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“Even before my daughter was born, I struggled to find childcare for her. I searched months before she was born. Once she was born, I placed her on two waiting lists—one was three months long, and the other one year. The whole situation was stressful because my six weeks of maternity leave was running out. Luckily my employer allowed me to work part-time until I secured childcare. I relied on my network of family and friends to find a babysitter.”
– a Parent

 

“Our pay rate is not a living wage.”
– Center director

 

“Fifty hours of direct childcare plus 10–15 hours of curriculum and food prep, cleaning, shopping, and paperwork is too much with a family of my own to care for. Employment and tax laws make it too difficult to hire an employee, and if I did, parents can’t afford a tuition increase to cover this cost. I already make far less than minimum wage.”
– Family Child Care provider

Continue Reading »

A series featuring communities that have a plan to expand preschool.

Photo: Courtesy of Stephanie Adornetto

 

In Pittsfield, we know how important early education is. Children who don’t get a strong start can’t read proficiently by third grade. In our city, 2017 MCAS data shows that only 44 percent of third graders are proficient in English and only 44 percent are proficient in math. We want to see these numbers improve because, to put it bluntly, children who struggle to read may also struggle to succeed.

Because helping children takes a team approach, in 2012, the Berkshire United Way formed Pittsfield Promise, a coalition focused on ensuring that our third-graders can read proficiently. To achieve this goal, members of the coalition work closely with early childhood programs, social service and health providers, businesses, and community members.

In 2016, Pittsfield was awarded a preschool expansion grant. We are using this funding to create a collaboration between the Pittsfield Public Schools and two local center-based early childhood programs.

In this mixed-delivery model, the Pittsfield Public Schools is the lead partner and fiduciary agent. Continue Reading »

Amy and Lisa Crowley

Amy O’Leary, director of Strategies for Children’s Early Education for All Campaign, is always on the go.

Last month, Amy was at a breakfast hosted by Horizons for Homeless children where Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone, was the speaker. She was also at Jumpstart’s Read for the Record at the Boston Public Library.

But the past part of the day was running into two former students from Amy’s classes at Cambridge College and Wheelock College. Amy teaches Advocacy, Policy and Leadership at both institutions.

The students: Continue Reading »

“Gov. Cuomo late Wednesday night gave his approval to a city plan to build a cutting-edge pre-kindergarten school at the New York Hall of Science.

“Cuomo, just before midnight, signed legislation that would allow the city Department of Education to use a portion of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for the $50 million Pre-K Center, which would enroll 300 kids and focus on science, engineering, math and the arts.”

“‘STEM education is an important part of my education policy and the purpose underlying the bill is a noble one,’ Cuomo wrote in his approval measure.”

“Cuomo approves plan to build pre-K at New York Hall of Science,” The New York Daily News, November 30, 2017

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

 

Study after study keeps coming to the same conclusion: Early education works.

Now new research drives home the point: Early education provides benefits that last through high school.

That’s the result of a meta-study published by the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

“It is exciting that our results show that the benefits of early childhood education are sustained through elementary school and beyond,” study coauthor Dana McCoy, an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said in a press release.

“These results provide further evidence for the potential individual and societal benefits of expanding early childhood education programming in the United States.”

The researchers conducted a meta-study of 22 early education studies conducted between 1960 and 2016. Continue Reading »

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

 

It’s #GivingTuesday, and we are reaching out to our loyal base of blog readers, advocates, and collaborators to ask for your support.

Why give?

Here are five reasons.

1. Information – EEA Update, our bi-monthly newsletter, captures the latest news and policy updates in early education and care. View our newsletter archive here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook too!

2. Advocacy – Who has time to keep track of all the early education bills, line items, amendments, vetoes, and advocacy opportunities? Well, we do actually.

3. Blog – Our Eye on Early Education blog is one-of-a-kind, and reporter Alyssa Haywoode covers all the topics you care about along the birth-to-grade-three continuum on the local, state, and federal levels.

4. Data – We’ve got you covered, with Fast Facts, community profiles, and all the statistics about the importance of ensuring high-quality early education for children in Massachusetts.

5. Elections – All the information candidates and voters need to know during election season and beyond.

Plus, we have a 16-year track record of policy wins for high-quality early education in Massachusetts.

Please make your tax-deductible donation today to support our work at Strategies for Children.

We are grateful for your support. Thank you.

Team SFC

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

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