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“More Burlington youngsters would get access to improved daytime health and education under a new program announced Thursday by Mayor Miro Weinberger.

“The mayor proposed that $500,000 be set aside annually to expand the capacity of existing, high quality early-learning facilities.”

“‘By investing in our youngest children today, we will reap a better educated, healthier and more just tomorrow,’ he said.”

“Several other community leaders voiced support for the city’s new Early Learning Initiative, including Vermont Agency of Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe.

“Citing recent studies that link differences in cognitive development to income, Holcombe praised the initiative as an inspiration for the entire state.

“‘When we don’t pay attention to early care and learning, we are literally manufacturing inequity at the level of the brain.’”

“Pre-K education in Burlington gets big boost,” May 18, 2017, The Burlington Free Press

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means released its state budget proposal for fiscal year 2018. It’s a $40.3 billion budget proposal that would make critical investments in high-quality early education and care.

In her cover letter for the budget, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), the chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, writes:

“We can sustain our common wealth by focusing on the fundamentals: education, health and wellbeing, and housing.

“Education has always been Massachusetts’ lodestar, from the origination of our Constitution to the birth of public education under the guidance of former Senate President and Franklin native Horace Mann.” Continue Reading »

 

What do many parents need to get a job?

Child care.

But too often this need is ignored. And a study done in Louisiana has found that unmet child care needs generate a $1 billion loss for the state’s economy.

The study is the first of its kind to be conducted in Louisiana, and its results point to issues we talk about here in Massachusetts every day, including: child care costs, access, and workforce needs.

“To date, we have been unable to locate Louisiana-based studies of how child care instability affects the state’s workforce productivity,” according to the study report, “Losing Ground: How Child Care Impacts Louisiana’s Workforce Productivity and the State Economy.”

“This study attempts to address this gap.” Continue Reading »

“A Seattle organization is trying to help moms get their work done and get time with their kids. Women’s Business Incubator is a co-working space that has drop-in childcare with a preschool teacher.”

“The coworking space features a room where the little ones and moms can work and play side-by-side. There are additional rooms away from the kids where moms can focus on work while the kids spend time in a classroom or outside with a teacher.

“The program is significantly cheaper than traditional childcare and the group encourages members to network. They offer resources for moms who are trying to reenter the workforce after having children.

“The Incubator has only been open for a few months and they would like to expand. The goal is to put locations in other parts of Seattle and add hours giving more women the flexibility they desperately need to nurture their children and the dreams.”

“Seattle preschool allows moms and kids to work side-by-side,” KING5 News, May 11, 2017

2017 Gala Award Winners

The 16th Annual Early Educator Awards Gala was held last Friday. It was an evening of dinner, dancing, and awards that was emceed by our own Amy O’Leary, director of Strategies for Children’s Early Education for All Campaign.

“Early education and care is getting a lot of attention at the local, state, and national level. None of the progress we have made for young children and families in Massachusetts would have been possible without the early educators who work across the state,” O’Leary said. “This is a critical time for all of us who are committed to young children and high-quality early childhood education. To succeed, we must all continue to work together. It was an honor to help celebrate this work at the gala.” Continue Reading »

Representative Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan) in yellow. Photo: Strolling Thunder, Zero to Three

What makes members of Congress look good?

Babies!

Last week, the national nonprofit Zero to Three proved this point when it held a first-time-ever event called Strolling Thunder, a gathering of babies and parents from many states who came to Washington, D.C., to meet their Congressional representatives — and to put babies in the spotlight. Continue Reading »

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Too many preschool teachers are paid less than other teachers of young children.

“…on average, a public pre-K teacher with a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn around $12,000 less than a public kindergarten teacher with similar credentials, according to NIEER’s 2015 State of Preschool Yearbook,” a statistic NIEER (the National Institute for Early Education Research) has on its webpage.

And outside of the public school system, in private, community-based preschools, salaries are even lower, so these programs lose teachers to public schools. So the children in private, community settings lose access to skilled teachers just as they’re getting ready to go to elementary school.

Two new policy briefs tackle these issues, documenting “the extent of the compensation parity issue among public pre-K programs and identify programs providing parity…” Continue Reading »

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