LEHIGH VALLEY, PA (April 6, 2021) –The Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children (PennAEYC), and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Week of the Young Child™ from April 10-16, 2021. 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.
NAEYC is a membership organization of nearly 60,000 early care and education professionals, dedicated to achieving equitable access to high-quality early learning for young children ages birth through eight. The vision of PennAEYC, the state affiliate, is that all Pennsylvania families will have access to high-quality, affordable early childhood care and education opportunities for their children provided by a profession that is valued, well-compensated and supported.
As part of the Week of the Young Child™, being celebrated across the country and honoring young children and all those who make a difference in the lives of young children, Senator Pat Browne introduced Senate Resolution 57 to officially recognize the week.
“The Week of the Young Child is a time to recognize the importance of ensuring that every child has access to high-quality early learning programs during their most critical developmental years, which will help lay the foundation for their success in school and later in life. History has demonstrated that students who receive this early assistance have an increased likelihood of graduating from high school and becoming productive and successful members of our highly skilled, competitive workforce. I am proud of Pennsylvania’s efforts to prioritize financial support for these programs.” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne.
In addition, the mayors of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton: Ray O’Connell, Robert Donchez and Salvatore J. Panto, have each issued proclamations officially recognizing this week.
In issuing the proclamations each mayor realizes that this is the time to recognize children’s opportunities, and they urge all citizens to recommit to ensure that each child experiences the type of early environment — at home, school, in a child care setting and in the community — that will promote early learning.
High-quality early childhood education prepares children to succeed in school and promotes healthy development, allows families to work and fuels our economy. “Unfortunately, far too few children in Pennsylvania have access to high-quality, affordable early childhood experiences like child care and pre-k. As we celebrate the Week of the Young ChildTM we call on Pennsylvanians to join us in our advocacy efforts to increase access to these important services and support the programs and professionals that provide them.” said Jen DeBell, Executive Director of PennAEYC. PennAEYC is a principal partner in the Pre-K for PA and Start Strong PA nonpartisan, statewide advocacy campaigns which seek to increase access to these critical services.
Young children and their families depend on high-quality education and care, which help children get a great start and bring lasting benefits to the Lehigh Valley. Week of the Young Child™ is a time to recognize the importance of early learning and early literacy, and to celebrate the teachers and policies that bring high-quality early childhood education to young children.
Information provided to TVL by Jan Schwartz on behalf of:
Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young