Sunday, April 14, 2013

April 14-20: Week of the Young Child: Early Years are Learning Years

*image from NAEYC

Our 5th Anniversary party last month garnered overwhelming support and gathered people invested in furthering HMESF’s mission to provide quality and affordable early child care in NYC.  The timing of our event coincided with another childhood celebration this week (April 14-20); the Week of the Young Child™.
Sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the annual celebration that recognizes the needs of young children and appreciates parents, teachers, caregivers, and other adults who play important roles in the lives of young children. The theme for this year is Early Years Are Learning Years®, to focus public attention on the needs of young children,  their families,  and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.  
Since NAEYC ‘s origin in 1971, the Week of the Young Child™, it was apparent that early childhood years, (birth through age 8) would create the foundation for children's success in school and later life. Research and early childhood advocates today have especially stressed the importance of investing in our children’s early years to foster optimum learning, development, future economic and societal payoffs.  Despite the demand for quality and affordable childcare/education programs for children ages 0-3, the current economic climate doesn’t always allow programs to meet the demand, especially in major cities like NYC.
However, this Week of the Young Child™ is an opportunity to recognize that a young child’s future is our responsibility. It is pivotal that we recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child has a quality early care environment—at home, at child care, at school, and in the community—to promote emotional well-being and academic success.
Please join HMESF in celebrating  the Week of the Young Child™.  Many communities across the country have banded together to raise public awareness and create broad visibility to support the importance of the early years. It is important to spread the word by: supporting organizations which connect valuable information to parents of young children, and visiting high-quality programs to recognize the staff’s efforts in providing quality early childcare/education.  HMESF took the opportunity to highlight the hard work and dedication of the providers in our partnering centers, at our 5th Year Anniversary party. We encourage you to do the same! Check out our website to find out more about the centers HMESF donates to and supports.
A key element in a child’s development during the early years is to promote children’s literacy.  This year’s Week of the Young Child™ is themed  the Early Years Are Learning Years® Consequently, the HMESF Library Initiative, was created for exactly this reason. It is extremely important that children begin interacting with books at an early age. Furthermore, the keynote speaker at the event, Dr. Dana Friedman from the Early Care Institute, drove this point home. She indicated that books and reading have a direct effect on a child, "the more you read to children from an early age, the more positive the perceive the reading experience."
This April 14-20 is an opportunity to plan how we—as citizens of a community, of a state, and of a nation—can better meet the needs of all young children and their families. Join HMESF and NAEYC in celebrating the Week of the Young Child™.
Find out more at NAEYC’s website for the Week of the Young Child™.