By Rhian Evans Allvin, Executive Director of The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

As the mother of three young children, I was fortunate enough to have people around me that supported my desire to give them the best start possible. Among them were family, friends, our pediatrician and their early childhood educators. With that support network coaching, guiding and building my confidence, Austin, Eli and Isabel were afforded the opportunity to walk into kindergarten the first day of school ready to learn and face the expectations of classroom learning that awaited them. If all parents and children were supported in the same way with high-quality early learning experiences, our outlook would be much different.

That is why it is with great pleasure that, as the Executive Director of The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), I’m proud to share with you the launch of NAEYC’s 2014 Week of the Young Child™ (April 6-12, 2014). This year, with our theme “Early Years are the Learning Years,” we draw attention to how a high-quality early childhood experience and the professionals that help to create that experience set a child’s path for success in school and beyond.

We will spend this week in partnership with our 300 affiliates around the country and the world reinforcing how critical the early years are to building the skills to get along with others, and succeed in school and life – and the important role early childhood professionals play in that process.  Some of those partners are in Pennsylvania and are active supporter of Pre-K for PA: PennAYEC, the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC), and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC). Pre-K for PA is an important effort to ensure all 3-and 4-year-old children in Pennsylvania have access to high-quality early education opportunities.

So please join us in this celebration by learning more about our special events in your community via our interactive event map HERE or our special music event for teachers, parents and children HERE or share these helpful tips that outline the hallmarks of an NAEYC accredited center for parents and caregivers who might be navigating the decision making process of choosing an early childhood program.  Please join us during NAEYC’s 2014 Week of the Young Child™ to celebrate our children, families, educators and staff for the wonderful work they do each and every day.

To see Pre-K for PA’s Week of the Young Child “One Action A Day” campaign, click here.

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