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Archive for the ‘Family child care’ Category

Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

Last month, Boston EQUIP — the Early Education Quality Improvement Project— released two reports on the quality of early childhood programs in Boston:

- Community Profiles 2013, a comprehensive online survey of early education providers in Boston, and

- the Boston Quality Inventory (BQI) 2013, an in-depth study of program quality conducted at a sample of home-based and center-based early education and care programs

 These reports present crucial data that help inform and advance the policy conversation about how to improve program quality. Research shows that early education programs must be high-quality in order to see lasting positive impacts on children’s development.

Launched in 1994, Boston EQUIP is “a project of Associated Early Care and Education with a broad goal and mission – to collaborate with members of the Boston early education community to systematically evaluate, set goals for, and improve upon the quality of early childhood programs,” according to a press release. The project is aligned with Boston’s Thrive in 5 School Readiness Roadmap, which “sets goals and strategies for strengthening, coordinating and improving the quality of child and family-serving systems in the city, in order to prepare children to succeed in school.” (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

A new report, “Building a Foundation for Success,” looks at the unmet preschool needs of children in the commonwealth — and proposes three ways that Massachusetts might expand its preschool programs to create more access.

Released by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget), a nonprofit research organization, the report examines the number of preschool-age children in Massachusetts and the public funding streams that support their enrollment. The report costs out “a range of options for expanding and improving early education and care for these 3- and 4-year-olds in Massachusetts.” The options proposed range in cost from $153 million to $606 million in increased annual state funding on top of what is currently being spent. This increased state funding would be bolstered by non-state sources such as sliding scale parent fees or local education funding, depending on the model used.

“Right now we have a very fragmented system and that leaves many kids without access to any early education at all,” Noah Berger, MassBudget’s president, told the Boston Globe. However, Berger added that there was a growing consensus that a wide expansion of early education options was good for children and for the economy.

Carolyn Lyons, Strategies for Children president and CEO, is encouraged by the report. “This new report by MassBudget builds upon ongoing state and local policy conversations across the commonwealth on how to pay for and structure high-quality universal pre-k. Research shows that high-quality early education has (more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Here in Massachusetts, our state legislators are drafting their budget recommendations for fiscal year 2015. In the next few weeks, they will meet with leaders in the House of Representative and the Senate to share their priorities. High-quality early education should be at the top of that agenda.

Research shows that high-quality early education provides cost-effective social and academic benefits for children. In the commonwealth, these children are our “rising stars,” and they are counting on everyone — educators, parents, advocates, neighbors, grandparents, administrators, students and citizens — to speak up on their behalf.

So contact your state legislators. And please join Rising Stars 2014. Send your legislator stars to remind them about the importance of early education.

  • Decorate stars: Invite young children in your early education program/family/neighborhood to decorate stars. Click here for a star template. Please cut out the stars. On the back of the decorated stars, attach a message about the importance of investing in our rising stars. On the message sheet, include the child’s name, the name of your program (if applicable), and your city or town.
  • Help children grades K-3 fill out their very own K-3rd Rising Star to send to state legislators! Make sure to complete both sides.
  • Future early educators: Send a message to your legislators asking them to prioritize young children and the early education workforce by personalizing this letter.
  • General supporters of young children: Personalize this letter to your legislators on behalf of young children and families in Massachusetts. In the section labeled “your role,” choose from one of the following or write another that best describes you: parent, voter, resident, professional educator, voter, administrator, grandparent, concerned citizen, etc.
  • Send materials to your state legislators! Mail your decorated stars and letters to legislators in your district. Look up your legislators here:https://malegislature.gov/People/CityList
  • Let us know if you participated. Return your participation form to:

Laura Healy
Strategies for Children/Early Education for All
400 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02110

If you have questions, please contact Laura Healy at 617-330-7389 or EEAintern@earlyeducationforall.org.

Thank you for supporting all our rising stars.

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Photo: Michele McDonald for Strategies for Children

Photo: Michele McDonald for Strategies for Children

The new budget season will begin in January when Governor Patrick presents his state budget recommendations for fiscal year 2015.

So this month, the Board of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) met to approve its FY15 aspirational budget. FY15 starts on July 1, 2014.

Last Year’s EEC Budget

Last year’s FY14 EEC budget was $509 million. It included:

- $15 million to reduce the wait list for early education and care for children from income-eligible families. The FY 14 budget also had

- $11.5 million for a rate reserve to support early educators’ salaries and benefits

- level funding for universal pre-K, full-day kindergarten and the early childhood educator scholarships

- funding for a special commission to study the cost of administering early education and care services

- funding for a two-year independent study of the state’s provision of child care supports

FY15 Budget Proposal

This year the EEC Board is asking for an increase of $93.7 million. This increased investment is a wise step that would expand children’s access to early education (more…)

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Photo: United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley

Photo: United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley

More than 200 people came to the Boston Children’s Museum last Thursday night to attend “Conversation with the Boston Mayoral Candidates – Early Childhood and Education: Closing the Achievement and Opportunity Gaps.”  Strategies for Children, Boston Children’s Museum, Thrive in 5 and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley cosponsored the event along with 31 other organizations.

Both candidates – City Councilor John Connolly and State Representative Marty Walsh — participated, each on stage separately. Candidates answered questions posed by the night’s moderator, WBZ political reporter Jon Keller, and from the audience, which included early educators, providers, pediatricians, college students, professors of higher education, teachers, advocates, and citizens.

As Carolyn Lyons, the president and CEO of Strategies for Children, explained to the audience in her introduction, the forum builds on the momentum that has been fueled by early education proposals from Governor Deval Patrick and other governors,  the Massachusetts legislature and President Obama’s bold proposal to expand preschool programs nationally.

The candidates were asked to come prepared to articulate their vision for Boston’s children and families and discuss what they would do for children and families should they become mayor. They responded by (more…)

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Mayor Logo

This Thursday, October 24, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., the Boston Children’s Museum hosts a Conversation with the Boston Mayoral Candidates. Jon Keller, WBZ-TV News’ Political Analyst will moderate the conversation.

To retain Boston’s status as an economic leader and hub of innovation in the years ahead, the next Mayor must improve educational outcomes for the city’s children. The achievement gap is evident long before children enter school, and we will not succeed in closing it unless we target resources to improve early learning and healthy child development.

Join us for a conversation with the two candidates running for Mayor and hear more about their vision for children and families in Boston.

This event is sponsored by: Boston Children’s Museum, Strategies for Children, Thrive in 5, and United Way of MA Bay and Merrimack Valley.

Co-sponsors to date include:  ABCD ● Associated Early Care and Education ● BOSTnet  ● Boston After School and Beyond ● Boston Association for the Education of Young Children ● Boston Children’s Hospital  ● Boston Opportunity Agenda ● Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester ● Catholic Charities of Boston  ● Cradles to Crayons ● The Children’s Trust ● Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative ● Ellis Memorial & Eldredge House, Inc ● Families First Parenting Programs ● Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts   ● Family Service of Greater Boston ● Friends of the Children – Boston ● Generations Incorporated ● Horizons for Homeless Children ● Jumpstart ● MA Afterschool Partnership ● MA Association for Early Education and Care ● Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics ● MA Kids Count ● MA Head Start Association ● Raising A Reader MA ● Reach Out and Read ● Room to Grow ● United South End Settlements ● Wheelock College

For more information, please contact tdosremedios@strategiesforchildren.org

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Today we offer congratulations to the family child care providers in Massachusetts who earned accreditation or reaccreditation from the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) in the fourth quarter of 2012 – October 1 to December 31.

Kathy Modigliani, who runs the Bay State-based Family Child Care Project, remembers noticing the positive impact going through the accreditation process had on center-based teachers. Why not do something similar for family child care providers? Today NAFCC operates the only nationally recognized accreditation system established specifically for home-based family child care providers. Modigliani led its development between 1995 and 1999, when she was based at Wheelock College in Boston.

NAFCC accreditation has standards in five content areas: relationships, environment, developmental learning activities, safety and health, and professional and business practices. (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Today we offer congratulations to the family child care providers in Massachusetts who earned accreditation or reaccreditation from the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) in the third quarter of 2012 – July 1 to September 30.

Kathy Modigliani, who runs the Bay State-based Family Child Care Project, remembers noticing the positive impact going through the accreditation process had on center-based teachers. Why not do something similar for family child care providers? Today NAFCC operates the only nationally recognized accreditation system established specifically for home-based family child care providers. Modigliani led its development between 1995 and 1999, when she was based at Wheelock College in Boston.

NAFCC accreditation has standards in five content areas: relationships, environment, developmental learning activities, safety and health, and professional and business practices.

“There have been many studies that have shown that accredited providers offer a significantly higher quality of care than others,” Modigliani notes. (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Today we offer congratulations to the family child care providers in Massachusetts who earned accreditation or reaccreditation from the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) in the second quarter of 2012 – April 1 to June 30.

Kathy Modigliani, who runs the Bay State-based Family Child Care Project, remembers noticing the positive impact going through the accreditation process had on center-based teachers. Why not do something similar for family child care providers? Today NAFCC operates the only nationally recognized accreditation system established specifically for home-based family child care providers. Modigliani led its development between 1995 and 1999, when she was based at Wheelock College in Boston.

NAFCC accreditation has standards in five content areas: relationships, environment, developmental learning activities, safety and health, and professional and business practices.

“There have been many studies that have shown that accredited providers offer a significantly higher quality of care than others,” Modigliani notes.

In going through the accreditation process, Modigliani observes, early educators put into practice what they learn in college courses or Child Development Associate (CDA) training. “To motivate providers to put what they are learning into practice is something accreditation is important for,” she says. “I really think accreditation for both centers and homes is a critical piece in the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) because it assesses what is happening in the program.”

Congratulations to the five family child care providers in Massachusetts who earned NAFCC accreditation or reaccreditation in the second quarter of 2012:

Boston: Teresa Bautista (Dorchester), Margarita Acevedo (Jamaica Plain), Elsa Ortiz (Jamaica Plain)
Chelsea: Maria Bernal
Worcester: Zarrina Stolakis

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Today we offer congratulations to the family child care providers in Massachusetts who earned accreditation or reaccreditation from the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) in the first quarter of 2012 – January 1 to March 31.

Kathy Modigliani, who runs the Bay State-based Family Child Care Project, remembers noticing the positive impact going through the accreditation process had on center-based teachers. Why not do something similar for family child care providers? Today NAFCC operates the only nationally recognized accreditation system established specifically for home-based family child care providers. Modigliani led its development between 1995 and 1999, when she was based at Wheelock College in Boston.

NAFCC accreditation has standards in five content areas: relationships, environment, developmental learning activities, safety and health, and professional and business practices.

“There have been many studies that have shown that accredited providers offer a significantly higher quality of care than others,” Modigliani notes.

In going through the accreditation process, Modigliani observes, early educators put into practice what they learn in college courses or Child Development Associate (CDA) training. “To motivate providers to put what they are learning into practice is something accreditation is important for,” she says. “I really think accreditation for both centers and homes is a critical piece in the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) because it assesses what is happening in the program.”

Congratulations to the two family child care providers in Massachusetts who earned NAFCC accreditation or reaccreditation in the first quarter of 2012:

Lowell: Migdalia Rivera
Saugus: Deanna Jackson

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