Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Week of the Young Child

It’s the Week of the Young Child, a great opportunity to talk about why early learning is so important! The week is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). (Check out resources there too.)

Experts now know that about 85 percent of brain development happens in the first three years. That’s faster than any other time in life. What does that mean for parents, child care providers, teachers and other important adults in kids’ lives? It means we all need to work to together to help create high-quality learning opportunities to take advantage of those growing brains!

Learning is much more than colors, shapes, numbers and letters. Learning begins at birth. It’s made up of everyday opportunities like singing songs, playing hand games, and comforting your child when she’s upset. Kids who have nurturing and supportive experiences in their early years are much better prepared to succeed in school and life.

So what can you do to help celebrate this exciting phase of development with a child in your life?

Take advantage of everyday learning moments.

Click here for a list to get you started from our private partner, Thrive by Five Washington.

Attend a library, zoo or park with a child

Click here to find Web sites that can help you find activities in your area.

Learn about child development

The Washington State Early Learning and Development Benchmarks are early learning guidelines that are helpful in understanding what young children may know and do at different ages. They are a research-based tool to support parents, early learning educators and caregivers in helping children grow and learn. This is only a resource document—every child develops as an individual in the context of his family, culture and community.  Click here for a guide for parents.

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