3 Tips for a Successful Week of the Young Child
By Jessica Allison, Director of Education and Training
Last week (April 2–8) was the Week of the Young Child (WOYC). For those who don’t know, Week of the Young Child was established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 1971 to amplify the needs of young children and bring awareness to the programs and services that meet those needs.
Across Early Learning Academies, our centers spent the week celebrating our early learners and their families through fun, educational activities. We created a number of activities that went along with the themes for the week: Music Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Work Together Wednesday, Artsy Thursday, and Family Fun Friday. Our network of childcare centers used these activities in their classrooms and the results were amazing! Our students loved the activities and sharing these activities with our families helped us grow as a community.
Here are some highlights, lessons, and takeaways:
- Plan – Springtime is always a busy time of year; Week of the Young Child can sneak up on you if you are not prepared. This year, we held a meeting with our center directors about a month before WOYC as a reminder that it was coming and also provided an opportunity for everyone to share their ideas. We had a great brainstorming session that had everyone thinking about creative activities they could do in their centers to celebrate WOYC.
- .Shared Ideas – After our initial meeting to discuss WOYC, we shared everyone’s great ideas with the group. We created a newsletter that highlighted WOYC dates and each day’s theme, and then provided the centers with a list of ideas to celebrate each day. We also encouraged each center to do something different and not be afraid to get messy with the children!
- Encourage Documentation – Throughout the planning process and during the WOYC, we asked directors and teachers to take photos and document their plans for the week. We also encouraged them to share these plans and photos with their families to show what amazing things the children did each day to promote growth and development and highlight all the fun.
We hope these tips can be helpful as you look toward building your own Week of the Young Child activities next year. These activities are also good all year long—feel free to use them anytime!