Saturday, April 6, kicked off this year’s The Week of the Young Child (WOYC).  This nationwide celebration runs through Friday, April 12, and focuses attention on young children’s and their families’ needs. It also recognizes the early childhood programs and services that support them. 

Here in Philadelphia, we honor the thousands of young children who participate in early childhood education and the teachers and program staff who launch this vital journey to learning. 

During this celebratory week we shine a light on Christine Vieto, Executive Director at Prodigy Learning Center, located at 3345 W Hunting Park Ave.

The Office of Children and Families (OCF) recently interviewed Vieto about how the center supports Philadelphia’s youngest learners:

OCF: How has being a part of the PHLpreK community benefited you, your program, and your team?

Christine Vieto (CV): Prodigy Learning Center has been a provider of PHLprek since its inception. We have seen our program expand in many ways, and we’ve become a valuable preschool provider for our surrounding community. There has been a need for families who found themselves outside of the Early Learning Resource Center Region 18 (ELRC) approval but cannot afford private rates.  This has opened the door for so many families in the Philadelphia area. 

OCF: What would you say has been the secret to success for your team?

CV: Since our team has been involved in this program from the beginning, we’ve been able to assess students’ and families’ needs and accommodate them. Many families advertise our program through word of mouth by telling their friends, family members, and neighbors about us and the services we provide. Even though we are a large school, this brings a sense of family and comradery that is so important to a program. 

OCF: What are you doing to support your staff right now?

CV: Our staff is an integral part of our program, and we are deeply committed to supporting them in their professional development. This includes providing them with opportunities to expand their knowledge through higher education or increased training. We believe in helping our staff in their growth as early childhood professionals

OCF: What is your hope for the children and families you serve?

CV: At Prodigy Learning Center, we are dedicated to providing exceptional care and education to our students. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that every child in our care develops a lifelong love of learning, feels safe and secure, and is well-prepared for future academic endeavors. Every family we serve becomes a part of our extended Prodigy family, and we take pride in providing a nurturing and supportive environment for all.

OCF: That’s great! Finally, what quote has helped you overcome struggles while building your program?


“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success.”

For More Information

The Week of the Young Child is sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the world’s largest early childhood education association, with nearly 60,000 members and a network of 52 Affiliates.

PHLpreK offers free quality pre-K for any child who is 3 or 4 years old as of September 1. There are no income requirements, and spots are available at many local programs across the city.