening,
- encourage parents/caregivers to follow their eye doctor’s advice and suggestions for their child (e.g., buy prescribed glasses and attend follow-up eye doctor visits),
- encourage parents/caregivers to care for their own vision and eye health by arranging and attending an eye examination for themselves, and
- encourage parents/caregivers to follow their eye doctor’s advice and suggestions for themselves (e.g., wearing prescription glasses and sunglasses).
What is in the online tool kit?
Small Steps for Big Vision: A Family Vision Resource Tool Kit includes:
- Materials for a Parent/Caregiver Vision Social
- Materials include a PowerPoint presentation with 31 slides, instructions for holding a parent/caregiver social, suggestions for experiential activities during the presentation, and handouts pertaining to take-home messages from the social and assisting with receiving eye care and treatment.
- Parent/Caregiver Resources
- Resources include information about the importance of good vision for learning; signs, symptoms, and risk factors of eye and vision problems; common early childhood vision disorders; the importance of receiving vision screening with evidence-based tools; the importance of a follow-up eye exam after receiving a vision screening referral; and short videos showing vision disorders and what to expect at a pediatric eye exam.
- Social Media Messages
- Social media messages include information, such as newsletter text, about vision and eye health, and attending the Parent/Caregiver Vision Social.
We thank the following Head Start programs for pilot testing the Parent/Caregiver Vision Social materials:
- Monongalia County Schools (WV)
- Guilford Child Development (NC)
- Catholic Charities/Archdiocese of Joliet (IL)
- Iswa Head Start (SC)
- East Coast Migrant Head Start: LaFamilia Center (FL) and Colleton Center (SC)
We thank parents/caregivers of the five pilot Head Start programs for their feedback on the presentation and materials provided during 10 Parent/Caregiver Vision Socials.We thank parent members of the National Head Start Association Board of Directors who provided feedback during Focus Group meetings.
Small Steps for Big Vision will be available in May, 2020. If you would like to be notified when the kit is available, please fill out the form, linked below.
Stay tuned for Small Steps for Big Vision: An Eye Health Information Tool Kit for Screeners, Early Childhood Education Teachers and Centers, Home Visitors, and Parent Education and Advocacy Organizations later in 2020.
Resources will include:
- Information about evidence-based and best-practice vision screening tools and procedures.
- A list of risk factors and red flags for vision and eye health problems.
- Strategies for a referral and follow-up process to help reduce the gap between vision screening referrals and eye examinations and treatment plans.
- Strategies for addressing common barriers between the vision screening referral and the eye examination and treatment plan.
- Strategies for addressing cultural beliefs around vision and eye care.
- Suggestions for advocating for the “Small Steps for Big Vision: An Eye Health Information Tool Kit for Parents and Caregivers” in local communities and states.
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $299,999 with 3% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.