teacher and child

Child Development Resources

Child Development Resources

Child Development Resources


Established in 1993, Child Development Resources (CDR) is a nonprofit agency located in the University of Alabama’s department of Human Development and Family studies, serving as a resource for families and providers in Tuscaloosa and surrounding regions. With a primary goal of making a difference in children’s lives, CDR works to nurture “the whole child,” using a multilayered approach providing: 1) Training, and resources to support Early Childhood Educators through professional development, and coaching through our training department as well as 2) specialized training focusing on infant and toddler development and wellbeing via our Infant Toddler Specialist Network; 3) Mental health consultation for Early Childhood Educators through the statewide program First 5 Alabama, 4) Parent programs such as Baby TALK, Parenting Assistance Line (PAL) and our Parent Resource Library; and 5) Helping connect families to resources and services through the statewide programs of Help Me Grow and Alabama Family Central. We believe that parents and providers are supported through CDR’s various programs which lead to families begin strengthened and children flourishing.

Child Development Resources
Judy Bonner Child Development Center
651 Peter Bryce Blvd.
Box 870157 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
P: (205) 348-2650
F: (205) 348-4234

Child Care Provider Training

CDR provides training for child care providers in twelve counties in west, central Alabama. They are Bibb, Choctaw, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marengo, Marion, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa counties. Training helps child care professionals learn up-to-date techniques and activities to use with infants and young children. Topics include subject areas required by Alabama DHR such as: Health, Safety, and Universal Precautions; Positive Discipline and Guidance; Language Development; Child Development; the Child Care Professional & the Family; Quality Child Care and Licensing; and Administration and Management. Training is offered in Tuscaloosa and every county in our region each quarter. Courses are offered in small and large group settings in person and via Zoom.

For more information about training contact Kristy Brown (205)348-4280

Child Care Provider Training Calendar

The Learning Center (TLC)

The Learning Center (TLC) is CDR’s Resource Room designed for childcare providers and teachers. Resources available include children’s books, theme-based activity kits, learning materials, literacy kits, manipulatives, die-cut machines, a laminator, and more.

Tuesday-Thursday 12:00-4:45

Parking passes are required and are available at TLC sign-in desk.

Rolling Resource Van (RRV)
Resources and materials offered in our Learning Center (TLC) is also accessible by rural providers, via the Rolling Resource Van. If you are in one of our surrounding counties and can’t get to us, we will come to you. You will have an opportunity to check-out children’s books, theme kits, and manipulatives to enhance your existing items in your program. We especially target our Family Child Care Homes or Group Homes in outlying counties. Training opportunities (with DHR training hours) are available during the RRV visits that share new curriculum ideas, group discipline techniques, and ways to extend and connect activities from visit-to-visit for optimal learning for you and your children.

Infant Toddler Specialist Network (ITSN)

The Infant Toddler Specialist Network (ITSN) works to elevate the standards of care in early childhood settings by increasing the knowledge, skill level, and confidence of those who care for infants and toddlers. The ITSN provides opportunities for specialized training, technical assistance, and coaching with highly skilled specialists.

The ITSN offers support at no cost to early childhood educators in all Alabama counties and across all settings – licensed centers, exempt centers, and family or group care homes.


Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

In partnership with First 5 Alabama

Our Mission

To enhance healthy attachment relationships between children birth to age five and the adults who care for them through promotion, prevention, and intervention supports throughout Alabama’s early childhood systems.

Our Purpose and Goals

  • promote throughout Alabama, the healthy social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of young children through supportive and nurturing relationships from conception through five years of age;
  •  facilitate interdisciplinary cooperation among individuals concerned with promoting conditions that will bring about the optimal development of young children and child-caregiver and child-parent relationships;
  • encourage the realization that early childhood is a sensitive period in the psychosocial development of individuals;
  •  promote education, research, and study of the effects of mental development during early childhood on later social/emotional/behavioral and psychopathological development;
  •  promote education, professional development, and expertise of a cadre of professionals concerning the mental health of young children, parents, families and other caregivers of young children;
  • promote mental health in early childhood by developing evidence-based practices and/or informing programs about promotion, prevention, intervention, and care.

To request mental health consultation, please follow this link.

Parent Education and Support

CDR believes that families benefit when parents understand child development and the skills needed for effective parenting. As parents anticipate their child’s milestones, and are provided with tools and resources, they can guide them through the developmental stage with more confident and success. As parents and providers are supported through CDR’s various programs, children flourish and families are strengthened.

Baby TALK (Teaching Activities for Learning and Knowledge) is a community effort designed to encourage parents in the nurture of their small children. Baby TALK’s message to parents is that we believe they can give their children a wonderful start in life with an environment of “Language, Literature and Love.” New parents are provided with basic child development information and suggestions for developmentally appropriate activities. A gift book is given to parents to read aloud to their children, believing that reading aloud, more than any other single activity, will enhance the parent/child relationship as it encourages the child’s mental, social, and language development. Baby TALK programing is present in both regional hospitals (DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center), Tuscaloosa and Bibb County Health Department WIC clinics, Pediatric clinics at University Medical Center, and Parent Resource Library at CDR.

Parenting Assistance Line (PAL) is for anyone who wants information and support in becoming a more confident parent. Let’s face it…when babies are born, they don’t come with “instructions!” Parenting can be tough and sometimes with today’s stresses and problems we all just need a little help. PAL can provide helpful assistance to moms, dads, grandparents, and relatives whose children are ages birth through adolescence.

Also check out our PAL by text program- a free subscription service where caregivers text PAL to 274448, enter their child’s date of birth, zip code and whether they prefer messaging in English or Spanish to start receiving developmental information specific to their child’s age, activity ideas as well as free events and resources in their area

For more information on Parent Assistance Line (PAL)

Parent Resource Library (PRL)

The PRL is a free service of Child Development Resources at the University of Alabama. It has a wide variety of resources such as parenting and children’s books as well as parent-child activity kits designed to support families in parenting their young children.


  • Monday 9-11:30; 2-4:30
  • Tuesday 9-11:30, 2-4:30
  • Wednesday 9-11:30
  • Thursday Closed
  • Friday 9-11:30

The PRL offers free STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) events from 9:30-11:30 the second and fourth Friday of every month.

For more information about events and Baby TALK times community playgroups call (205) 348-2232 or email at parentlibrary@ches.ua.edu

CDR staff also are available to provide resource and referral information for families in central west Alabama.

Resource and Referral

Additional resources for families include:

Alabama Family Central – Alabama Family Central is a collaboration of state agencies and partners supporting Alabama’s families with resources, services and more to help raise healthy, happy kids.

Help Me Grow CDR is part of the statewide Help Me Grow network. HMG is a free, confidential access point that links families to a care coordinator that will

  • Listen to concerns and helps to decide which referrals are best for families
  • Find services that are appropriate and available for referrals
  • Connect children to services
  • Follow up to find out if a successful connection was made

Economic Study Of Child Abuse Vs. Child Abuse Prevention In Alabama

The College of Human Environmental Sciences, Children′s Trust Fund of Alabama, UA Child Development Resources, and CBER sponsored a study on the cost of child abuse vs. child abuse prevention in the State of Alabama. Dr. Stuart Usdan served as the faculty advisor, Dr. April Kendrick served as the child development advisor in partnership with Dr. Sam Addy and colleagues at the Center for Business and Economic Research, Culverhouse College of Business.

2018 Study Report