Early childhood education (ECE) professionals and programs are vital for any economy to thrive and have been supporting the economy in Pennsylvania for decades. ECE has helped parents and caretakers get to work, but more importantly it has educated our youngest Pennsylvanians and taught them how to thrive.
April is Month of the Young Child (MOYC) and focuses public attention on the needs of young children and their families and recognizes the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.
Pennsylvania's Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) knows the backbone of early childhood education is the teachers. OCDEL recognizes the hard work of ECE professionals, so let's spend this April taking extra time to celebrate, congratulate, and thank all the people who help support our families.
OCDEL offers professional development opportunities so ECE professionals have specific preparation and knowledge in child development and can create high-quality learning environments for children. Additional information about navigating professional development in Pennsylvania's early childhood education system can be found at the PA Key.
How can you become involved in MOYC?
Look for ways to celebrate in your home, early learning program, or community. Some national resources, like the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) or local resources, like Trying Together, share ways to do this. Your local Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) may also know of events. Find your ELRC at www.raiseyourstar.org.
Other local resources:
Create a display that shares why quality early learning is so important. Think about what quality early learning looks like in your program or community. Partner with local businesses, like grocery stores, libraries, or community or city centers to share your display. Check Pinterest for some suggestions!
Read stories of families who have been impacted by quality early learning. PA's Promise features the stories of many families who have had access to quality early learning programs. Read family stories.
Share your story about the impact of quality early learning. How has having access to quality early learning made an impact on you or your child's life? If you're a teacher, what are the impacts you've seen in your classroom? Send your story to Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org and we might publish it on PA's Promise for Children!