Formed in November 2014 by an ambitious group of education students, the University of Michigan-Flint Early Childhood Education Club (ECEC) has built a strong presence on campus as an active student organization that helps those interested in early childhood education get to know one another as well as network with child care professionals. If you're interested in early childhood education, either as a student, parent, or professional in the field, the Early Childhood Education Club is a great place to connect and learn.
Here, ECEC President and Early Childhood Development Center teacher Marissa McCann answers a few questions about the club.
Why was the Early Childhood Education Club formed?
We wanted to build a community of learners who are interested in working with or learning about young children. We wanted a platform to be able to collaborate with others and grow as educators.
What can UM-Flint students who are interested in joining the ECEC expect to gain from membership?
When joining the Early Childhood Education Club, students have access to many different things. They will be able to attend free professional development several times a semester. They will be able to network with professionals in the field of early childhood education and participate in community outreach. They will be able to learn about other professional organizations focused on early childhood education such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). These are just some of the benefits of joining.
Does membership require a big time commitment or any club dues?
There is not a big time commitment to joining the club. In order to become a member and stay a member, we ask that you attend one event or meeting per semester. We do not have any dues. Our meetings are once a month in the evenings.
What happens at ECEC meetings?
Typically at meetings we plan and discuss upcoming events. We also offer free professional development trainings at most meetings. Some past seminars include: Music in Early Childhood Education, leadership with GEARup2LEAD, Yoga with Young Children, and How Infants Communicate in Their Environment. Meetings are a chance to network with other members and guest presenters.
Are community childcare providers also welcome to join or participate in the ECEC?
Yes! We would love to have community childcare providers join. Each area of the early childhood education field has a unique perspective and resources. Having community childcare providers in our club would only strengthen us.
What goals does the club have for the 2016-17 academic year?
Next year I would love to see more students and members of the campus community get involved and to see membership grow. Another goal is offering more conferences and trainings for members. In 2015, we were able to send 11 members to a state level early childhood conference. Lastly, I hope to get the club involved in more advocacy opportunities. I would like the Flint community and campus community to hear our voice and be well-informed of the importance of early childhood education.
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