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“One sure fire way to warm up children’s attitude towards mathematics is to build math activities and lessons out of the books they all love to listen to and read.”

“When reading and listening to books, mathematical situations come to life in new and fanciful ways. And, we’re not just talking about books that are explicitly mathematical, since math is often central to the problem and resolution of our favorite stories.”

“The Best Children’s Books for Early Math Learning,” Erickson Institute Early Math Collaborative 

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“Child care provider Damaris Mejia is about to get the biggest pay raise of her life, starting this summer: the District of Columbia will send her and her co-teachers each a big check, between $10,000 and $14,000.

“At last, ‘I will have happy teachers!’ she says, laughing.

“It’s part of a broader push — made more urgent by the pandemic — as D.C. and dozens of states try different ways to fix a child care system that is badly broken. Some are using temporary pandemic aid, while others seek longer term funding. Last year, Louisiana passed a sports betting bill that designates 25 percent of revenue for early learning programs. Wherever the money comes from, advocates across the country say something must be done to ease the fundamental challenge of providing care families can afford, while allowing providers to earn a living.”

“Mejia pays her teachers $17 an hour. Now, that’s well above the national median of $13 an hour that makes child care one of the country’s lowest paid occupations. But in pricey D.C., it’s barely above minimum wage, which became $16.10 as of July 1. Mejia earns about $30,000 a year. Her profit margin is so thin, she’ll sometimes forgo her own pay to meet bills, and she’s behind on taxes.

“She says her pay bump will go first toward helping pay those back taxes. One of her teachers, Ana Gonzalez, says it will help her finally achieve a goal of having her own house; she and her 24-year-old daughter plan to split the cost and buy something together.”

“Bonus checks! One year free! How states are trying to fix a broken child care system,” by Jennifer Ludden, NPR, July 13, 2022

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“Just as the Senate led on transforming the Commonwealth’s K-12 education system through the Student Opportunity Act, today’s bill would similarly transform the early education system,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “Unfortunately, high-quality early education remains out of reach for most Massachusetts families, and our providers struggle to keep their doors open. This bill will address those issues and make our Commonwealth stronger by making early education more affordable, investing in our early educators, and ensuring the sustainability of our providers.”

“With this bill, we are creating a framework to support the early education and care sector; making clear that the Senate understands the vital importance of early childhood to our economic recovery and to the health and wellbeing of Massachusetts families,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “I am proud of this bill and the work that has gone into it. I thank the Senate President for her leadership in prioritizing this issue, and I want thank Senator Lewis for thoughtfully and collaboratively putting this important legislation together.”

(more…)

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“Mayor Michelle Wu today announced a $20 million investment in early education through Boston’s Universal Pre-K (UPK) program, a partnership between BPS [Boston Public Schools] and the Office of Early Childhood. This investment builds on Mayor Wu’s commitment to universal, affordable, high-quality early education and care for all infants, toddlers, and children under five.”

“For the second year in a row, Boston UPK will increase the number of seats available to both 3- and 4-year-olds at community-based providers. Specifically, UPK will now offer up to 992 seats at community providers, with up to 627 seats for 4-year-olds and up to 365 seats for 3-year-olds.“

“ ‘The greatest investment we can make in our future is to support and center our young people,’ said Mayor Michelle Wu. ‘With this historic investment in early childhood education, we can kickstart an increase in high-quality Pre-K seats, bring family child care providers into the UPK network, and ensure all of our families have access to free and accessible early childcare and education.’ ”

“Mayor Wu Announces $20 million investment to expand Boston’s universal pre-K program,” Boston Mayor’s Office, July 6, 2022

See also: “Boston to spend $20 million to expand pre-K program,” by Stephanie Ebbert and Adria Watson, The Boston Globe, July 6, 2022

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“The School Committee has approved a School Department budget that invests significant funding into schools, including paving the way for expansion of preschool classes to every elementary school in the district, an history making development for Springfield Public Schools.

“ ‘This is a monumental development for our community and something that we’ve been working towards for years,’ said Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick. ‘To have the ability to provide a pre-school foundation for our students before they start kindergarten is going to greatly influence their readiness and really help to set our youngest students up for academic success right from the start.’

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Screenshot: Springfield Public Schools Instagram page.

“In addition to securing preschool classes in every elementary school, the preschool expansion includes the development of a new preschool-only school at 111 Seymour Avenue, which currently houses the administration of the Springfield Virtual School. The School Committee’s approval of the FY23 budget sets the stage for Springfield Public Schools to become the first district in the Commonwealth to provide free, universal full-day preschool for 3- and 4- year old students.”

“School Committee adopts $545 million budget,” City News release, May 6, 2022 

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“Michigan is investing $100 million to help open 1,000 new child care facilities over the next two years in an effort to expand access to quality, affordable child care across the state.

“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state’s new Caring for MI Future plan, a $100 million investment to expand the number of affordable child care facilities and recruit more child care staff in Michigan, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“ ‘Nearly half of Michigan families live in a community without enough child care options to meet their needs,’ Whitmer said in a prepared statement. ‘Lack of child care options means families are forced to leave the workforce, work fewer hours, or piece together child care options that don’t work very well for their family. That doesn’t work for kids, families, or employers.’ ”

“Michigan spending $100M to open 1,000 new child care facilities by 2024,” by Melissa Frick, MLive, May 16, 2022

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“With the signing of today’s agreement, we’re making $10‑a‑day child care a reality for families across the country. Today’s announcement will save Ontario families thousands of dollars each year – with fee reductions starting as of Friday this week – while creating jobs, growing the middle class, and giving our kids the best start in life.”

– Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Since last summer, the Government of Canada reached similar agreements with the governments of British ColumbiaNova ScotiaYukonPrince Edward IslandNewfoundland and LabradorManitobaSaskatchewanAlbertaNew Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. The governments of Canada and Quebec also reached an asymmetric agreement to strengthen the early learning and child care system in the province.”

“In total, the Government of Canada is aiming to create approximately 250,000 new child care spaces through Canada-wide agreements with provinces and territories… These new spaces will be predominantly among licensed not-for-profit, public, and family-based child care providers.”

“$10-a-day child care for families in Ontario,” News Release from Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, March 28, 2022

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April 6, 2022

Dear President Biden:

“We write to thank you for your commitment to cutting the cost and increasing the supply of high-quality child care for families across the country.”

“As you know, the high costs of child care and the difficulty of finding quality, affordable child care are challenges facing too many families across the country. The annual price of center-based child care for an infant exceeds the annual cost of in-state tuition at a public four-year university in every region of the country. In addition to overwhelming costs, approximately 460,000 families are without reliable child care because the child care sector has lost over 1 in 9 jobs since the start of the pandemic.”

“Now is the time to make additional comprehensive, long-term investments in affordable, high-quality child care to build on the critical but largely short-term investments made through the American Rescue Plan.”

“It is clear that child care and early learning investments are an integral part of our nation’s strategy for supporting a robust economy, lowering costs for families, and ensuring the long-term success of our children.”

Sincerely,
Katherine M. Clark, Member of Congress
Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator
Tina Smith, United States Senator
[And 150 other Members of the U.S. House and Senate]

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“Connecticut’s Office of Early Childhood announced Thursday it has established a parent cabinet, a parent-led advisory group intended to infuse the voice of caregivers into policy and decision-making.

“State leaders say the cabinet will create a ‘feedback loop’ of communication between the office — which oversees child care, Care 4 Kids and other early childhood services — and parents, whose needs are not always heard.”

“Christina Augliera, of Torrington, is the mother of two sons, with the youngest on the autism spectrum. Augliera founded the nonprofit Torrington Area Families for Autism, and wants to use her seat on the parent cabinet to advocate for special programming in rural Connecticut.

“The cabinet framers made a concerted effort to reach out to fathers, whose role in communities and in early childhood is sometimes overlooked.

“Joshua Vaughn, a father of four from Naugatuck, said he wants to be a voice for fathers and all caregivers who make daily sacrifices for the well-being of their children.

“ ‘The importance of male figures within the community is dynamic,’ Vaughn said. ‘The goal is to equip, educate and coach men from all walks of life for the preparations of leadership. Committing to this cause will provoke change and awareness.’ ”

“State officials heralded the cabinet’s creation. Listening to parents ‘is not the afterthought anymore, it’s central,’ Commissioner Beth Bye said Thursday at a press conference in Hartford. ‘This is a great day, this is historic.’ ”

“Connecticut adds Parent Cabinet to center parent voices in child care decision-making,” by Seamus McAvoy, Hartford Courant, April 7, 2022

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child-care-center-

Rendering of the new child care facility at 585 Andover St. in Lawrence, courtesy of Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. and Davis Square Architects.

“MassDevelopment has issued a $7.1 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. (GLCAC), which will use proceeds to demolish its outdated existing child care center at 585 Andover St. in Lawrence and build a new two-story, 28,790-square-foot child care center in its place. The organization will construct the new child care center in the existing parking lot of the current facility, and repurpose the land where the current building lies, once it is demolished, for a playground and parking.”

“ ‘Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. is a community leader in providing individuals and families with the resources they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives,’ said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. ‘MassDevelopment is proud to help the organization further invest in Lawrence through the creation of a brand-new child care center that will serve nearly 60 additional children, create jobs, and support working families.’ ”

”$7.1M Builds Child Care Center in Lawrence: Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. Uses Tax-Exempt Bond from MassDevelopment & Eastern Bank to Build New Child Care Facility, Expand Enrollment & Create Jobs,” by Matthew Mogavero, MassDevelopment, March 2, 2022

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