Week of the Young Child Celebrated

Local community members partnered with Skyline’s Child Development Center to celebrate the Week of the Young Child through the week of April 14-18.

The Week of the Young Child is hosted every year at local childcare centers by the National Association of Young Children, the largest early childhood education association in the world. This celebration is put on to focus public attention on the needs of young children, their families, and early childhood professionals.

“This year we celebrated ‘Week of the Young Child’ by providing a week filled with special activities,” said Michelle Amaral, both a teacher and a parent at the Child Development Center.

The activities included campus students who came to read to children. Cosmetology face-painting and manicures, visiting the anatomy lab, Arabic drum lessons and music were other activities offered to the students. More activities included a field trip to Coyote Point Museum, dancing and tumbling, a reptile show and Bryon Ratcher, a volunteer here at the center and at San Francisco’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (S.F.S.P.C.A.), brought puppies for the children to hold and run with.

As a commencement to the week long festivities the Skyline Organization and Club Council (SOCC), provided funding for a book faire where the children got to pick their favorite book to take home with them.

The Week of the Young Child is a time to recognize the importance of the early years in a child’s life when they shape their learning and development skills. According to the staff at Skyline’s Child Development Center, they commit themselves to making sure that they do their part in outlining the future for young children.

“Social-emotional development and skills, brain development and growth, and ways of viewing the world with trust or not, all happens before a child ever reaches ‘real’ school,” said Judy Heldberg, the director of Skyline College’s Child Development Center. “What happens in these first 5 years is vital and quality care has a great deal to do with it.”

With seven full-time staff, two part-time teachers and three student assistants; children who attend the school are provided with a high level of quality care. According to Heldberg, there is a zero turn-over rate with the staff allowing the children to truly connect and bond with their teachers over a long-term basis.

According to Amaral, at Skyline’s Child Development Center children learn through play. A play-based curriculum allows children’s ideas to emerge. The teachers act as facilitators and expand on the interest of the children.

Monica Currier, a Skyline student, has been a stay at home mom for the past seven years. Recently she decided to go back to school and needed a place for her two young daughters to go. She stumbled upon the child development center and felt it was the perfect match.

“[Skyline’s] Child Development Center enabled me to come back to school because it is so convenient,” said Currier. “The staff is very caring which makes it easier to leave my children.”

The Center accepts children from ages 2-5 and is open Monday-Friday from7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Low-income students may be eligible for subsidies by the California Department of Education, and fees are based on a sliding scale. For more information on the Skyline’s Child Development Center call (650) 738-7070.