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APSU program marks "Week of the Young Child"; mayor to sign proclamation

April 1, 2002

The Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA) at Austin Peay is sponsoring a mayoral decree to declare and celebrate the Week of the Young Child, April 7-13.

Mayor Johnny Piper will sign the city proclamation at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in the mayor's office, 102 Public Square.

The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAYEC), the world's largest organization of early childhood educators.

This year's theme, "Children's Opportunities-Our Responsibilities," highlights the association's objective of promoting community involvement in the healthy development of young children.

Through its local celebration of the Week of the Young Child, TECTA hopes to demonstrate the value of professional training and adequate compensation for early childhood workers, improve the safety and health of programs, teach learning skills from birth and recognize the family's role in early education.

"It is crucial that our youngest children have the best chance for success in life," said Linda Sitton, TECTA site coordinator at APSU. "That chance begins with parents and high-quality childcare programs.

"The Week of the Young Child is a time to pay special tribute this year to the incredibly positive changes in licensing for childcare programs in Tennessee. Through the creation of the voluntary 'Star Quality' plan, the legislature enacted a bill to provide recognition and financial support for participating childcare programs. The plan also will provide a rating to parents to indicate a program's level of quality."

Although it will take a year to review the participating programs in Tennessee, Sitton says she hopes "this will be a starting point for our local community to support early childhood programs."

Other events planned for the Week of the Young Child include radio spots with broadcasting personality Gretchen Cordy, a workshop luncheon for childcare administrators, and children's activity centers at the Cumberland Heights Extension Office. A TECTA career booth, cosponsored with the Montgomery County Association for the Education of Young Children, also will be set up in the Austin Peay Armory from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, April 9.

For more information, telephone 7585.