Free family activities scheduled throughout April

North Central Michigan College will celebrate the Month of the Young Child with free family activities throughout the month of April. All events in the college’s Family Activity Series are free and open to all ages and all members of the community.

Join local musician Holly Thomson for “Children and Families Sing Together,” an evening of music and merriment, on Friday, April 5, from 6 — 7 p.m. in the NCMC Library Conference Room.

Let your creativity soar at “Children and Families Create Together,” an interactive event led by local artist and NCMC instructor Egan Franks Holzhausen on Friday, April 12, from 4 — 7 p.m. in the NCMC Library. Children of all ages will have the opportunity to explore art and create memorable masterpieces with their family. This is a drop-in event.

In honor of Earth Day, families will get outside for an evening of exploration during “Children and Families Go Outside Together” on Friday, April 19, from 6 — 7 p.m. Little Traverse Conservancy will lead this fun, educational outdoor experience. Meet at the NCMC Natural Area Trailhead. This event is weather permitting.

"Highlighting the Month of The Young Child through our Family Activity Series underscores North Central’s dedication to fostering strong beginnings for future leaders,” said Jennifer Wixson, NCMC early childhood education program coordinator and head of the college’s Child Care Initiative. “These activities affirm our commitment to nurturing early learning experiences that set the stage for lifelong success."

Launched in 2022 with support from the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation and the Frey Foundation, North Central’s Child Care Initiative (CCI) is leading the development of a community-centered plan for a sustainable, viable local child care system in Emmet County. Phase II initiatives, underway now, include establishing the NCMC Child Care and Preschool Program, a four-classroom proof-of-concept prototype built on a true-cost business model.

In 2023, North Central received a $490,569 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Child Care Access Means Parents in School program (CCAMPIS) to expand child care access to NCMC’s student parents with infants and toddlers. The grant will help the college address a key barrier standing in the way of parents’ ability to graduate, according to Wixson.  

North Central’s CCI has also received local support from the Emmet County Board of Commissioners and the Leadership Little Traverse Class of 2024, as well as continuing support from the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation.

For the latest updates, activities, and events related to the NCMC Child Care Initiative, visit