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Archive for the ‘Early educators’ Category

 

Early education classrooms are bright and fun, but they’re not always open to young children with disabilities.

Massachusetts works hard to meet these children’s needs through its Early Intervention program, but a new paper – “Early Childhood Special Education in Massachusetts,” written by Strategies for Children interns Annapurna Ayyappan and Marisa Fear — points out that there’s room for the state to make improvements.

In 2014, the federal government addressed the problem with a policy statement jointly released by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that said in part:

“It is the Departments’ position that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs, where they are provided with individualized and appropriate support in meeting high expectations.”

Getting this work done in Massachusetts, Ayyappan and Fear write, is essential:

“Early childhood education has the potential to provide children with the positive experiences that will establish a strong foundation upon which they can grow… Early intervention for children with developmental delays or disabilities targets the brain at a time when its services can have the greatest positive effects.” (more…)

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (center). Photo source: The City of New York


”The tentative agreement provides a pathway to pay parity between certified early childhood education teachers and entry-rate Department of Education salaries by October 1, 2021.”

“ ‘There are few things as valuable as early childhood education and our youngest New Yorkers deserve the very best,’ said Mayor de Blasio. ‘With this agreement, we’re ensuring whether you’re in one of our schools or teaching in a community based organization, you get the same starting salary. That means our kids and parents can rest assured that they’ll always have our best teachers in the classroom, helping our future leaders develop the skills they need to succeed.’ ”

“ ‘All NYC teachers deserve the same pay, the same benefits and the same respect, and when we provide pay parity in education, we provide better educational opportunities for our students,’ said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.”

 

“Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson Help District Council 1707 Local 205 and the Day Care Council of New York Reach Tentative Contract Agreement for Early Childhood Education Employees,” the Official Website of the City of New York, July 9, 2019.

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What happens when parents are spending $10,000 or more a year for child care?

What happens when early educators and child care workers don’t earn enough to cover their own families’ expenses?

There are no easy answers, but as we blogged last year, the video posted above shines a needed spotlight on these challenges.

Recently at a Boston Foundation event on the early childhood workforce, Marcy Whitebook included the video in her presentation, and noted that it has been one of the most widely shared resources that she and her colleagues at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) have produced.

CSCCE produced the video along with the national nonprofit Child Care Aware of America.

For more information, research, and data about child care costs and workforce salaries, check out this Child Care Aware webpage as well as CSCCE’s webpage on compensation and its resources on the high cost of child care.

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Samantha Aigner-Treworgy

Congratulations to Samantha Aigner-Treworgy.

She has been chosen as the new commissioner of Massachusetts’ Department of Early Education and Care.

Aigner-Treworgy will leave her job as chief of early learning for the City of Chicago and start her new job later this summer.

“I look forward to working with Ms. Aigner-Treworgy as the next commissioner. She brings a depth of experience in early education that will benefit child care providers and preschools, as well as children and their families across the Commonwealth,” Massachusetts Education Secretary James Peyser says in a press release.

“Ms. Aigner-Treworgy is highly qualified to head the department at this critical juncture, leading to even greater impact and supporting positive outcomes for all young children served, including our most vulnerable,” Early Education and Care Board Chair Nonie Lesaux also says in the press release.

Aigner-Treworgy says of her new job, “I have spent my career working to improve the lives of young children and families across the country, and I couldn’t be more excited to come back to my home state to build on the great foundation and legacy of early childhood leadership in Massachusetts.” (more…)

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Retired Brigadier Generals Jack Hammond and Gary Pappas. Photo courtesy of Mission:Readiness.

 

Retired Brigadier Generals Jack Hammond and Gary Pappas came to Boston earlier this month to talk about the link between child care and the military – and about the findings in a new, related report, “Child Care and National Security: How greater access to high-quality child care in Massachusetts can help improve military readiness.”

The upshot: high-quality child care is a key ingredient in preparing children to become successful adults who could serve in the military. But right now, most of this state’s potential military candidates could not join the armed forces because of poor health, limited educational attainment, and histories of illegal activities.

“If a basic part of the population, 70 percent roughly [in Massachusetts], cannot pass a simple entrance exam,” Pappas says in an NECN interview, “you have a recruiting problem.” (more…)

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Sally Fuller

Contrary to what you may have heard, Sally Fuller has not completely retired.

Strategies for Children is excited to announce that Fuller, a long-time colleague and friend, has joined our board.

“I have such tremendous respect for what Strategies has done and continues to do,” Fuller told us recently.

As we’ve blogged before, Fuller worked for the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, where she started in 2005 as the project direct for Cherish Every Child, the foundation’s early childhood initiative.

“The Davis family cares deeply about education. That’s their overarching commitment,” Fuller explains. “They knew Margaret Blood,” the founder of Strategies for Children, “and they brought Margaret to Springfield to work with them.”

The Davis Foundation came to sum up its intentions in a single question, Fuller says: “How can we work together to put children at the center of the community’s agenda?”

“That’s how the Cherish Every Child initiative was started at the foundation, and they needed someone to work full time, so that’s why I went there.”

Fuller, the foundation, and community partners across Springfield worked on expanding early education opportunities and on ensuring that more of the city’s children could read proficiently by the third grade.

“We know from a childhood development standpoint how critical that was,” Fuller says of herself and John Davis (a senior director at the foundation), who had looked at the data and seen that only one third of Springfield’s children could read at grade level by the end of third grade. “We started to do this before it became fashionable. The National Campaign for Grade Level Reading started a year after we did. So, I can very honestly say that we were building the plane as we were flying it.” (more…)

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Child/adult interactions are special and powerful – and don’t get the attention that they deserve.

Junlei Li is working to change that with Simple Interactions, an initiative that seeks to “encourage, enrich, and empower human interactions around children and their helpers.”

As we’ve blogged, Li was the co-director of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College. Now he’s the Saul Zaentz senior lecturer in early childhood education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).

Li “developed the ‘Simple Interactions’ approach to help identify what ordinary people do extraordinarily well with children in everyday moments and made that the basis for promoting positive system change,” his HGSE website says.

These child/adult interactions can occur in a range of settings, from early childhood and K-12 classrooms to afterschool programs and pediatric hospitals.

Li draws inspiration for his work from Fred Rogers, the famous children’s television show host of “Mister Rogers Neighborhood,” who left an indelible mark on generations of young viewers. (more…)

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