WYOC 2016The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers and families.  We are thrilled to be a part of the annual event, with a focus on advocacy efforts and opportunities during the Week of the Young Child, April 11-15, 2016.

The goal of this week is to educate legislators about the importance of high quality early learning programs in their communities, and to encourage them to properly fund early learning initiatives.

But we need your help to get this important message across. Below are ideas, projects, meetings and resources. Your participation will make a difference in the lives of children across Minnesota.

1)  Set up a meeting with your legislator(s). Whether you are a child care provider, parent, or early childhood advocate, your perspective and story is important, and legislators want to hear from you. Set up a meeting with your legislator any time during the week of April 11-15 to share your experience.

  • Here’s a form to help set up the meeting.
  • There are some tips about how to prepare for the meeting here.
  • If you want to encourage support for a specific bill, here’s a resource for proposed legislation related to early care and education.

2) Advocate for early learning by mail. Complete the activity below on your own or with the children in your care, and send it in to your legislators to remind them to let our children shine.

  1. Print out the Shining Stars Activity pages.
  2. Have children decorate them and write about what makes them ‘shine’.
  3. Include a handwritten note (on star or paper) from you. Let your legislator know what high quality looks like in your program, and ask for their continued support of high quality early learning opportunities (such as the ABC Act).
  4. Include a copy of the Letter.
  5. Put all of the materials in an envelope and send to you legislator by April 8, 2016 so that they arrive during the Week of the Young Child. To find your legislator’s mailing address at the Capital, go to this website and enter your address.

Week of the Young child is a collaborative effort among many organizations and individuals. Add your voice to the event to send a strong message that early learning is important for our children, communities, and state!