Healthy Start Missoula will present ‘The Week of the Young Child 2022' April 2 through 8 with a variety of programs and presentations to support children in the community.

Healthy Start Missoula Coordinator Anna Semple provided details about some of the many activities for parents and their children.

“Families with young children can just come and walk around the path at McCormick Park and there'll be stations along the way with firefighters and Smokey the Bear and Pete the cat and a bunch of other great professionals and characters reading stories to the children, and they can check out the fire truck and compost truck at the end,” said Semple.

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On April 4, Semple said there will be an online ceremony to honor Early Childhood Champions.

“We're also honoring our early childhood champions,” she said. “Every year we select out of a pretty large pool of nominations professionals, whether they are direct service or advocates, volunteers and entire organizations to honor for excellence in early childhood. We will be celebrating them on Monday, April 4, from noon to 12:30 p.m. and a quick ZOOM session, and people can go to our website and request the login information for that.”

Semple provided information on more activities during the Week of the Young Child.

“There's a whole host of other activities that people want to do things with,” she said. There’s the families first learning lab, there are activities through them for families, we have different training for parents and ways to learn about how young children are doing in our community hosted by various community partners. All of that is on our website. Healthy Start missoula.org, and you can go to the week of the young child page to find out more.”

Semple pointed out that the past year has been a challenge for children and parents due to the COVID pandemic.

“It's been a rough year for providers and for parents alike,” she said. “You know, the workforce shortage and childcare centers have needed to close because of various reasons like COVID outbreaks and being short staffed. Everyone just made it through this winter and they’re really ready to celebrate and recognize that they've been working really hard to make this happen. So, here we are coming together to do things that are fun to learn together to provide training opportunities free of charge, and just try and make some things a little bit easier and more lighthearted.”

Get more details about the Week of the Young Child here.

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