April 14-20 is National Week of the Young Child, celebrated across the country to honor young children and all those who make a difference in children’s lives.
Here in west central Minnesota, many communities are hosting events and activities for young children and their families throughout the week. It’s a way of making the community aware of the importance of providing our youngest citizens with the best possible education and care so they grow up physically, socially and emotionally strong.
People and groups from all walks of life are waking up to the fact that the future safety and prosperity of our nation is dependent upon how we care for our youngest children now. Senior retired military leaders became alarmed at the statistic that nearly 70 percent of 17- to 24-year-olds do not meet the basic minimum standards required for military service. Further research showed them that the path to success started in children’s earliest years. That’s why they created Mission: Readiness, Military Leaders for Kids. This nonprofit, bi-partisan organization advocates for public policy that fully funds early childhood education programs, supports families in ways that improve parenting skills and reduce child abuse, and improves child health, mental health and nutrition services.
How can our communities, like Mission: Readiness, help build sound foundations for our children so they have the best chance of becoming productive, well-adjusted members of society?
Like most things in our children’s lives, creating that sound foundation begins at home. Here’s a list of a few simple ways to celebrate and honor your child all year long:
- Thank a child care provider or teacher.
- Hug and kiss your child every day.
- Read a book with your child.
- Go to the park with your child.
- Play a game with your child.
- Actively search out local early childhood activities and opportunities for you and your child.
- Make sure your child has regular check-ups with the doctor and dentist.
- Enjoy how unique your child is every day!
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