From April 22-28 the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrates The Week of the Young Child. This year, Massachusetts joins the week-long celebration with the Commonwealth’s Brain Building in Progress Week.
The Week of the Young Child focuses public attention on the needs of young children and their families, specifically highlighting the importance of early childhood education programs. Massachusetts will celebrate this year’s NAEYC theme “Early Years are Learning Years” by increasing awareness about Brain Building in Progress.
So what is Brain Building in Progress?
Every time you see young children learning and interacting with an educational environment you are witnessing brain building in progress. Science shows that early learning experiences help build little one’s developing brains, thus influencing how they think and grow throughout their lives. Early childhood education is extremely important in brain building, and helping young children develop their minds and prepare them for all future learning challenges.
In Massachusetts the Brain Building in Progress campaign is a public/private partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and a growing number of community partners, leaders, academics, child care providers and individuals. The mission of the campaign is to:
“Raise awareness of the critical importance of fostering the cognitive, social and emotional development of young children by emphasizing its future impact on economic development and prosperity for everyone in Massachusetts.” – Brain Building in Progress Campaign
Why we celebrate Brain Building in Progress
The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and early education greatly impacts the way children will learn, grow and develop. Celebrating Brain Building in Progress helps spread the word about the importance of early childhood education.
What you can do to celebrate:
- Learn about the science of brain building – The science behind brain building is important to understanding why Early Education matters so much. Take some time to learn about young children’s brains and learning processes. Check out the Baby Brain Map by ZERO TO THREE. This interactive learning tool is a great introduction to the science of brain building.
- Spark brain building – One of the best ways to celebrate Brain Building in Progress Week is to spark brain building in the children you interact with. Whether you are a student, a parent or an educator you all have the power to help children develop their minds. Next time you interact with a baby, play a game with them. Next time you speak to a child, get down on their level, look them in the eye and really talk to them and listen. These simple interactions are great ways to help children connect to others. In more structured environments you can organize group activities around unique learning experiences to help young children. For a list of activity ideas click here or look at the NAEYC’s event planning handbook. For tips for families, check out this quick tip sheet.
- Spread the word – Talk with friends and family about the importance of brain building and early childhood education. Talk about your experiences with brain building and children and let others know how you see early learning impacting children. Share your plans to celebrate Brain Building in Progress with the Massachusetts campaign team here.
For more information on Early Childhood Education in Massachusetts check out the below sites and blogs:
- The Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care (DEEC)
- Brain Building in Progress
- In the Know – Boston’s Early Childhood Blog
- Eye on Early Education
- Speak United – A United Way Blog
For information on national policy and data about Early Childhood Education visit: