The Week of the Young ChildThe Week of the Young Child focuses public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.
By: NAEYC, Superior Telegram
The Week of the Young Child, an annual event sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Founded in 1926, the NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8.
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.
Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children's earliest years in shaping their learning and development. Yet, never before have the needs of young children and their families been more pressing.
Working families need child care and supportive employer policies to be able to meet the needs of their young children throughout the day.
• In the United States the majority of mothers with children under age 18 work, including 59% of those with infants and 74% of those with school-aged children.
• Approximately 13 million infants, toddlers, and preschool children are regularly in non-parental care in the United States, including 45% of children younger than one year.
• The Census Bureau reports that approximately 50% of working families rely on child care providers to help them care for their children while they work; 25% rely on relatives for child care; and nearly 25% arrange work schedules so that no child care is needed (e.g. parents work different hours or days; one parent works during school hours and is home after school).
Research shows that high-quality early childhood programs help children--especially those from families with low-incomes--develop the skills they need to succeed in school. However, most programs in the United States are rated mediocre, and fewer than 10% meet national accreditation standards.
Across the nation child care fees average $4,000 to $10,000 per year, exceeding the cost of public universities in most states. Yet, nationally only 1 in 7 children who are financially eligible for child care subsidies is being served, and only 41% of 3 and 4 year old children living in poverty are enrolled in preschool, compared to 58% of those whose families have higher incomes.
The Week of the Young Child highlights the NAEYC’s commitment to working with programs across the nation addressing those needs.
Local organizations, such as the YWCA and the United Way strive to support programs that reach children. Fir instance, recently the YWCA received $30,000 from the United Way in support of our OWL (Opening the World of Literacy) Early Literacy Program.
Half of children in the state of Minnesota are not ready to read by the time they reach kindergarten. By increasing a child's vocabulary by the time they enter school, a child will have the foundation they need to enter the world of reading.
This publication features information about other local programs, child health, day care facilities and schools in celebration of Week of the Young Child. Information has been provided by the NAEYC’s web site (www.naeyc.org) as well as local agencies.
For more information contact the local advertisers displayed within this publication or visit www.naeyc.org/about/woyc/.
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