SPRINGFIELD – Cox Children's Center at the University of Illinois at Springfield will join hundreds of organizations around the country in observing Week of the Young Child, April 23 through 27. The week honors America's more than 35 million children aged birth through eight years, and the families, teachers, and other adults who help them make the most of opportunities the early years afford.
Local celebrations during the week are designed to broaden support for programs that nurture early learning and growth. Events planned by Cox Children's Center and its Parent Advisory Committee include Celebrate our Staff – Appreciation Luncheon on Monday, April 23; Celebrate our Families – Family Breakfast on Tuesday, April 24; Celebrate our Student Workers on Wednesday, April 25; Celebrate our Children – Castle Bounce House and other fun activities on Thursday, April 26; and an Open House on Friday, April 27. The campus and local community is invited to attend the Open House, which is scheduled for 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the center, located on the UIS campus.
Center Director Stacey Hembrough noted that research and experience have shown that a child's earliest years are crucial to his or her learning. "Week of the Young Child is a chance to celebrate learning opportunities for young children, and to recognize the responsibilities we share for helping them make the most of their early years," she said.
Hembrough added that the center advocates a comprehensive effort to improve the quality of early childhood education, including professional development opportunities and adequate compensation for teachers and staff; improving program health and safety standards; using developmentally appropriate practices to encourage literacy and learning from birth; and supporting the crucial role of the family in early education.
Cox Children's Center is an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the country's largest organization of early childhood educators and others dedicated to improving the quality of early education programs.
For more information, contact Hembrough at 206-6610 or go to www.naeyc.org/about/woyc/.