Celebrate Week of the Young Child with KenCrest


The Week of the Young Child celebrates the importance of early learning, young children and their teachers, families, and communities.

By Sydney Kerelo

Through KenCrest’s Early Learning Centers (ELCs) doors, fluorescent walls and smiling faces greet everyone who enters. Bright pops of color and artfully decorated doors line the walls around the main multi-purpose room and various classrooms. The air fills with booming shrieks of glee and unbidden happiness, and students and teachers join together for a fun-filled day of learning.

But this week is a little different as we celebrate Week of the Young Child (WOYC) with a few special guests visiting KenCrest’s various centers: Pennsylvania State Representative Danilo Burgos, Philadelphia City Council Member Anthony Phillips, State Representative Anthony Bellmon, and Senator Nikil Saval.

The Week of the Young Child (WOYC) is a weeklong event hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This year, it will last from April 6 to 12. According to NAEYC, this annual celebration is a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that every child experiences the type of early environment—at home, at childcare, at school, and in the community—that will promote their early learning.

Pennsylvania State Representative Danilo Burgos visiting the North Early Learning Center. // Photo by Sydney Kerelo

The NAEYC established WOYC in 1971 when it became apparent that early childhood (birth through eight) lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later life. According to NAEYC.org, the NAEYC is “the world’s largest early childhood education association, with nearly 60,000 members and a network of 52 affiliates.”

During the WOYC, participants follow daily, fun-filled themes and activities like Music Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Work Together Wednesday, Artsy Thursday, and Family Friday throughout the week. At KenCrest, we celebrate by inviting state representatives and city council members to each of our centers for a special tour and book reading with the students.

KenCrest’s ELCs are focused on helping students thrive through person-centered, family-oriented ways. The Centers support families by allowing them to experiment with offerings like adult educational programs—including English as a second language (ESL)—and smart connections that help families become more trauma-informed by breaking down a child’s emotions and behaviors and learn proper methods to help them thrive.


A KenCrest student playing with clay at one of the Centers. // Photo by Sydney Kerelo

Plus, the Centers help establish a way to connect home and school for little learners through the Raising a Reader program. This encourages early learners to engage with books outside of a school setting.

“We are trying to be holistic, not just a place kids come,” says Melanie Brennan, the Executive Director of Early Learning Programs.

As we continue celebrating Week of the Young Child, we look forward to making an impact, offering support, and focusing on the incredible work our teachers, families, and young children do throughout our early learning centers.