On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant will proclaim April 10 – 16, 2021, as the Week of the Young Child.
In its 50th year, the Week of the Young Child® is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world's largest early childhood education association, with nearly 60,000 members and a network of 51 affiliates, including the MaineAEYC.
The Week of the Young Child® is designed to focus public attention on the needs of young children, birth through age 8, and their families, and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.
According to Sharon Trace, Network Coordinator of Biddeford Ready!, “This proclamation by Mayor Casavant shows the City’s commitment to early childhood care and education, which not only provides the building blocks for children to thrive in school, it is also critical to supporting the workforce and local economy.”
Biddeford Ready! is a community-wide effort including dozens of partners representing all sectors of the Biddeford community. They work together, share resources, and align efforts to help the youngest members of the Biddeford community – from birth to age 5 – get the resources they need to be ready to enter kindergarten.
York County Community Action Corporation (YCCAC) is a Founding Partner of Biddeford Ready! The Biddeford Ready! objectives align with one of YCCAC’s priority goals—ensuring that children have a strong start and are ready for school, which is critical for long term success. Other Founding Members include Biddeford Schools, City of Biddeford, and United Way of York County.
“Biddeford Ready!’s goal is for all Biddeford children to be ready for school and on track for success,” said Carter Friend, YCCAC Deputy Director. “That’s critical not just for children and families, but also for the community’s economic vitality. And it takes the entire community working together to make sure that happens.”
Biddeford Ready! is not focused on developing a single program or strategy, but instead on supporting a mix of mutually reinforcing data-driven and evidence-based strategies to support school readiness. It has a strong bias toward leveraging and expanding existing programs, policies, practices, and approaches that are working – including better coordination of services for children and families – and developing new ones where there are important gaps.
High-quality early care supports school readiness and nurtures cognitive, social, and emotional growth. And it’s a smart investment in Biddeford’s future: Every $1 invested yields a 13%-16% return on investment in future savings in education, health, economic productivity, and reduced crime.
Celebrations to recognize the Week of the Young Child® are planned throughout Maine and the entire country. Learn more at the MaineAEYC website or follow Biddeford Ready! on Facebook or Twitter for events in the Biddeford area.