Hey y’all! I am looking forward to April, and all the exciting opportunities that it will provide for us to connect with one another.

One of the greatest chances that we will have to connect with our children, families, and each other this month will be during Arkansas Children’s week (April 6 – 12). This very special week has been an Arkansas tradition for over 30 years! It is a time for us to celebrate children of all ages, their families, and the important work that we do. The theme for 2024 is “Sharing Key Experiences”, and this got me thinking about how we link hearts and minds through our connections with children, families and each other. How do we help people that we connect with feel seen, heard, and valued? How do we ensure that children, families and our colleagues feel that they can give and receive without judgement? Do we derive sustenance and strength from these connections?

In relationships (and programs) where there is true connectedness, where everyone feels a part of the whole, there is a safety – a sense of belonging – that we all want, and I think we all need. In my life, the greatest connections that I’ve had have been with people that I’ve shared my work life with – children, families and colleagues who became my family. I am so grateful for the opportunities that early childhood has given me to connect, and link hearts and minds with so many caring, generous, thoughtful and brilliant people.

I would love to hear about how you and your program will be connecting and “Sharing Key Experiences”, not only during Arkansas Children’s Week, but all throughout the month of April. Email me at president@arkansasearlychildhood.org and share! We would love to feature you and your program on our social media and in our next month’s Update.

Take care of each other,

Natasha Kile
President of AECA

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