Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Early educators’ Category

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

On Wednesday, Massachusetts’ six-member legislative conference committee released a $41.88 billion state budget for fiscal year 2019 that reconciles the differences between the House’s and Senate’s budget proposals. The Legislature passed the budget, and it now heads to Governor Baker who has 10 days to sign it into law, and can make line item vetoes.

Massachusetts readers, take action: Ask Governor Baker to sign the budget, and continue his support of high-quality early education and care.

The committee invested in high-quality early education. Nine out of 13 line items of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) were in play because the House and Senate had funded them at different levels.

In each instance, the committee chose the higher funding level: $20 million for the early educator salary rate reserve, $10 million for a new early educator workforce development initiative, $5 million for preschool expansion, $1 million for Reach Out and Read, and more. Visit our website for details.

We thank the members of the Conference Committee:

House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sánchez (D-Boston)
Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington)
Representative Todd Smola (R-Warren)
Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka (D-Ashland)
Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem), and
Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth)

MassLive.com covers the budget here.

A Boston Globe budget story is posted here.

To advocate, send a message to Governor Baker today.

Read Full Post »

Here at Strategies for Children, we’ve been lucky to have a first-rate group of interns. They help us expand our research, outreach, and advocacy.

Currently, we have three interns whom we’re happy to introduce: Anna Lenihan, Alexis Rickmers, and Becca Smith. Here’s a little more about each of them.

 

Anna Lenihan

I am a senior at Wake Forest University working towards a major in Psychology and a minor in Schools, Education, and Society. I plan on teaching for a few years and doing community-based work before entering the field of educational policy. My time at Strategies for Children has allowed me to see the importance of advocacy and community partnerships. At SFC, I have worked on connecting early childhood educators with government officials in order to emphasize the statewide importance of early childhood education. Strategies has allowed me to see how policy and advocacy can influence change at both the local and state level.

As a Cambridge native, I feel deeply invested in the quality of education in Massachusetts. I believe that education can change the world and that access to quality early childhood education gives children of all backgrounds the foundation they need to fulfill their potential. From the classroom to the State House, Strategies has given me the opportunity to see how change is truly made. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

 

Every day, early educators go into classrooms and sing, read, teach, and play. They also accept a raw deal: demanding work for low pay.

How bad is it? According to the new 2018 Early Childhood Workforce Index, released by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley:

“While a major goal of early childhood services has been to relieve poverty among children, many of these same efforts continue to generate poverty in the early care and education (ECE) workforce…”

“Any woman doing ‘women’s work’ is not seen as skilled,” Marcy Whitebook told the Hechinger Report. Whitebook is the co-director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of the 2018 Early Childhood Workforce Index. “We have a history… of relying on poor women and women of color to take care of children of people who have more resources.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

 

A child scribbles a spiral on a piece of paper. What should a teacher say in response?

One answer: “Lovely.”

Why? To encourage the child to keep drawing, because it’s by doing more drawing that a child gets to explore art and the horizons of his or her talent.

That’s one of the many stories, insights, and ideas that educators will find at the multimedia exhibit “Wonder of Learning,” which is being hosted by the recently merged Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.

Wonder of Learning shares the Reggio Emilia approach, a philosophy of early learning — named after the Italian town Reggio Emilia — that challenges educators to understand how their “image of a child” affects how they teach and interact with that child.

“It’s necessary that we believe that the child is very intelligent, that the child is strong and beautiful and has very ambitious desires and requests,” Reggio Emilia’s founder, Loris Malaguzzi, said at a 1993 seminar. “This is the image of the child that we need to hold.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

 

The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) put its annual report to the Legislature on line in February. It’s a helpful resource for advocates and other sector stakeholders that looks back at how Massachusetts invested in young children in 2017. It highlights the state’s past progress in key areas getting attention in 2018, such as workforce supports and early childhood mental health. The state has done lots of good work that it can be proud of — and it has challenges that require attention and creative solutions.

“The Department of Early Education and Care serves as the entry point of Massachusetts’ birth to 21 education pipeline,” the report says. Guided by its Strategic Plan, EEC is working to make progress in four areas: (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo source: UMass Boston press release.

 

“A record number of people—more than 100—attended the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation‘s fifth annual Leadership Forum on Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice on Saturday, May 19.

“The day celebrated graduates of the leadership institute’s early educator leadership programs, provided a platform for ECE practitioners to discuss leadership for change and innovation in the field, and facilitated dialogue about advancing leadership pathways in early education and care in Massachusetts.

Executive Director Anne Douglass noted in her welcoming remarks that ECE providers have historically been overlooked when it comes to driving change in the field despite the fact that they are the experts who do the work every day.

“ ‘Too often early childhood educators are thought of as objects of change, rather than change agents,” said Douglass.’ ”

“ ‘How do we build a movement around our leadership?’ Douglass asked the crowd. ‘The people who are going to fix this problem are in this room.’ ”

“Leadership Forum Draws Record Participation, Spurs Conversations About Early Care and Education,” University of Massachusetts Boston, May 23, 2018

Read Full Post »

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

In 1999, the Barr Foundation started investing in early education. Since then, Barr has generously distributed early education grants totaling more than $47 million to a number of organizations including Strategies for Children.

In 2020, Barr will sunset its giving in this sector, but as it does so, the foundation is reflecting on two decades of work, and it has posted a group of legacy early education webpages that documents its efforts.

Kimberly Haskins, Barr’s senior program officer for Cross-Program Initiatives, says:

“It is essential to invest in high-quality, developmentally appropriate learning experiences for children. To improve the experience for all children for years to come, we also need to invest in research, policy and public education. Strategies for Children and organizations that help support effective systems are critical for the longer term healthy development of children and families.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: