Posted on November 5, 2021
The Office of Early Childhood recently announced a new statewide initiative to support children from birth through age 5 by offering Sparkler — a mobile app for parents and caregivers — to all parents with young children and to programs serving those families. Connecticut is the first state in the nation to offer families with children ages birth to 5 comprehensive mobile developmental screening, promotion, and linkage to supports.
Connecticut families with children from birth through kindergarten can download Sparkler from the App Store or Google Play Store in English or Spanish on smartphones or tablets and register with the code “CT” to access CT content and connect with local experts and services.
Sparkler helps parents:
- Know: Parents can access the mobile Ages & Stages Questionnaires® via Sparkler to understand their child’s development and celebrate their growth. Both the ASQ-3, which covers 5 domains — communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social — and the ASQ:SE-2, which covers social and emotional learning, are parent-friendly questionnaires available on Sparkler. These questionnaires help parents/caregivers of children 2 months through 5.5 years old understand what their children know and can do in the early years.
- Play and Learn: Access thousands of fun, developmentally appropriate off-screen activities developed by early childhood educators to help parents learn through play with their baby, toddler, or young child, as well as science-based tips for parents.
- Connect: Get tips and answers from Connecticut early childhood providers and care coordinators at 211 Child Development (part of the United Way of Connecticut). Sparkler allows Connecticut families to tap into a network of custom advice and support that can help families spark their children’s early learning. If parents’ answers to the ASQ indicate they might need support, 211 or families’ early childhood providers will reach out and help parents access evaluation or other support.
Connecticut families can learn more about Sparkler at playsparkler.org/CT.