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The East Boston Social Centers recently interviewed Representative Adrian Madaro (D-Boston). Here’s an excerpt.

“As an undergraduate, you majored in child development. What would ideal system of early childhood supports look like and how can organizations like the Social Centers help get there?”

“We know that everything starts young. Children’s brains are developing, they’re formulating thoughts and learning from day one so it’s important that we invest as early as possible in the development of children and that’s exactly what the Social Centers does. The earlier you invest in a young person, the positive outcomes that can come from that increase dramatically. The sooner we can intervene and the sooner we can start to get at those children, the better for the long term.”

And here’s a relevant personal note from Madaro’s bio:

“Adrian and his wife Ariel met as undergraduate students at Tufts University in a child development class taught by the same professor who would officiate their wedding seven years later.”

 

The Ounce has released its 2019 State Policy Update Report.

It’s a “snapshot of states’ early childhood education policy priorities and budgetary changes during the 2019 legislative sessions.”

“We are excited to share highlights from each state that illustrate the persistent work of early childhood advocates, program providers, public officials ,and many other stakeholders who continue to move the field forward in creating environments in which young children and families can thrive,” a report overview says.

This year’s survey digs deep, asking survey respondents to:

• categorize 2019’s legislative, administrative and budgetary changes

• describe any work they did to advance federal policy, and

• identify and share stories about elected officials who are “early childhood champions”

The report also looks at early intervention programs; families’ mental health; workforce and professional development efforts; as well as revenue, governance, and data. Continue Reading »

Last month the event “Action for Boston Children: A Plan for BPS’ Future,” was held at The Boston Foundation. The panelists in this photograph are: Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell (at podium); Brenda Cassellius, Superintendent, Boston Public Schools; Latoya Gayle, Executive Director, Boston School Finder; Amy O’Leary, Director of Strategies for Children’s Education for All Campaign; and Paul Reville, Former Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor.

 

“Today, until a child turns four or five, it can feel to families as though there is no place to go. The birth to four landscape is dominated by private providers that can be hard to find, and to afford. A patchwork of funding sources and cumbersome state and federal requirements that families cannot meet or do not understand contribute to locking out many children and families from access to quality childcare. We should start by asking what parents and families need to ensure that their children are on the strongest path to a life of learning and outcomes. And if we ask that question, it’s hard not to arrive at the conclusion that a comprehensive view of birth to five is the way forward.”

“Action for Boston Children,” a report released by Andrea Campbell, president of the Boston City Council, June 2019

Parents already know that it’s tough to find high-quality, affordable child care in Boston.

Now, a new report — State of Early Education and Care in Boston: Supply, Demand, Affordability and Quality — has used data to better define the child care landscape for policymakers.

“During the process of creating a citywide plan for young children to achieve this goal, we discovered that there were many questions that could not be answered and supported with the data available,” the report, which was released by the Boston Opportunity Agenda, explains.

Among the questions: Continue Reading »

 

Local communities are ready for preschool expansion, but often lack the funds to get started. Absent a clear federal or state path for preschool expansion, innovative local leaders are forging ahead using a variety of collaborative approaches.

Last week, Strategies for Children hosted a webinar on this topic: “Local Preschool Financing Strategies in Massachusetts.” Three communities presented their work, and 15 other communities participated in the webinar.

Here’s a recap of the event and the topics we discussed.

We heard from Holyoke, Springfield, and Boston, all communities that are leading the way on financing more preschool spots for children through a mixed-delivery system.

Presentations were made by: Continue Reading »

“Every child in Virginia is capable of success in school and beyond if they have access to the resources they need during those critical first five years of life. We are bringing our leading early childhood experts and policymakers together to align our priorities and make scalable and sustainable improvements to better serve Virginia’s littlest learners.”

— Virginia’s First Lady Pamela Northam

 

The Early Childhood Education Summit provided “an opportunity for superintendents and school leaders from around the Commonwealth to hear from education experts, engage in conversations with state officials about statewide policies, and learn from local communities collaborating creatively to improve access to and quality of early childhood education programs.”

“Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam have taken many steps to improve school readiness for at-risk three- and four-year-olds in the last six months. In August, Governor Northam announced the completion of a statewide Early Childhood Education Needs Assessment and draft Strategic Plan that were produced through the $9.9 million federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) that the Commonwealth was awarded in January. The Needs Assessment identifies gaps in Virginia’s early childhood system and the draft Strategic Plan outlines the goals and priorities for unifying and strengthening early childhood care and education in Virginia.”

“First Lady Pamela Northam, Virginia Secretary of Education Host Summit on Early Childhood Education,” press release from the Office of Governor Northam, October 22, 2019

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Are you a parent raising young children who are not yet in kindergarten?

Do you rely on child care to work or take classes?

Are you not working because of child care needs?

If so, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston wants to hear from you.

Families who are willing to share their child care story would participate in a 90-minute interview with the Fed’s research team, and receive a $50 Target gift card for their time. Continue Reading »

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