by Maegan Lokteff, PhD
April is a busy month for early childhood and is full of great ways to celebrate the children in your life and community.
Joining with Grand Beginnings, the Grand County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has proclaimed the Week of April 10th through the 16th as Week of the Young Child. Grand County joins communities across the country to celebrate and honor young children and all those who make a difference in children’s lives. The BOCC proclamation highlights the importance of young children and families in Grand County and how services like high quality child care support our community’s long term economic development and overall wellbeing.
Week of the Young Child helps all of us to focus on our young children’s needs and that they deserve high-quality early learning experiences at home and in child care settings that will help prepare them for life. Our Grand County has a great opportunity to do our part to help young children and to recognize that “Early Years are Learning Years” for all young children.
Coming at the end of Week of the Young Child, Grand Beginnings’ 15th Annual Children’s Fair is April 15 from 10:00 to 12:30 at Granby Elementary. This event is a great opportunity for local families to come and learn about resources for children in their community and for children birth to age eight to come and enjoy some exciting activities. This year’s fair has a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the ARTS and Math) theme and will feature the West Grand Junior High and High School Robotics Club, along with many other great activities. Many vendors will also have great information for families and caregivers on child development, health, parenting, and safety issues. The Children’s Fair is free and open to all families with children under eight.
April also brings the annual Pinwheels for Prevention campaign. As part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, blue pinwheels are popping up across Grand County. Preventing child abuse and neglect is not just a family issue, it is a community issue. By working together we all can play a part in promoting children’s social and emotional wellbeing. It can be as simple as asking a new mom or dad how they are doing, offering a caregiver a little help now and then, or making sure that the children you encounter know that you value them. The blue pinwheels remind each of us that childhood should be a time of joy and wonder and that we all are responsible for making sure our children our safe, healthy, and thriving.
It is easy to take for granted the important role children and families play in our community. Families create most of our workforce and are a major driver of our local economy. They are year-round residents that provide needed services and support our local businesses. They also face challenges–balancing the demands of work and home, finding child care, completing homework, providing healthy meals, and transportation, to name a few. This month, whether you attend the Children’s Fair, drive by a spinning pinwheel, or say good morning to a group at the playground, know that you are doing something to celebrate and honor our youngest residents!