The Early Years Matter Campaign (EYM) educates the public about the importance of early childhood for later success in school and life. EYM began as a three-year initiative of the Long Island Fund for Women and Girls (LIFWG) and, since 2006, has provided different populations of parents with parenting seminars about development, resources, and play. Research and history tells us the early years matter and we want the Long Island community to know why they do and what we can do to make the most of those early years for all our children. Click here (PDF) for a brief overview on research and implications about the importance of the early years.
EYM works in collaboration with over 50 Long Island organizations to extend their investment in early childhood and increase their exposure to national research and resources. Through various programs and outreach EYM has reached over 3,000 parents and professionals in child care programs, libraries and corporations stressing the importance of the early years and play, as well as providing practical tips for stimulating brain development in young children.
EYM focuses largely on spreading messages about the importance of play (PDF). Play has taken a back seat in many lives and has almost become a “four letter word” in parenting, yet research and experts in various disciplines – including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Federal Reserve Bank -- recognize and write about play as a key component in a child’s academic and life success. EYM is working to help Long Island communities recognize the value of play and ensure it is part of every child’s early learning experiences.
The main goals of EYM are to:
- Educate parents
- Educate the public
- Increase collaborations among parents, professionals, and the community
Early Years Matters Promotes…
- Play-based learning environments for all young children.
- Partnerships with caregivers and other agencies.
- A coordinated approach to young children’s learning and development.
- Support for parents, families and caregivers of children.
- High quality, ongoing training and development opportunities for all adults working with young children.
- Increased awareness of the needs of young children and related early childhood issues.
- A high quality, integrated range of appropriate services to all Early Years Matter stakeholders.
- Play Coaches: Play experts are available to speak to parents or professionals about the importance of play. Our Play Coaches are experienced resources for library parent child workshops. Please email Kerri Medlin or call 516-304-5480.
- Speakers Bureau: Our collection of speaker profiles include early childhood experts from across Long Island which are easily searchable by name, topic, or audience to suit your needs. Visit (here) to start your search! We offer scholarships to help local groups host these speakers.
- “Recipe for Success” Magnets: Easy learning ideas at your fingertips! Our exclusive magnet holds simple play and learning activities which are highly recommended by early childhood professionals. The magnets are available in English and Spanish and can be purchased for $1.00 plus shipping. We are only able to accept checks or cash at this time. Please complete this form (PDF) and email to Kerri Medlin, fax to 516-304-5484 or mail to The Early Years Institute, One Dupont Street, Suite 101, Plainview NY 11803.
- Parenting Programs Survey: Our comprehensive database for all parenting programs across Long Island is being developed. To include your parenting program for early childhood in our database, please complete this survey.
- Television Programming in Spanish: EYM has developed five different programs on Telecare about the importance of the early years and play. You can view these shows here.
To learn more about EYM Initiatives or projects please email Kerri Lawrence or call 516-304-5480.