Month of the Young Child shines a spotlight on the importance of early childhood education
With April having been designated Month of The Young Child by advocacy group Trying Together, Kidsburgh asked director Cara Ciminillo to explain why early childhood education is so vital to our youngest and most vulnerable population. See below for events planned for families and caregivers throughout the month.
By Cara Ciminillo
Research from The Harvard Center on the Developing Child confirms there is no other time in a human’s life when the brain will develop with such speed or intricacy. Simply put, the way the brain develops from birth to age 5 will impact all future learning, behavior and health outcomes. For this reason, it is important for all caregivers of young children to understand the critical role they play in providing high-quality early learning experiences.
For almost 60 years, Trying Together has supported the work of early childhood by providing advocacy, community resources, and professional growth opportunities for the needs and rights of children, their families, and the adults who interact with them.
To focus public attention on young children and their families and to recognize early care and education professionals, Trying Together designates April as the Month of The Young Child (MOYC) each year. To elevate the importance of early childhood, Trying Together and our partners are hosting dozens of events in the coming weeks including a block party, formal dinners, and professional development opportunities, among others.
Of course, one of the most important ways you can support the work of early childhood this month and beyond is to become an advocate and let your legislators know how increased investments support all children, families and early educators.
In the spring, Trying Together released its second public policy agenda which asks policymakers to:
- Do what’s best for children
- Invest adequately
- Enhance quality
Guided by these principles, Trying Together along with our statewide advocates and partners have been able to expand healthy development opportunities for young children from birth to age 9 throughout Pennsylvania. Thousands of caregivers and other concerned citizens have joined these efforts by signing on their support for statewide campaigns focused on childcare (Start Strong PA), home visiting (Childhood Begins at Home), and pre-kindergarten (Pre-K for PA).
By successfully advocating for increased investments, more families can now access and afford high-quality early learning programs. Likewise, early learning programs are better able to provide high-quality care and education, as well as liveable wages and professional development to support staff. Despite this progress, more work is needed to address early childhood needs at the local, state and national levels.
Please join Trying Together and other advocates during the Month of The Young Child to “take action” for all young children, families, and early educators. Together, we can create a future in which caregivers feel valued; children have access to high-quality, early learning environments; and families have the resources they need to support their children’s early learning experiences. Visit Trying Together to learn more about the campaigns on child care, home visiting and pre-K. There, you can sign on your support for each.
Month of The Young Child: 2019 Events
Week of The Young Child (WOYC): April 8 to 12. Find events online or coordinate your own activities!
2019 City-Wide School Board Candidate Forum: 5:30-8 p.m. April 24. Hillman Auditorium at the Kaufmann Center.
Annual Homewood Block Party: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 27. The Homewood Early Learning Hub.
For full event listings for Month of the Young Child, visit tryingtogether.org.