This statement was recently adopted by the NAEYC Governing Board.
The greatness of a nation is defined by how it treats children, particularly the most vulnerable.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is deeply concerned about the current humanitarian crisis of the estimated 60,000 to 90,000 children, some very young, crossing into the United States. These children have been exposed to violence and trauma in their home countries and on their journeys. It is critical that they be provided safe, healthy, and age-appropriate conditions in which they await due process proceedings and family reunification.
As the largest association of early childhood education professionals, NAEYC’s core values dictate that we appreciate the worth and uniqueness of all children. We must confront barriers and biases that limit the ability of every child to reach his or her potential.
Public and private efforts to address this situation must put the rights and needs of children at the forefront of their consideration. NAEYC urges policymakers and the public to take action to
• Ensure that children who enter the country receive respectful protection and support for their well-being;
• Provide resources and training to those who are caring for the children to ensure their health, safety, and age-appropriate support of their learning, and social and emotional development; and
• Generate productive public discourse on achieving equity and opportunity for all children and families.
NAEYC members stand ready to lend their expertise on high-quality early care and education with other organizations and entities who are caring for these vulnerable children.