Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that thousands of new pre-k seats will be open for the next school year. However, NYC is not the only community focusing on early education. In 1971, The National Association for the Education of Young Child (NAEYC) first established the Week of the Young Child™ to highlight the importance of education starting from birth. This week marks the 43rd anniversary of the Week of the Young Child.
Early learning has to be a priority. Ages zero to five are critical formative years. Just as we provide health vaccine to children to "inoculate" them against disease, we need to invest in early childhood to insure self-efficacy and resilience to barriers to learning.
Education can start with any caring adult. Children are more likely to aspire to success and to become lifelong readers and learners if they have role models at home and in the community. Research demonstrates that family and community engagement improves student attitudes toward school, predicts student success, and improves attendance, reducing the dropout rate.
As mentioned by the NAEYC, early years are learning years. Whether you are a parent, or a member of the community, no action is too small to promote education. Join us as we celebrate the Week of the Young Child all year long!