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Words Matter: Introducing Early Childhood Families

At BJ, we aim to create an environment in which the diverse members of our community feel wanted, needed, and welcome. But some members of our community may feel excluded by, or uncomfortable with, the terminology of “Young Families” because they don’t fit its ostensible definition: They don’t identify as young parents though they have young children. In fact, even our own Michael Witman, Director of Family Life and Learning at BJ, has felt the same disconnect. 

So though we never meant to focus on the age of our parents, we’re committed to taking steps to make sure we’re both accurate and welcoming in our language. Starting immediately, we’ll be referring to our programming for children from birth through 8 years as “Early Childhood Families.” We hope that the new name will provide clarity for parents about the most suitable ages of children for the different services and programs developed by the Family Life and Learning department and will also help our members feel more seen and more supported.

Being an inclusive space means all of our members can always feel at home with us, and we’ll continue to be guided by the essential question of “Where do I belong?” in all our decisions. Our goal, as always, is to strive to ensure that our members feel that sense of belonging within the BJ community.

To learn more, please contact Tobie Franklin.