The month of April has been declared Early Childhood Month by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog.
Young students, teachers, administrators, lawmakers, officials and representatives from various partner agencies such as DCCA Childcare Development Fund and Division of Youth Services; CHCC’s Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and Non-Communicable Diseases Bureau; Let’s Move Marianas; PSS Headstart Program; CNMI Childcare Providers Association; Joeten Kiyu Public Library, and CNMI Motheread/Fatheread gathered at the proclamation signing last Wednesday.
Acting Child Care Developmental Fund administrator Vince Rabauliman briefly talked about the history of Early Childhood Month with the very first Week of the Young Child proclaimed in April 2007.
This year’s proclamation was read by student Isabella Marie Mallari, Jocelyn Kapileo, who is a parent from the Home Visiting Program; Kaylana Mettao, who is a parent from the Early Head Start/Head Start Program; and Lucretia Limes, who is a parent from the Child Care Center.
The proclamation recognized that “Early Childhood Month is an opportunity for early childhood programs across the country, including child care, Early Head Start, Head Start programs, Home Visiting Program, pre-schools and elementary schools, to hold activities to bring awareness to the needs of young children.”
It added that it is “a time to recognize the importance of health and safety of young children, early learning, early literacy, quality early care and education and to celebrate the teachers, caregivers, service providers, and policymakers that bring early childhood education to young children.”
Themes and corresponding programs will be conducted each week of the month.
According to Heather Santos of ECCS, Week 1 will focus on health and safety activities with various centers promoting child passenger safety, oral healthcare awareness, and physical activities.
Week 2 will focus on literacy, which coincides with the National Library Week and the Week of the Young Child.
Week 3 will be Child Care Service Providers’ Week, which will include a childcare symposium, while the fourth week will focus on early learning and family engagement activities for parents with young children.