Celebrate Early Learning During the Week of the Young Child™

Celebrate Early Learning During the Week of the Young Child™
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Join the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC®) to celebrate the early learning community during the Week of the Young Child™ (WOYC) from April 8 – 12!

Week of the Young Child logoSponsored by NAEYC, the WYOC is an opportunity to highlight the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early care and education providers who meet those needs. This year’s #woyc19 theme is “Step It Up.” During the weeklong celebration, early care and education providers are encouraged to work with and provide information to parents and families on the importance of high-quality early learning experiences.

For additional support, the Maryland Early Childhood Family Engagement Framework puts forth seven goals for family engagement to be used across Maryland’s early childhood system and within individual programs. Specifically, the following activities celebrating WOYC meet Goal Two of the Framework: Family engagement initiatives should promote positive parent-child relationships.

Family engagement is a critical component of high-quality early care and education. Strong partnerships between programs and families support lifelong, healthy child development. Below are five fun-filled, WOYC activities to engage children, parents, and families daily while promoting school readiness and positive parent-child relationships.

It’s Music Monday!

Pull out the musical instruments, download a great song, and shoot a WOYC music video featuring the young stars in your program. Send it to parents and families via email or post it on your program’s social pages with the families’ permission, of course. Remember to tag @NAEYC and @MDEngageEarly using the hashtags #woyc19 and #MDFamiliesEngage.

A mother, father and young child prepare food together at a tableIt’s Tasty Tuesday!

Share Cook’s Corner: Recipes for Healthy Snacks with your families and encourage them to make a healthy snack with their child. Spending time together in the kitchen builds bonds as well as reading and math skills. Ask families to send in their snack idea to share with the other families in the program.

It’s Work Together Wednesday!

Invite families to donate their cleaned recycled items like paper towel rolls, plastic bottles, or empty boxes. Give the items to the children to build their own structures.  This activity will help them develop social and emotional skills as they work together. Share pictures of the children’s sculptures to show families what their donations created.

It’s Artsy Thursday

Place art supplies and a large piece of bulletin board paper by the door of the program. Encourage families to add to the artwork during pick up and drop off.  Tell families ahead of time about the project and leave the artwork hanging for the entire week of WOYC to give all families an opportunity to participate.

It’s Family Friday!

Celebrate the end of WOYC by hosting an open house where families can visit when it’s most convenient for them. Use the Maryland Family Engagement Toolkit for ideas on how to engage parents and families.  Serve families a special breakfast or lunch prepared by the children.   Ask a colleague to take a “family” photo of the entire program.  Remember to tag @NAEYC and @MDEngageEarly using hashtags #woyc19 #MDFamiliesEngage.




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