Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children
On April 12, 2013, some 300 early educators gathered in Randolph for the 12th annual Early Educators Awards Gala sponsored by the Boston Alliance for Early Education and the Boston Association for the Education of Young Children.
The gala celebrates Greater Boston’s early childhood educators and their contributions to the development of young children. The event also recognizes outstanding educators and high-quality programs.
Our own Amy O’Leary, Early Education for All Campaign Director, served as the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies. Amy also received the association’s Abigail Eliot Award. The award honors winners’ outstanding commitment to young children and the early childhood profession through work done on behalf of the association as well as for distinguished professional achievement. The award is named after Abigail Adams Eliot, a pioneer in early childhood education and in training teachers of young children.
Six other early educators who were nominated by their peers also won awards.
Ida Yee Koo, lead toddler teacher at Buds and Blossoms Early Education and Care Center in Boston, won for leadership and management. (more…)
Read Full Post »
Amy O'Leary visits Boston preschool (Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children)
My colleague Amy O’Leary, director of our Early Education for All Campaign, tells a story that illustrates how far the field of early education and care has come over the past several years.
Amy has been going to meetings of the Boston Alliance for Early Education since she was a preschool director in Boston’s South End neighborhood in the 1990s. “It was originally designed as a support group for directors,” Amy recalls. “The conversation often focused on overflowing toilets and the day-to-day logistical challenges of running a center.”
Much has changed since then, not the least of which came in December 2011 when Massachusetts was named one of only nine states awarded a federal Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant. Back in 2005, Massachusetts merged its child care and early education agencies to create the nation’s first consolidated Department of Early Education and Care. The same year it established the Early Childhood Educators Scholarship. In 2006, the state created the Universal Pre-Kindergarten grant program to support and sustain quality. Head Start and the National Association for the Education of Young Children, an accrediting body, started to phase in bachelor degree requirements for early educators. In 2011, Massachusetts launched an evidence-based Quality Rating and Improvement System, which defines tiers of quality that include teacher education and training, curriculum, and assessment.
With these changes, the conversations have changed, too. (more…)
Read Full Post »