This week is Week of the Young Child. It is a week dedicated to bringing awareness about the needs of young children and their families, as well as the opportunity to recognize quality early childhood programs that work hard to meet those needs.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) established Week of the Young Child in 1971. With over 80,000 members, WOTYC is celebrated nationwide at many regional and state affiliates. The theme of this years’ WOTYC is Celebrating Our Youngest Learners.
Research has shown that the early childhood years — birth through age 8 — are the most impactful years and can lay the foundation for a child’s success in school and beyond. Eighty percent of a child’s brain is fully formed by the time they are 3 years old.
I am a senior here at the University of Idaho and have had the privilege to work with young children while obtaining my degree in Child Development Family Relations. It is a great feeling knowing that we can impact the lives of children and families.
As teachers, we learn through observation and intentionality, working to better the lives of those around us. Children need guidance to fully reach their potential, some skill sets don’t develop unless children are exposed to various opportunities.
It’s our job to allow children to grow, explore new things and really experience their world, whether it’s through reading books, dramatic play, block building and more. I learn something new every day from the children I get to work with. It’s hard work, but it’s well worth it.
I would encourage anyone who works with or has young children to participate in Week of the Young Child, whether you are a parent, a teacher or have younger siblings, nieces and nephews. Take this extra opportunity to celebrate them. Find out about the national events at NAEYC’s website.