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Archive for the ‘Professional development & preparation’ Category

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Racial segregation can start in preschool, according to a new report from Columbia University’s Teachers College that spotlights this disturbing trend.

The report — “A Better Start: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education” — points to “racial, ethnic, and economic disparities in preschool classrooms across America,” according to a press release, “prompting calls for policymakers to focus on the value of diversity in early education classrooms as a means to increase equity and quality for America’s youngest learners.”

“If every child could be in a high-quality program, we could all go home and not worry about it,” Jeanne Reid told the Washington Post. Reid is a co-author of the report, which was funded by The Century Foundation and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council. “But a lot of programs are not high quality, and low-income children are most likely to be in low-quality programs.”

Instead of letting children from low-income families congregate in inadequate programs, the country should promote equal access to high-quality, research-backed early education programs, the report says.  (more…)

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Erin Vickstrom

Erin Vickstrom

This is a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Erin Vickstrom, and I work at a preschool called the Quinsigamond Community College Children’s School in Worcester, Mass., located on the college’s campus. We serve children ages 2.9 to 5 years old.

I am very proud to be an early childhood educator. Many who don’t know what our job entails often overlook the work we do in this field. I love when children get excited about learning something new. I recently started bringing more science activities into the classroom. The children have responded so positively. Now when I walk into the classroom I have girls that come up to me and say, “Can we do science today?!” It is so exciting to me to have young children so excited to learn. I know my work could help to inspire life long learning.

The first five years of life are crucial to a child’s future success. By supporting children and families, the groundwork is laid to help children grow and develop (more…)

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Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

Two new tools are available for the early education and care field, thanks to a collaboration between the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the Framingham-based consulting company Early Childhood Associates (ECA).

One tool is a workshop series – the Getting it Right for Children: Early Educators Leadership Institute, which ECA developed to explore how to align birth-through-third-grade systems.

The other is a resource guide that ECA created called, “Guiding Change, Impacting Quality: A Guide to Technical Assistance in Settings Serving Infants & Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Children in Out-of-School Time Programs and Their Families.”

Both provide insights into how to develop high-quality approaches to helping children thrive as they grow from birth through the third grade.  (more…)

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Photo: Caroline Silber for Startegies for Children

Photo: Caroline Silber for Startegies for Children

Across the country, the population of children is growing more diverse. There are more children from different countries who speak numerous languages. And as they enter preschool settings, they need culturally diverse early educators.

A recent report — “Immigrant and Refugee Workers in the Early Childhood Field: Taking a Closer Look” — looks at the early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce and how it could better meet children’s needs.

Released by MPI, the Migration Policy Institute, the report says:

“Just as the number and share of children of immigrants have grown substantially in recent decades across the nation, the foreign-born share of ECEC workers has also risen. Today, immigrants account for nearly one-fifth of the overall ECEC workforce. However, these immigrant workers—and the linguistic and cultural diversity that they bring to the field—are highly over-represented in lower-skilled and lower-paying sectors of the profession such as family-based child-care.”  (more…)

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Susan LaCroix

Susan LaCroix

This is the first in a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

Today is also National Worthy Wage Day, a grassroots public awareness campaign that’s jointly coordinated by the Center for the Child Care Workforce and the American Federation of Teachers. The campaigns goal is to raise awareness of:

• the low wages earned by early childhood educators, and,

• the damaging effects on young children of instability from the on-going teacher-retention crisis and from chronic underfunding of early education.

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Susan LaCroix is an early educator and benefits from the Department of Early Education and Care’s (EEC) Educator and Provider Support Grant. This post is based on the public testimony she gave at an EEC Board meeting held on Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

What started out as a part-time job became my passion.

My Name is Susan LaCroix. I work as an early educator at the GLCAC Inc. Child Care Center located in Lawrence. I began my career in the field of early childhood education in June of 1987. I started working at this Center and have been here ever since.  (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

“We must set children up to do well in the classroom and beyond,” a new Strategies for Children policy brief explains, adding that it is crucial, “to invest in early education and care programs that will promote social-emotional skill development…”

Written by Sophie Barnes, who is enrolled in the Child Advocacy strand of the Human Development and Psychology program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the brief adds:

“Research shows that high-quality early education and care has many benefits. Chief among these is the impact on young children’s social-emotional development, which may be as important or more so than traditional pre-academic skill development (e.g., number and letter recognition).”

What is social-emotional learning?  (more…)

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Photo Source: WIDA Store

Photo Source: WIDA Store

Tomorrow and Thursday, the Department of Early Education and Care — in partnership with WIDA Early Years — is hosting a two-day institute on the WIDA Early English Language Development (E-ELD) Standards Framework.

“Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the WIDA Early English Language Development (E-ELD) Standards Framework, and how to apply that understanding to their daily work with children,” according to a program announcement.

We recently blogged about E-ELD here.

Participants who attend the institute will be able to:

• “Identify the foundational principles and components of the WIDA E-ELD Standards Framework”  (more…)

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