For the 26th straight year, Michigan will celebrate April as the Month of the Young Child to promote and educate our communities about the needs of young children.

A child’s earliest years are crucial to their development and overall well-being. Mid Michigan Community Action’s Early Childhood Services programs focus on providing a solid start for young children as well as providing parents with tools to encourage healthy development.

The agency’s Early Head Start program is home-based, so that staff have a chance to work with children and parents within the comfort of their own home. The program is equal parts education and support.

Community Action Preschools take a hands-on, fun approach to learning that focuses on activities that foster healthy physical and social development. Parent involvement is also encouraged, through parent-meetings, committees and home-based activities provided by the teachers.

The agency’s Our Women, Infants and Children Clinic in Midland supports children and families with food assistance, nutrition education and ongoing support.

“Celebrating young children is at the cornerstone of our programs, Joleen Golden, Mid Michigan Community Action Early Childhood Services Director said. “Month of the Young Child is an opportunity to educate our communities about the different areas of child development,” Golden said

Mid Michigan Community Action preschools and Early Head Start programs celebrate Month of the Young Child in a variety of ways. From display boards, to decorated grocery bags, to artwork displayed in local businesses, each of MMCAA’s early childhood sites works at increasing community awareness about child development.

“We want to educate people that there is more to teaching than academics, Golden said. Our programs focus equally on physical, social/emotional, language/literacy and cognitive development.”

Those wishing to show support for early childhood programs can make a secure, online donation via the agency’s website, www.mmcaa.org or by check made out to MMCAA, PO Box 768, Farwell, MI 48622. Please reference Early Childhood Programs.

Donations will be used to supplement our programs as funding often does not allow for field trips, supplies and other important elements.

Since 1971, one week in April has been celebrated nationally as Week of the Young Child. In 1985, Michigan expanded the celebration to the entire month of April, with each week focusing on a particular area of child development.

To show support for young children and their families, families are encouraged to wear or display purple ribbons throughout April and to take time to recognize and thank early childhood caregivers who help prepare our children to succeed in school and life.

Mid Michigan Community Action provides Early Head Start in Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, Midland and Osceola Counties, preschool in Clare, Gladwin and Mecosta Counties, and WIC in Midland County. These programs are free to eligible families and have open enrollment. Call (877) 386-4406 or visit www.mmcaa.org for more information.

Mid Michigan Community Action Agency is a non-profit, human services agency serving Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, Midland and Osceola Counties since 1966.