WOYC18 Girls playing outside

The Week of the Young Child™ 

NAEYC Week of the Young Child™ (WOYC) is an annual celebration hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and AzAEYC. WOYC celebrates early learning, young children, their teachers, and families.

This week-long celebration was established in 1971 by NAEYC to recognize the importance of early care and education. In 2021, WOYC reached its 50th anniversary! As part of WOYC, AzAEYC focuses on elevating early childhood as a public good, advancing equity, and highlighting the impact of quality early childhood on creating vibrant communities.

The Week of the Young Child™ is a celebratory effort to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. This celebration aligns with our mission: to promote high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy and research.

Scholarly and academic research continue to show the value of high-quality early development opportunities for young children, their families, and society.

Proclamations

Left: AzAEYC Board Vice President for Advocacy and Public Policy Kamaie Clark with
Dr. Ramona Mellot, Dean of the College of Education, Northern Arizona University

Who organizes WOYC? 

NAEYC designates the Week of the Young Child™ dates and theme, but events are planned and implemented by local communities right here in Arizona. Celebrations are organized and coordinated by regional, state, and local NAEYC Affiliates and our chapters and by individual early childhood programs and community organizations providing services to young children and families.

NAEYC designates the Week of the Young Child™ dates and theme, but events are planned and implemented by local communities right here in Arizona. Celebrations are organized and coordinated by regional, state, and local NAEYC Affiliates and our chapters and by individual early childhood programs and community organizations providing services to young children and families.

How to celebrate WOYC?

Communities around Arizona have tailored celebrations to meet the needs in their own areas. WOYC is often celebrated in libraries, community centers and other places where young children grow and thrive. In addition to the ideas below, many other creative ways to celebrate can be found on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and among early childhood teachers and parents.

Celebrating can be as simple as displaying artwork by young children, setting up a special display of books, cooking a community snack. Some communities have organized town parades or festivals. They might assemble booths representing all of the early childhood agencies and other services. Others have involved their local officials and organized ceremonies with public proclamations or arranged press conferences. It’s really up to you!

Why celebrate WOYC?

As we celebrate the Week of the Young Child™, we are advancing a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate and work on behalf of young children. It’s a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities! Every year, we seek to recommit to making sure each and every child in Arizona experiences the type of early environment—at home, at child care, at school, and in the community—that will promote their early learning. Join us in celebrating!