Every year, the early childhood community celebrates the Week of the Young Child®. This special week, organized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) since 1971, honors young children from birth to eight, their families, and the early childhood professionals who dedicate their time and expertise to their care and education.

Two little cute African American children playing on the floor with lots of colorful plastic blocks in studio, isolated on white background

The Week of the Young Child® is a time to recognize the importance of the early years in a child’s development and raise awareness about the value of early learning opportunities. It’s a reminder that these formative years lay the foundation for future success and well-being. Starting April 8, we celebrate young children’s unique strengths, interests, and potential and affirm their right to high-quality early learning experiences.

Research has shown that high-quality early childhood education can have a lasting impact on children’s academic achievement, social-emotional development, and overall well-being. Eighty percent AI Generative; five babies of different ethnicities lying down together.of a child’s brain is developed by age three. Most neural connections in the brain are established during early childhood, with an estimated 700 to 1,000 new neural connections forming every second. These connections are shaped by a child’s experiences, interactions, and environment, including relationships with caregivers, exposure to language and stimuli, and opportunities for play and exploration.  By promoting access to early learning programs and advocating for investments in early childhood education, we can help ensure that all children can reach their full potential.

Another important aspect of the Week of the Young Child® is engaging families and communities in supporting young children’s learning and development. Through family events, community activities, and outreach efforts, we can strengthen the connections between home, school, and community and create a supportive environment for children to thrive.

Daily Themes & eLearnings

NAEYC designates a theme for each day of the week. Think Small is here to support you in your professional development and offers specialized activities related to those themes. We even have specialized eLearning courses on sale to celebrate your work with young children!

Get 30% off eLearning courses for the month of April. Enter code WOYC24

On Music Monday, we will share information about musical experiences for children with hearing impairments. Featured eLearning – How Early Experiences Shape Brain Development.

Small boy draws with pencil on the paper during Applied Behavior Analysis ABA sitting at the table indoors

On Tasty Tuesday, we will offer suggestions about ways to engage children in exploring new flavors and foods. Featured eLearning – Diversity Informed Meal Planning.

On Work Together Wednesday, look for ideas on engaging children in projects where they must work together to complete activities. Featured eLearning – Temperament.

On Artsy Thursday, we will share ways to use items found in nature to enhance your art center and activities. Featured eLearning – Teaching Off Trail.

On Family Friday, we will provide ideas for supporting families and encouraging them to celebrate their children together. Featured eLearning – Partnering with Families to Support Healthy Habits.

A large group of preschool children playing in the Park on the grass. The concept of friendship, childhood. Children's day, June 1

Every day is a great day to celebrate children, our nation’s most precious and important resource, and support their development and well-being. The Week of the Young Child® is a time to be more public with our celebration of the magic and wonder of early childhood and the incredible potential of young children. It’s a reminder that investing in the early years is one of the most powerful investments we can make in the future. As we come together to celebrate this special week, let’s reaffirm our commitment to providing all children with the opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed.

By Dr. Ellaine B. Miller
Training and Curriculum Development Program Lead, Think Small Institute
President, National Association for Family Child Care