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Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

“ ‘The coronavirus has crystallized in the minds of more people the absolute divisions between socioeconomic groups and between races,’ former Kansas City Mayor Sly James said.

“James tried unsuccessfully in his last year in office to pass a tax to expand preschool in the city.

“ ‘We are going to continue to have these problems until we make sure that every child has an even start at birth,’ he added. ‘That’s a whole lot more than pre-K, but pre-K is the one thing we have to even try to even it out.’ ”

 

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“ ‘We know in the last recession, enrollment, spending and quality standards were cut, and that spending impacts continued well after the economic recovery was underway,’ said NIEER director Steve Barnett. ‘In most states, pre-K is discretionary. But it needs to grow and improve, not just hold on.’ ”

“Unforeseen and daunting budget constraints caused by the pandemic shutdown leave little optimism for maintaining current spending levels, let alone any future investments in early childhood programs.

“ ‘As pre-K programs tend to serve lower and middle-income families, that means that cuts to pre-K like this exacerbate educational inequality,’ Barnett said.”

 

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“ ‘If we’re going to recover, financially, from this pandemic, access to quality affordable early childhood education is going to be a critical piece,’ said Gary Parker, director of the Clark-Fox Institute.”

“Financial Pain Of Pandemic Shutdown Could Stall Gains in Early Childhood Education,” by Ryan Delaney & Elle Moxley, St. Louis Public Radio NPR, April 22, 2020

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“Day care providers in Massachusetts, already ordered closed since March 23, could struggle to ever reopen unless they can get more aid, according to early childhood advocates.

“Gov. Charlie Baker announced that schools and non-emergency day care programs would remain closed through June 29. Even as it’s the necessary decision for public health, advocates say lengthening the closure puts a strain on an already fragile system of care with thin operating margins.

“Advocates estimate about half of the child care market in Massachusetts is funded directly by individuals and families, many of whom are facing loss of income and other uncertainties.

“ ‘We know that programs need those dollars to survive,’ said Amy O’Leary, director of the Early Education for All campaign with the group Strategies for Children. ‘I’m worried that we’re going to come to a point where programs just cannot continue to stay open without some serious investment.’ ”

“Extended Closures Could Mean Some Mass. Daycares Never Reopen,” by Kathleen McNerney, Edify, WBUR, April 23, 2020

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“Our child care providers are essential workers on the front-lines of this crisis. By taking care of them, we’re also ensuring that other essential personnel can go to work without having to worry about who is taking care of their children.

“Congress must prioritize child care funding in all recovery and stimulus efforts. Investing in child care is an investment in public health, and in our economic recovery from this crisis.

“The debate over the next coronavirus relief package is raging in Washington, and we need you to make your voice heard.

Click [here]… and we’ll help you deliver a message to your legislator: Congress must invest at least $50 billion in child care through their coronavirus relief packages.”

 

“Speak up for Child Care,” Child Care Aware of America

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“The 2008 recession led to significant decreases in budgets for state pre-K programs. Prior to 2008, state pre-K funding had been increasing each year. However, from 2010 through 2013, state spending declined by as much as $548 million per year. When funding fell, so did enrollment and funding per child, meaning more children and families missed out on the educational and financial benefits of high-quality preschool. With most state pre-K programs targeted to children from low-income families, this decline fell primarily on the children who most benefit from the additional support provided by a year of preschool prior to entering kindergarten. While several states have been investing in early learning programs in recent years, past recessions indicate that these programs are likely at risk due to state budget shortfalls, making it more important than ever for the federal government to provide funding to support access to high-quality early education.”

 

“Congress Needs To Ensure Educational Equity in the Wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic,” by Viviann Anguiano, Marcella Bombardieri, Neil Campbell, Antoinette Flores, Steven Jessen-Howard, Laura Jimenez, and Simon Workman, the Center for American Progress, April 2, 2020

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“The need for daycare during the coronavirus emergency is hard to overstate.

Almost 80% of American healthcare workers are female: A significant majority of nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians assistants, and doctors under 35 are women. Close to 30% of healthcare workers in California have children under 14. Most are the primary caregiver in their families. If even a fraction were forced to stay home, it could exacerbate the extreme staffing shortages many hospitals now predict.”

“Childcare providers need supplies, coronavirus guidance as daycare system suffers,” by Sonja Sharp, The Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2020

 

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“The Council for Professional Recognition, the international nonprofit organization that oversees the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™, is calling for responsible closures of early childhood centers along with appropriate funding for early childhood educators severely disrupted by the global coronavirus.

“ ‘We advocate for financial assistance for early childhood educators and childcare workers who are losing their income due to program closures. We also appreciate all who continue to serve in support of parents who are emergency responders and essential personnel. K–12 teachers are rightfully still receiving their paychecks during school closures and we call on governments and employers to do all they can to support early childhood education in a similar way. This should apply to all early educators, whether they are in center based, family childcare or home visiting settings,’ says Valora Washington, Ph.D., CEO of the Council.”

“Call for Equitable Treatment of Early Childhood Education,” opinion piece in the Washington, D.C., Patch, March 20, 2020

 

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“I want to thank all our hard-working, dedicated, early childhood education professionals — and especially my employees. My entire team has been positive and willing to help out our first-responders and other vital workers during the pandemic.

“They have been flexible, understanding, creative, and full of grace in a time of scared parents, uncertain futures, and shifting legislative rules and responsibilities. They are taking care of the babies and young children of people who are vital to us getting through this mess, and are having to do it knowing they may be exposed by the next inevitable sniffle or cough.

“Early childhood professionals all deserve so much credit and recognition.”

— Sarah Hall, Kenosha, Wisc., Letter to the Editor of the Kenosha Times, March 25, 2020

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“Right now, we are all feeling concern, anxiety, and confusion about the spread of the coronavirus. It’s entirely understandable. This is an unprecedented situation, both in the nature of the public health challenge and in the steps we are taking to protect our residents.

“That’s why I wanted to address the people of Boston, and anyone else who needs some reassurance right now. We must remember: we are not powerless—and you are not alone.”

“We are doing everything we can right now to stop and slow the spread of this virus to prevent our health care systems from being overwhelmed. But we can’t do it alone. We need everyone’s help in this effort.

“Every single one of us has a crucial responsibility to protect the people we share our city with, especially the most vulnerable. The actions all of us take now will save lives. So remember:

• Keep washing with soap and sanitizing your hands throughout the day.

• Keep wiping down surfaces with disinfectant.

• Keep covering your coughs and sneezes.

• And above all, avoid crowds, maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people, and stay home as much as possible.

“We need everyone to limit their contact with each other right now. This is the social distancing that we are learning to practice together as a city. It’s a proven method to prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus and protect those most at risk from it.”

“These are not ordinary times in our city. But there is nothing ordinary about Boston. Bostonians are resilient, forged in hard times, and committed to a higher purpose. There’s nothing we can’t do when we stand together. We possess the strength and spirit to get through any challenge we face. We are Boston Strong. And with vigilance and patience, with empathy and love, we will get through this, together.”

 

— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s letter to his constituents, March 18, 2020

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In addition to hand washing, an important defense against the coronavirus is information. Here’s a list of links to information from nonprofit and government sources.

 


 

Earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency in response to the virus.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is working closely with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide updated information about the novel coronavirus outbreak.

 


 

Zero to Three has tips for how to talk to children about the virus.

 


 

Child Care Aware of America is committed to providing news and the latest information to help prepare families, child care providers and policymakers.

 


 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted a wide range of virus information.

 

The CDC also has a list of frequently asked questions about the virus and children.

 

Here’s the CDC’s guidance for workplaces, schools, and homes.

 


 

Take good care of yourself and each other.

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There’s more good news for the emerging early childhood book, I’ll Build You a Bookcase, by Jean Ciborowski Fahey – and for multilingual families.

Last summer, Fahey’s book won the Early Childhood Book Challenge Award, which is sponsored by OpenIDEO and the William Penn Foundation.

Now the book is being published by Lee & Low Books, and the publishing company has chosen an illustrator for the project, Simone Shin.

“The illustrations will play a key role in introducing this book to young children and families, who we hope will pick up and read the book again and again,” Elliot Weinbaum, the Penn Foundation’s program director, says in the release. “Talking and reading with children is how we lay the groundwork for strong readers in the future, even when it seems like they are too young to understand. This book seeks to engage children with its emotionally resonant writing and storyline while giving ideas to adults about how to support early language development.”

That language impact will go far beyond English.

As the press release explains, “25,000 copies of I’ll Build You a Bookcase will be published in five languages for distribution to Philadelphia families: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Arabic. Partners including Reach Out and Read and the city’s campaign for grade-level reading, Read by 4th, will distribute the books to families with young children to help build children’s home libraries.”

The book’s translations are crucial for families and for cities — like New Bedford here in Massachusetts — where parents and community leaders want children’s reading to transcend language boundaries.

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“The new promise of additional funding from the state, as well as an encouragement from the state’s education commissioner, has some school officials and early childhood education advocates hoping free preschool could be the next big push in public education in Massachusetts.

“But funding constraints, even with the passage of the Student Opportunity Act and its $1.5 billion for public schools, as well as logistical challenges could hinder local efforts to invest in prekindergarten programming, at least in the short term.”

“ ‘I don’t see why we can’t do it,’ said Spencer-East Brookfield Superintendent Paul Haughey, one of the school officials in the region who has plans to bring free full-day preschool to his district. ‘But it’s going to have a price tag.’ ”

“Other districts in the region, including Worcester, however, appear less committed, citing a shortage of space for classrooms and limited funding.

“ ‘We’ve discussed it, but at the present point, we have other needs,’ said Worcester Superintendent Maureen Binienda, who added her administration is ‘kind of keeping it on the shelf.’ ”

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“ ‘It would be quicker for a community’ to take on the challenge of creating or expanding full-day preschool, [Amy O’Leary, director of Strategies for Children’s Early Education for All campaign] said, using annual Chapter 70 funding provided by the state through the Act, instead of relying on federal and state grants.

“At the very least, O’Leary said, the Student Opportunity Act implementation process will give school officials a reason to ‘sit down together and get a better understanding of the needs of students across the full age spectrum … this is an opportunity to take stock of what we’re doing.’ ”

“State funding hike opens door for more public early ed, but challenges remain,” by Scott O’Connell, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette, February 8, 2020

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Last night, WBUR and Neighborhood Villages hosted “Childcare And The Future Of The American Dream,” a panel discussion featuring:

Nathaniel Hendren, Professor of Economics at Harvard University and Founding Co-Director of Opportunity Insights

Linda Smith, Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Early Childhood Development Initiative, and

Michelle Sanchez, Principal of the Epiphany Early Learning Center (more…)

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