What is it? One week of each year in which the public’s focus is shifted toward young children, their families and early childhood programs.
"The purpose of the Week of the Young Child™ is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs" National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2012.
When did it start? It was started by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 1971.
When is it? It is always in April. In 2012 it is April 22nd – April 28th.
Who decides the themes? NAEYC designates the week each year as well as the theme. NAEYC also puts together detailed information, suggestions and templates to help communities take part in the Week of the Young Child.
What is the theme for 2012? Early Years are Learning Years®
Are there other themes to choose from? NAEYC calls these sub-themes in which you can use for the whole week or focus on one per day. It would be up to you to determine how to use them. They are:
- Play: Where Learning Begins
- Embracing Diversity
- Teaching and Teachers Matter
- Encouraging Health and Fitness
- Investing in Young Children Benefits All
- Prevent the Achievement Gap: We Know How
- Strengthening Families™
Event Handbook? NAEYC put together a handbook to help you put together an event for the Week of the Young Child™. The types of events it can help you plan are:
- Promoting early literacy and learning in your community
- Thanking teachers in your community and/or
- Influencing public policy in your community, in your state and nationally
These three main topics are then directed toward affiliates, early childhood programs and organizations. NAEYC helps make it easier for you to plan an event with this handbook. You can find the handbook here: http://www.naeyc.org/woyc/eventplanning
Suggested Activities? The activities focus on six main topics. Each topic has several activities that you can lead or take part in as well as resource links, phone numbers and email addresses to help you. The six main topics are:
- Raising public awareness
- Public Policy and Advocacy
- Reading and Writing
- Violence Prevention
- Child Health
To view the different activities: http://www.naeyc.org/woyc/activities
News from previous years? To see what happened in the news over the years check out the archive: http://www.naeyc.org/woyc/news
If you think it's too late to take part or do any of these types of activities or events, start planning for next year and do a little something for this year! Recognize yourself, your parents, and your children and post it on Facebook, the ChildCareInfo.com Network, Twitter, a Blog Post or comment here! That is putting the young children and the mission of this week in the public eye, via social media!
Resource: National Association for Education of the Young Child (NAEYC), http://www.naeyc.org/woyc, April 12, 2012.