Research tells us that a child’s earliest years are some of the most important in shaping their learning and development. We also know that children from low-income households are less likely to be read to or spoken to regularly or have access to books, literacy-rich environments, high-quality early care, and pre-kindergarten programs. These interactions are critical for language development, which is an important precursor to literacy.
The Week of the Young Child is a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit as a community to ensuring that each and every child experiences that type of early environment—at home, at child care, at school, and in the community—that will promote their early learning.
Early Childhood providers throughout Dubuque are celebrating the Week of the Young Child today through Friday in conjunction with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The NAEYC, an organization that recognizes the stages of early childhood as being from birth through age 8, offers up-to-date, research-based information and training to promote developmentally-appropriate education for early learners.
The Week of the Young Child will feature a special theme every day: Music Monday, Artsy Tuesday, Work Together Wednesday, Tasty Thursday and Freaky Friday. Throughout the week, we will be highlighting a few local providers who are supporting Dubuque’s young children so stay tuned to hear more stories about the great work happening locally!
School readiness is a key focus of the Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading—and one where we have seen measurable progress throughout the years. Since 2013, we have seen a 10% increase in the number of Dubuque children who are attending preschool (81% in 2013-2014 to 91% in 2015-2016.) In 2015, the Campaign supported the increase of quality-rated preschools and child care centers in the community, enhancing school readiness.