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All Kentuckians are mandated reporters. If you believe a child is being abused or neglected, call the Child Protection Hotline.

1-877-KYSAFE1 or 1-877-597-2331

For contact information in other states, please visit our Report It page.

Additional Support:

Child help: National Abuse Hotline:
or 1-800-422-4453


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Caring For Toddlers and Preschoolers

Caring for a toddler or preschooler is rewarding, challenging, comical, and frustrating all at the same time. Your little one is becoming more and more independent and surprisingly opinionated!

During these years, your child changes from a baby into an active kid. His or her physical growth and motor development will slow, but you can expect to see some tremendous intellectual, social, and emotional changes. 

Check out the American Academy of Pediatrics for more information. For a checklist of developmental milestones by age, download the CDC’s Milestones Checklist.



  • Pulls up to stand, walks along furniture
  • Begins to walk
  • Can help undress themself
  • Eats with a spoon
  • Drinks with a cup


  • Explores alone but with parents close by
  • Aware of themself as separate from others
  • Shy or nervous with strangers
  • Shows affection to familiar people
  • May have temper tantrums


  • Finds hidden objects
  • Points to get the attention of others
  • Points to own body parts
  • Waves “bye bye”
  • Begins to say “mama”, “dada” and “uh-oh!”



  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Begins to run
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture without help


  • Imitates behavior of others, especially adults and other children
  • Shows more and more independence
  • Shows defiant behavior
  • Gets excited when with other children
  • Knows names of familiar people


  • Plays simple make-believe games
  • Begins to sort shapes and colors
  • Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books
  • Forms and says two to four word sentences



  • Climbs well
  • Runs easily
  • Walks up and down stairs
  • Pedals a tricycle
  • Throws a ball overhand


  • Copies adults and friends
  • Shows affection and concern
  • Understands “mine” and “his” or “hers”
  • Separates easily from mom and dad
  • Dresses and undresses self


  • Can work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts
  • Plays make-believe with toys and people
  • Turns book pages one at a time
  • Understands directional words such as “in”, “under” and “on”
  • Can say full name
  • Follows two- or three-step instructions such as, “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet”



  • Walks up and down stairs, alternating feet
  • Runs easily
  • Can use the toilet on their own
  • Swings and climbs
  • Uses a fork and spoon


  • Imitates adults and playmates
  • Likes to be around and wants to please their peers
  • More likely to obey the rules
  • Can take turns in games
  • Likes to sing, dance, and act


  • Makes mechanical toys work
  • Matches an object in hand to picture in book
  • Can draw a person with body parts
  • Begins to understand the concept of time
  • Knows name and address


If your child’s developmental journey doesn’t match the suggested milestones exactly, don’t be alarmed! Every child develops at their own pace. However, some children do experience developmental delays that should be discussed with your child’s doctor. For more information about age-specific delays, check out the CDC’s Milestones Checklists.


Every child learns to use the toilet at different ages. Potty training takes patience, and it is helpful to wait until they’re ready. Remember that accidents happen, and this process usually doesn’t happen quickly.

Pediatricians say that a child who is ready to potty train can sense the urge to go, knows what that feeling means, and can tell a parent or caretaker that they need help getting to the toilet. Find more tips and resources from pediatricians on potty training via the American Academy of Pediatrics

-Dr. Laura Jana shares the best ways to help your child through the potty training milestone so that it is enjoyable for both of you on Healthy Children Radio: Toilet Training 101, a podcast from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

-Parents and physicians share their 30 best-ever potty training tips!


Allowing others to watch your child is an important decision many parents face, and that could mean in a child care center or a trusted family member or friend’s home. Families’ access to high-quality, safe, and affordable child care helps ensure children are in a safe environment that encourages their healthy growth and learning.

Ensuring Safe Caregivers

Child care centers are required to do a criminal background check on their employees. Ask child care centers in your decision making process about their background check policies.

Since the passage of Senate Bill 236 in 2017, parents and caregivers have been the ability to request a background check of the child abuse and neglect registry when employing a nanny or babysitter for their child in their home. Find instructions on how to begin the request process for a Child Abuse and Neglect Registry Check, Criminal Background Check, and checking the Sex Offender Registry.

Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C)

Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) is the central point of contact for the child care community, working to prevent child abuse by  providing guidance and education for caregivers on appropriate expectations of children, disseminating information and resources to child care providers through Kentucky Shared Services, and advocating on behalf of children and families on a state and national level. Learn more about Face It partners, 4-C at


Child safety is an adult responsibility, and it’s up to all of us to teach and respect body boundaries. As a parent or caregiver, talking to your child about their bodies, body safety, and personal boundaries is key in keeping them safe.

-Begin using the correct names for body parts, including their genitals, as they are learning to identify them.

-Teach children that it’s okay for them to say “no” if they don’t want to hug or kiss someone, including family, and always respect their decision.

-Make sure your child knows the difference between “okay” and “not okay” touches.

-Teach your child about the “bathing suit” rule: No one can touch the private parts of their body under their bathing suit, no one can ask for them to touch their private parts, and no one should show them pictures of anyone’s private parts.

-Educate children about the difference between good secrets and bad secrets. A surprise party is a good secret because isn’t kept for long. A secret that they are told to keep forever is not okay.

To learn more, check out Body Safety 101 Guide available in English or in Spanish.


Parenting is tough, and one of the toughest jobs is teaching your child how to behave. It takes time and patience, and it helps to learn effective and healthy discipline strategies. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers 10 ways to help children learn acceptable behavior as they grow.

We’ve heard about the terrible 2’s, but what about the terrible 3’s? Label behavior, redirect creatively, set clear expectations, and be consistent. And ask for help when you need it! Find more tips.

Time-outs can help you and your child calm down. Check out the basics of how to give time-outs, and remember adults occasionally need timeouts, too.

Feeling frustrated? Calming breathing exercises can help kids and parents! Learn more from PBS Parents.


Text Message Alerts

Text “FacingIt” to 833-FaceIt1 for conversation starters, humorous parenting inspiration, fun ideas, and more from Face It to remind you that you are doing the best job you can at raising little humans!

Text “remind” to 511411 for reminders for upcoming appointments. Text4Baby helps new and expecting moms keep track of upcoming doctor’s appointments.

Smartphone Apps

There are a number of free and paid apps to help parents understand and track child development, journal daily needs, and get reminders for appointments. While Face It does not endorse any particular app, here are a few popular apps:  

CDC’s Milestone Tracker App


Eat Sleep: Simple Baby Tracking

Parenting Guides

Parent’s Guide to Child Safety from Safe Kids Worldwide is available in English and Spanish.

Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Parent Guides are available in English and Spanish.

Healthy Digital Media Use Habits for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers

Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics have resources about children’s developmental stages and tips for helping caregivers through the big transitions that happen so quickly in children. 

Kosair Kids® Financial Assistance Program

The Financial Assistance Program provides direct financial assistance to families in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. The program is designed to help with medical, equipment, and therapy bills of children 17 years of age and under, or still attending high school, whose families cannot otherwise afford to pay. In addition, our staff provides support in purchasing needed medical equipment/devices. Each application receives a full review to determine how best Kosair for Kids can aid the family. Learn more at

Recognizing Signs & Symptoms of Abuse and Neglect

Physical Abuse

Look for any bruising on a baby who is not yet pulling up and taking steps; bruising to the ears, neck, torso, buttocks, or genitals of any child under four years; unexplained injuries on children of any age. 

Sexual Abuse

Look for an increase in nightmares and/or other sleeping difficulties, withdrawn behavior, angry outbursts, anxiety, and not wanting to be alone with a particular individual(s).

Fear of Telling

Children are afraid to tell about their abuse because they feel ashamed, don’t want the abuser to hurt them, don’t want to cause stress for their caregivers, or don’t want their abuser to go to jail.