Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Early educators’ Category

Screenshot 2023-02-07 at 8.19.22 AM

Screenshot: Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

Given their expertise in working with children, families, and state agencies, early educators are uniquely suited to be advocates.

Now, a new resource — The E4 Toolkit — gives them more ways to do this work and explain why and how the field of early childhood education can be improved.

“We want to connect early educators to data and talking points about the early childhood education (ECE) workforce and offer potential solutions to some of the issues they face,” Hopeton Hess explains. Hess is a research and policy associate at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley.

Using the E4 Toolkit – E4 stands for “Early Educator Engagement and Empowerment” – early educators can draw on a collection of strategies and solutions that was created “to support early educators in their advocacy, power building, and engagement with stakeholders.” 

Specifically, Hess says, “Early educators could use the toolkit in group settings to contribute to their shared understanding of the early childhood sector.

“In conversations between early educators and advocacy organizations, the toolkit would be a useful prompt for identifying workforce needs and desires.”

(more…)

Read Full Post »

The Early ChildhoodAgenda’s plan has been released! To learn more, check out the Agenda’s website and read about the Agenda’s 10 priorities for improving the early childhood environment in Massachusetts.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

The Early Childhood Agenda has been released!

On Tuesday, early education advocates gathered at the Massachusetts State House for the release event. Watch a video replay here. And check out #EarlyChildhoodAgenda on Twitter.

“The Early Childhood Agenda imagines, prioritizes, and builds collective action around equitable and impact-driven solutions by providing a space for the early childhood community to work across sectors for better policy development,” a newly released brief explains.

It’s an exciting plan for unified action that can improve the experiences of young children and families in Massachusetts.

The Agenda includes the input of more than 1,000 people who contributed to a conversation that identified 10 priorities. They are:

1 Work with state government to “pass and implement comprehensive early education and care legislation that addresses family affordability and establishes a career pathway and funding mechanism to drive investments in workforce compensation.”

2 Ensure “early childhood professionals across multiple sectors have access to competitive wages and an affordable benefits package (health care, paid leave, retirement, child care)” by drawing on “operational grants, state-funded benefits, an opt-in group health plan, unionization, and premium assistance programs”

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Join us TODAY for the release of the work done by the Early Childhood Agenda – a unified plan that draws on many voices to improve early childhood programs in Massachusetts. 

You can register here and meet us at the Grand Staircase inside the Massachusetts State House at 11 a.m.

Starting at 11 a.m., we will also livestream the event on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

We’ll be sharing “a targeted list of policy priorities… shaped by community voice and needs, and the different perspectives and lived experiences of partners to highlight the field’s top priorities for the next two years.”

These priorities cover five broad areas:

• Financially Secure Families

• High-Quality Experiences

• Thriving Early Childhood Workforce

• Robust System Infrastructure and Local Partnerships, and

• Healthy Beginnings

So please join us live — or via our livestream — to ensure that Massachusetts is a place where all young children can thrive.

Read Full Post »

Last fall, we kicked off a statewide strategic effort, the Early Childhood Agenda

Next week, we’ll release the results of this exciting work at the Grand Staircase inside the Massachusetts State House at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. 

As we explain on the reservation page for next Tuesday’s release:

“Strategies for Children has convened almost 500 early childhood professionals, advocates, and parents around The Early Childhood Agenda. Our mission, to bring communities from across the Commonwealth together to identify solutions and drive policy change, has yielded new partnerships, robust discussions, and a long list of challenges faced by caregivers and educators of young children.”

To build consensus, agenda participants participated in five working groups:

• Financially Secure Families

• High-Quality Experiences

• Thriving Early Childhood Workforce

• Robust System Infrastructure and Local Partnerships, and

• Healthy Beginnings

What we’ll share on Tuesday are the results of this process, “a targeted list of policy priorities… shaped by community voice and needs, and the different perspectives and lived experiences of partners to highlight the field’s top priorities for the next two years.”

We believe that speaking with one voice will make it easier for policymakers and the public to support our vision of a future where families across the state can enroll young children in thriving, high-quality, and affordable early education and care programs. 

Please register and join us next Tuesday at the State House to learn more. 

And if you can’t make it in person, stay tuned and we will provide more information about a livestream of the event. 

Help us make Massachusetts a place where it’s easy for young children to thrive.

Read Full Post »

The pandemic wiped out part of Massachusetts’ child care workforce.

Now Boston is trying to rebuild.

And the scale of this challenge is substantial.

“The childcare industry in Massachusetts lost about 10% of its workforce since the start of the pandemic,” WBUR radio reports. “In Boston, that’s translating into long wait lists and shorter hours of care. According to city officials, about 50 early education classrooms are sitting empty because child care centers can’t find enough people to operate at capacity.”

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu “was quick to point out that the estimate doesn’t include centers that have had to cut hours because they’re short staffed.”

To address this daunting gap, the city is using $7 million from the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan Act to launch the Growing the Workforce Fund.

The fund will provide scholarships and financial aid to 800 students who want to earn a Child Development Associate (CDA) or an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

“Today’s investment is a welcome one for early educators like me,” Lisa Brooks, an early educator at Horizons for Homeless Children, says in a city press release. “Relieving the burden of debt associated with higher education will help educators continue to focus on the important work of building the foundation for our students’ future success.”

(more…)

Read Full Post »

“The strength of Massachusetts is its families. And they sorely need our help. Our state has some of the highest child care costs in the country. Our care workers don’t make a livable wage.

“So today, let us pledge to be the first state to solve the child care crisis. Let’s finally pass legislation in line with Common Start to make sure every family pays what they can afford, and that care workers are paid what they deserve. This is something our families, workers, and businesses all agree on.”

“Read Gov. Maura Healey’s inaugural speech,” WBUR Newsroom, January 05, 2023

Read Full Post »

poll photo

Photo: Huong Vu for Strategies for Children

The results are in!

A new statewide poll sponsored by the Common Start Coalition has found that “73 percent of the state’s voters” back “the Common Start proposal to create a universal childcare program in Massachusetts.” Only 18 percent of respondents oppose the idea.

“Support is up nearly 10 points from two years ago, when the corresponding margin on this question was 64%-23%,” according to a memo from Beacon Research, the organization that conducted the poll.

The poll was conducted last month and surveyed 817 Massachusetts voters.

Most of these voters acknowledge three facts that are driving “the push to create a universal childcare program:”

• too many families can’t afford the high cost of child care

• child care workers are significantly underpaid, and

• state government should play a role in addressing these challenges

The poll also found that 58 percent of respondents favor “increasing taxpayer funding for childcare programs in Massachusetts,” a jump up from two years ago when 48 percent of respondents supported this idea.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

The Early Childhood Agenda is making progress. This convening series hosted by Strategies for Children has brought together more than 400 individual advocates and partners. Participants have been meeting in five working groups to identify systemic challenges and set priorities.

Last week, participants attended a whole group meeting – dubbed “Bringing it all Together” and recorded in the video above – to talk across the Agenda’s working groups and ensure that the groups’ efforts are aligned and that any gaps in the work are addressed.

Among the themes that were discussed:

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

Great news! Early education and care got a financial boost earlier this month when Governor Charlie Baker signed a $3.76 billion economic development bill into law.

As our FY’23 budget webpage explains, this investment includes “an additional $150 million to continue the C3 Stabilization Grants through the end of the fiscal year in June 2023, and an additional $315 million in the newly created High-Quality Early Education and Care Affordability Fund.”

We are grateful to the Legislature for passing this bill and to the governor for signing it.

In a State House News story that ran in the Sentinel & Enterprise, Baker says Massachusetts can invest in child care and be fiscally prudent:

“Recognizing the importance of childcare investments, I am approving sections in this bill that redirect $315 million from the Commonwealth Taxpayer Relief Fund to the High-Quality Early Education & Care Affordability Fund. However, we can invest in childcare and make sensible tax changes at the same time. With the state in a historically strong fiscal position, the tax cuts that the Legislature has committed to prioritizing next session will be affordable without a special set-aside.”

A WBUR report focuses on the relief for some workers, noting:

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: