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Summer Vacation

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

Enjoy the final days of summer. The blog is going on vacation. We’ll be back in September.

“Early education teachers are the foundation of our regional education continuum, and their willingness to commit to furthering their own education will assure our youngest children receive high quality, highly engaged early education experiences.”

Jake Eberwein, Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, “BCC, MCLA work together on early education degree offerings,” August 6, 2017

This is a guest blog by Strategies for Children intern Kathryn Zimmerman. Kathryn is entering her senior year at Boston College, and she expects to graduate in May, 2018, with a major in Applied Psychology and Human Development and a minor in Sociology.

I have greatly enjoyed my eight months at Strategies for Children (SFC). After being connected to Strategies through my instructor and research boss Kyle DeMeo Cook, I was nervous and excited when I started as an intern last January. I had never worked for a non-profit or for such a small organization. However, I quickly realized that I loved the culture and environment at Strategies. The staff is in this field because they care about and enjoy doing this work. Since there are only a few employees, everyone was very welcoming and took the time to get to know me. I felt like I was an integral part of the team; doing important work for children, their families, and the state.

During my time at Strategies, I learned important lessons. To accomplish anything in this field, you have to be creative and willing to share ideas, even if they get turned down. This field is still new, so there’s no formulaic way of solving problems. Thus, the people who are truly good at this work understand the field and find creative ways to introduce new programs or advocate at the state level. I like to think that while I was here, I started to develop my own voice and share my own thoughts and ideas. Continue Reading »

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Home visiting programs have been praised before, but newly released research points to a unique finding: These programs are especially beneficial for boys.

Covering this research, The New York Times reports: “Children who receive home visits are healthier, achieve more in school and have better social and emotional skills, according to a new study, released Monday by James J. Heckman, a Nobel laureate economist at the University of Chicago. Mothers have better prenatal and mental health and parenting skills.”

Heckman and his colleagues looked at the Memphis Nurse-Family Partnership home visiting program, which sends nurses to meet with first-time, low-income mothers. The program is voluntary.

The research “started in 1990, and it kept track of hundreds of kids who participated, tracking them until they were 12,” NPR reports. Continue Reading »

Front row: Amy O’Leary, President-elect, Megan Pamela Ruth Madison, Ex officio Student Member, Tamara Johnson, At-large Member, Dina Castro, At-large Member. Second row Carl Hairston, Treasurer, Stacia Tipton, At-large Member. Photo courtesy of Amy O’Leary.

 

“I am so excited to start my four-year term on the NAEYC Governing Board.  It is an honor to be part of this amazing, thoughtful, dedicated group of volunteers who are committed to the NAEYC mission statement: ‘NAEYC promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.’”

Amy O’Leary, President-elect NAEYC Governing Board and Director of Strategies for Children’s Early Education for All Campaign, August 11, 2017

Click here to learn more about NAEYC.

Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

Early educators’ salaries are unconscionably low, but Massachusetts leaders are starting to address this.

The Washington Post sounded an alarm about early educators’ salaries last year, reporting:

“The people who are paid to watch America’s children tend to live in poverty. Nearly half receive some kind of government assistance: food stamps, welfare money, Medicaid. Their median hourly wage is $9.77 — about $3 below the average janitor’s.”

The post cited a report written by Marcy Whitebook, noting:

“In a new report, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley warn that child care is too vital to the country’s future to offer such meager wages. Those tasked with supporting kids, they explain, are shaping much of tomorrow’s workforce.”

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo had shared a similar warning a few months earlier, the Boston Globe reported. DeLeo declared that the early education workforce was “in crisis.” Continue Reading »

 

A guest post by Sally Fuller, Project Director of Reading Success by 4th Grade, part of the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation

David Lawrence Jr. spoke with energy and insight at last month’s Business Champions for Children event. Held at Springfield’s Basketball Hall of Fame on July 10, 2017, the event’s goal was to increase the momentum of Massachusetts’ investments in young children.

Lawrence, the former publisher of the Miami Herald, is the chair of the Children’s Movement of Florida. And as a grandfather of eight children, it’s no surprise to hear him say in this video, “I simply became convinced… that the whole future of my community and my country depends on doing right, particularly in the early childhood years.”

Massachusetts is ripe for this kind of action. Continue Reading »

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