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Archive for the ‘MA governor’ Category

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“It’s like getting the band back together,” Pat Haddad (D-Somerset), Speaker Pro Tempore of the House, said of herself and some her colleagues who gathered at the State House on Tuesday for “Looking Back to Look Forward,” a Strategies for Children celebration of the tenth anniversary of An Act Relative to Early Education and Care, which became law in 2008.

Speaker Pro Tempore Pat Haddad

Sponsored by Haddad and Senator Robert Antonioni (D-Leominster) and signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick, the new legislation was a bright step forward. It officially established Massachusetts’ Universal Pre-K (UPK) program, and outlined the responsibilities of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and for its board and commissioner.

“We had to block out some of the people who were naysayers,” Haddad said at the Looking Back event. But now, she explained, more and more legislators understand that building a universal pre-K program is “the right thing to do.”

The Legislature has never been able to fully fund UPK, but it has made progress, investing in scholarships for early educators and leveraging the power of federal preschool grant funds. (more…)

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Please join Strategies for Children at the State House at10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, for Looking Back to Look Forward — a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the law that formally established Massachusetts’ Universal Pre-Kindergarten program. 

The bill — An Act Relative to Early Education and Care (Chapter 215 of the Acts of 2008) — was signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick. This landmark legislation was sponsored by Education Committee Co-Chairs Senator Robert Antonioni and Representative Patricia Haddad, and it passed unanimously in both the House and Senate.

This legal victory built on progress that was made in 2005, when Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to launch an independent, consolidated department with a primary focus on early childhood learning and care, the Department of Early Education and Care. This achievement was the culmination of years of work by advocates and policymakers. A report and executive summary from the Rennie Center cover this history. (more…)

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Get ready to vote next Tuesday!

Support candidates who prioritize high-quality early education and care.

Want to learn more about the election? Check out the Strategies for Children election webpage. It has information on the candidates and the ballot questions as well as resources on early education. All 200 state legislators are up for re-election, as is the case every two years. Our election page also has information on local races for state representatives and senators.

This year, Massachusetts is having a gubernatorial election. Jay Gonzalez, a Democrat, is challenging Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican. They have debated each other twice so far — and talked about early education. Click on the video above for a recap of the second debate. (The early education discussion starts at 22:31.) The final debate is tonight, Thursday, at 7pm on WCVB-TV.

The Boston Globe profiles both candidates here, noting of the two candidates: (more…)

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Melissa Perry

This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Melissa Perry. I currently reside in Salem, Mass., and I am newly employed at the Salem YMCA. I’ve been in early childcare education for just a little over 12 years.

To ensure any level of job satisfaction, this field requires a love of children. The most important benefit of being a childcare worker is the satisfaction of knowing I am providing quality care in the preschool setting where children can learn and practice the language and skills they will need to develop and grow.

I am proud to be a part of a group of individuals who do what they do because they love the job and the students, not because of the desire for a dollar. I am proud to be in a position where I am a mentor for those who need it, or a much-needed, positive authority figure to help guide the way. I like being part of something that people can’t possibly understand until they set foot in a classroom and teach. (more…)

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Photo: Amy O’Leary for Strategies for Children

 

On Monday, civic partners gathered in the city of Springfield and broke ground on what will be a $14 million Educare Center, a school that will open next year and provide “a full-day and full-year program for up to 141 children from birth to age five each year,” MassLive.com reports.

As we’ve blogged, Springfield’s educators and philanthropists have called this Educare project a “dream come true,” one that promises to provide the city’s children with increased access to a high-quality early education program.

Educare “began in Chicago in 2000,” public radio station WAMC reports. It’s a research-based model that has four core features: “data utilization, embedded professional development, high-quality teaching practices, and intensive family engagement,” according to Educare’s website.

“Among the innovations at Educare,” WAMC adds, “is the placement of teachers (more…)

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Governor Charlie Baker (directly in front of Curious George) announces new facilities grants at the Crispus Attucks Children’s Center in Dorchester.

 

This summer, Massachusetts awarded $4 million in grants to help early education and after-school programs improve their physical spaces. The money comes from the Early Education and Care and Out of School Time (EEOST) Capital Fund, which was created by the state Legislature.

As we’ve blogged before, engaging classrooms, lively safe playgrounds, and well-designed bathrooms are some of the key features that create nurturing environments for young children.

But programs often can’t afford the costs of badly needed construction and renovations. That’s why these capital improvement funds are so important.

In a statement, Governor Charlie Baker said, “Renovating and repairing facilities helps achieve our goal of improving the quality of early education and care.” (more…)

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

Your advocacy has paid off!

On Thursday, July 26, 2018, Governor Charlie Baker signed a $41.8 billion state budget for fiscal year 2019. The governor made no vetoes to early education and care line items. This year’s budget is the first in 10 years to surpass the pre-recession, fiscal year 2009 high point of state funding for early education and care.

This year’s budget highlights include $20 million for the early educator salary rate reserve, $10 million for a new early educator workforce development initiative, $5 million for preschool expansion, $30 million for quality improvement, and more.

Please take a minute to thank your legislators and Governor Baker for this historic investment in high-quality early education. 

Visit the Strategies for Children website for full budget details.

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