Week of the Young Child Celebrated in Montgomery County


The Montgomery County Early Childhood Coalition capped off their Week of the Young Child celebration on Friday. Since 1972, the first full week of April has been designated as Week of the Young Child by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) as a way to recognize and celebrate a community’s youngest citizens, their teachers, and caregivers.

April 2-8 was proclaimed Week of the Young Child in Crawfordsville and Montgomery County by Mayor Todd Barton and Montgomery County Commissioners John Frey, Dan Guard, and Jim Fulwider. Each day was marked with a theme chosen by NAEYC; Music Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Work Together Wednesday, Artsy Thursday, and Family Friday. Local early childhood educators were encouraged to plan activities around the themes to involve their students. Click here to view photos from their classroom celebrations.

On Wednesday evening, the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau hosted Child Abuse Prevention training for providers at the Hoosier Heartland State Bank Success Center. Mayor Barton and Commissioner Frey opened the event with thanks to local educators, as well as a reading of the Week of the Young Child proclamation.

In it, the proclamation stressed the importance of affordable, high-quality early childhood programs for residents, as well as sufficient seats and safety measures. The document also praised the work of early childhood educators and advocated for improved wages, benefits, and training.

Karen Branch, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau, then led participants through the session, which also counted toward necessary professional development hours. She covered the signs and steps to identify possible cases of child abuse, as well as how to properly report it. In many cases, a child’s behavior and reactions are more telling than physical marks.

MCCF Early Learning Director Lisa Walter echoed Branch’s lesson. “We want teachers to understand the power of their relationship with their students and families,” Walter said. “For many children, their classroom is their ‘safe place’, so we want to work with our early educators to provide them with ongoing training and support so that they can give their best to the children in their care.”

The Montgomery County Early Childhood Coalition is an initiative of the Montgomery County Community Foundation and recently began offering workshops for local educators as they work to increase quality the quality of their programs. Click here for more information about the coalition and its mission.