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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

To build a better workforce, start at the beginning by building better early education and care programs.

That’s the argument made by Jay Gonzalez and JD Chesloff in a guest column they wrote for the MetroWest Daily News.

“The business community has engaged in different initiatives over time to support the work of universities, community colleges, workforce training programs, vocational technical schools and K-12 public schools to improve the quality and supply of our workforce,” they write. “However, there has not been sufficient focus on the point in the workforce development pipeline that can have the biggest impact – the very beginning.

“That is starting to change.” (more…)

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“Opportunity starts at the beginning of each and every child’s life. And while income inequality and stagnant wages have left millions of families struggling, common-sense policies like preschool and high-quality affordable child care ensure that regardless of a child’s zip code or life circumstances, every child gets a fair shot at life.

“Each year we don’t institute universal preschool or a national child care solution, our children, our families, our economy and our future lose out.”

“The Kids Are Still Not Alright: It’s time for the United States to expand early childhood education programs,” by Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education, U.S. News and World Report, July 21, 2016

 

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Preschool has gotten attention from the Boston Globe in the last few weeks. Three articles look at preschool’s impact on children, families, and the economy.

Here’s a look at the articles.

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“Long-delayed preschool report advises further study,” June 4, 2016

Globe reporter Stephanie Ebbert writes about the delayed release of a report on universal preschool commissioned by Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh.

“Two years after Mayor Martin J. Walsh named an advisory panel to come up with a citywide action plan for universal preschool, the committee on Friday released a report scant on details and devoid of cost estimates, calling for further study,” the article says. (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Looking for businesses that boost the economy? Consider early education and care programs. They’re part of Boston’s thriving small business community, but they face tough challenges. That’s the focus of a new article on WBUR’s Cognoscenti website written by Mayor Marty Walsh and Marie St. Fleur, president and CEO of the Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children.

It’s great when General Electric moves to town, but just as important, the article says, “was Melissa Phillips’s decision to open Little Brown Bear Academy in Roxbury. Phillips and her two assistants offer early education and care to 10 boys and girls, providing healthy meals and snacks, a robust learning curriculum and a nurturing environment. These services have a lasting impact by preparing children to succeed when they step foot into the classroom. (more…)

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There’s a powerful new opportunity for women who own early education and care programs: the Early Education and Care Small Business Innovation Center (EECSBIC).

Launched last year by the Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children (BTWIC), the innovation center provides these small business owners with “contextualized” training to help them improve their operations.

A video posted on YouTube highlights some of the innovation center’s work. And on Saturday at 8 a.m., Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will attend a ceremony celebrating the center’s first cohort of graduates.

As the innovation center explains on its website, “Over 2/3 of early education and care programs in Massachusetts are small businesses, most of them home-based and women-owned. These entrepreneurs not only educate and nurture young children, they manage the finances of their program, handle record keeping and licensing, and hire staff.” (more…)

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“On behalf of the nation’s governors, we urge Congress to enhance state early childhood education programs by continuing Preschool Development Grants as part of FY 2016 appropriations.

“Governors understand that early childhood education is a key component of building a literate, knowledgeable and skilled 21st century workforce. Preschool Development Grants, including expansion grants, enable governors to build on their efforts to promote school readiness by accelerating state-focused innovation to improve access and quality in early childhood education. States use the program to better serve our youngest students, including English language learners and early learners with disabilities; improve the professional development of preschool teachers and administrators; and expand access to early education programs to thousands of students.”

A letter from the National Governors Association to Congress, November 10, 2015

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Image Source: ReadyNation's Flickr page

Image Source: ReadyNation’s Flickr page

 

Last week, New York City hosted the 2015 Global Business Summit on Early Childhood Investments.

The summit was “a major gathering of 200+ business people, policymakers, and experts designed to showcase how the private sector is leading the way in advancing early childhood development around the world.”

The event was held by ReadyNation, an organization of business leaders who work to “strengthen business through better policies for children and youth.”

The goal of the summit was to “inspire and equip executives to take actions that expand support for young children at all levels.” Among the themes was a focus on “new evidence that establishes early childhood as the foundation for a culture of health and international leadership for early childhood.”

Chris Martes, president and CEO of Strategies for Children, attended the event and said, “The summit clearly shows how excited our business leaders are about investing in young children. Business leaders understand that high-quality early education and care programs help to produce the labor force of the future.” (more…)

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