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Archive for the ‘Dept. of Early Education and Care’ Category

 

“We are gearing up for Advocacy Day on March 5, but advocacy can happen all throughout the year, and can take many forms,” Amy O’Leary says.

That’s the advice Amy shared yesterday during Advocacy 101, a webinar sponsored by Strategies for Children. A video of the webinar is posted here.

Called “If Not Us, Then Who?”, the webinar is the first installment in what will be a series put together by Amy, Strategies’ director of the Early Education for All Campaign, and Titus DosRemedios, our director of research and policy.

Advocacy, Amy says in the webinar, has many faces. It can mean testifying at the State House or talking to your Uber driver. It can mean being out front or working behind the scenes.

One strategy? Speak up where you feel comfortable. (more…)

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Amy O’Leary and Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy

 

What a year it has been at Strategies for Children! Here are some of our highlights:

• Looking back to look forward

In December of 2018, we gathered at the State House to celebrate the tenth anniversary of An Act Relative to Early Education and Care, which became law in 2008. “It’s like getting the band back together,” Pat Haddad (D-Somerset), Speaker Pro Tempore of the House, said of the many colleagues who joined us. At the event, Amy O’Leary moderated, and we heard from a lineup of speakers including Haddad, House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop), other state officials, and local early education program directors. Many of the speakers remarked that though they have had different roles over the last ten years, their commitment to high-quality early education for all remains strong.

It was also a year of transition at the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). In June we thanked Commissioner Tom Weber for his six successful years of leadership. We then welcomed new EEC Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy back to Massachusetts with a “meet-and-greet” co-hosted by the early education field. We look forward to working with Commissioner Sam on a shared vision for her department’s future. (more…)

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“We’re all affected by the barriers to affordable, quality child care,” Arthur Buckland, the interim director of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, said earlier this month at a panel discussion on child care policy.

The event was a great overview of the current state of early education and care in Massachusetts, with insights on policy, advocacy, parents’ needs, and business benefits.

“The panel explored efforts to strengthen access to affordable care at the local and state level, how the lack of child care impacts the Commonwealth’s workforce, economy, and family security, and the importance of building a talent pipeline,” the institute says on its website.

The moderator of the panel was Lauren Birchfield Kennedy, co-founder of Neighborhood Villages, a nonprofit organization that works “to improve access to affordable, high-quality child care and early education.”

The panel speakers were: (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

Please spread the word: The Massachusetts Partnership for Infants and Toddlers (MPIT) is releasing its family survey.

The partnership wants to hear from families about what they need and want to support their infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children.

As we’ve blogged, the partnership is a collaboration of organizations, facilitated by Strategies for Children, and we hope the family survey will “improve infants’ and toddlers’ access to high-quality programs and services and create more positive experiences that meet families’ needs and expectations.”

The English version of the survey is here.

And the Spanish version is posted here.

Please share the survey links, or, post a flyer about the survey in a location in your program where families will see it. They can scan the QR code with their smart phone to go directly to the survey. (more…)

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EEC Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy wants to hear your thoughts about early education and care. Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

“We want to hear from you!”

That’s the message from the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) which is hosting a Community Learning Tour, a series of community meetings across the state.

The goal: “help us create a road map for EEC’s work in the years to come!”

The first session is today at 3 p.m. in EEC’s Taunton office, at 1 Washington St., Suite 20.

EEC Commissioner Sam Aigner-Treworgy wants your input to help her department craft “a plan for Massachusetts in which all children develop as lifelong learners and contributing members of the community, and all families are supported in their essential work as parents and caregivers.”

Your feedback will help EEC craft policies that best meet the needs of the early education field and the needs of the children and families it serves.

Here’s the schedule for the upcoming sessions:

Metro Boston: October 29, 2019 5:30 to 7:30 PM at EEC’s Quincy Office
Northeast: November 13, 2019 5:30 to 7:30 PM at EEC’s Lawrence Office
Western: November 14, 2019 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the Community Foundation of Western MA
Central: November 18, 2019 5:30 to 7:30 PM at EEC’s Worcester Office
Boston: November 19, 2019 2:00 to 4:00 PM at EEC’s Boston Office

Can’t come to the learning sessions?

Fill out the Strategic Plan Discovery Survey. In addition to answering questions, you can upload any information you want EEC to have, including important research, feedback, or planning documents.

Please share this information with your personal and social media networks. It’s a great chance to help Massachusetts build an increasingly stronger system of early education and care.

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Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

 

Looking for child care?

There’s a website for that.

The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) has posted “a geographically-searchable online directory of licensed child care programs” in Massachusetts.

The directory fulfills one of the new requirements of the federal Child Care Development Block Grant program, which is to enhance consumer education by making information clear and accessible to parents.

Searches can be done by zip code, by city, by child age group, or by the name of a child care provider. The search results include a list of providers and a map of their locations. There’s even a “my route” option that searches for child care options along the path of a morning commute.

Click on a provider’s name to see more information, including hours, cost, contact information, and links to program websites. (more…)

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When early education and higher education team up, great things can happen.

One example is the Career Pathways Grant program, funding that the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) awards to all of Massachusetts’ community colleges to create more educational and professional development opportunities for early educators.

For instance, at Quinsigamond Community College, “10 students are taking part in a pre-college course focusing on student-based skills and introducing them to early childhood education topics and terminology. After they complete the course in the fall these students will transition over to college level early childhood education courses, where they will receive financial and other support services designed to help them succeed.”

At Mount Wachusett Community College, the grant is being used to “to provide free classes for Early Childhood Education professionals and training to help local childcare facilities.” (more…)

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