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“The 2008 recession led to significant decreases in budgets for state pre-K programs. Prior to 2008, state pre-K funding had been increasing each year. However, from 2010 through 2013, state spending declined by as much as $548 million per year. When funding fell, so did enrollment and funding per child, meaning more children and families missed out on the educational and financial benefits of high-quality preschool. With most state pre-K programs targeted to children from low-income families, this decline fell primarily on the children who most benefit from the additional support provided by a year of preschool prior to entering kindergarten. While several states have been investing in early learning programs in recent years, past recessions indicate that these programs are likely at risk due to state budget shortfalls, making it more important than ever for the federal government to provide funding to support access to high-quality early education.”

 

“Congress Needs To Ensure Educational Equity in the Wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic,” by Viviann Anguiano, Marcella Bombardieri, Neil Campbell, Antoinette Flores, Steven Jessen-Howard, Laura Jimenez, and Simon Workman, the Center for American Progress, April 2, 2020

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

Here at Strategies for Children, we have been inspired by the early education and care community’s collaborative spirt.

We are in this together.

People at the local, state and national level are all fighting for children, families, educators, providers and the early education and care system.

To contribute to this effort we have created a new page on our website that we will update frequently with information and resources.

We also want to update you on what has been happening so far:

On Friday, March 27th, 2020, the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act was signed into law. This legislation will provide critical help for the early childhood education sector, including these highlights reported by NAEYC: (more…)

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To ward off the devastation of the coronavirus, Vermont is making a historic investment in early education and care.

“The state has promised a massive bailout to Vermont’s child care providers to stabilize the sector amid the coronavirus pandemic,” VTDigger reported last week, adding:

“In guidance issued last night, the Department for Children and Families assured child care facilities that the state will cover the lost tuition they would have received from families if they hadn’t shut their doors to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Aly Richards, CEO of the nonprofit organization Let’s Grow Kids, told VTDigger:

“That will put us first in the country in supporting the early childhood education field to be able to literally reopen at the end of this. Otherwise it would have been a real question, for probably every single program in Vermont.”

To keep early childhood providers up to date on this new policy and its implications, Let’s Grow Kids has posted a list of information and resources that explains the details and links to more information.

Included on this list are ways that essential employees can find emergency child care, a link to use to file for unemployment benefits, and information on how EEC programs can apply for financial support.

The goal is to provide real-time support. (more…)

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“The need for daycare during the coronavirus emergency is hard to overstate.

Almost 80% of American healthcare workers are female: A significant majority of nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians assistants, and doctors under 35 are women. Close to 30% of healthcare workers in California have children under 14. Most are the primary caregiver in their families. If even a fraction were forced to stay home, it could exacerbate the extreme staffing shortages many hospitals now predict.”

“Childcare providers need supplies, coronavirus guidance as daycare system suffers,” by Sonja Sharp, The Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2020

 

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“The Council for Professional Recognition, the international nonprofit organization that oversees the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™, is calling for responsible closures of early childhood centers along with appropriate funding for early childhood educators severely disrupted by the global coronavirus.

“ ‘We advocate for financial assistance for early childhood educators and childcare workers who are losing their income due to program closures. We also appreciate all who continue to serve in support of parents who are emergency responders and essential personnel. K–12 teachers are rightfully still receiving their paychecks during school closures and we call on governments and employers to do all they can to support early childhood education in a similar way. This should apply to all early educators, whether they are in center based, family childcare or home visiting settings,’ says Valora Washington, Ph.D., CEO of the Council.”

“Call for Equitable Treatment of Early Childhood Education,” opinion piece in the Washington, D.C., Patch, March 20, 2020

 

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“I want to thank all our hard-working, dedicated, early childhood education professionals — and especially my employees. My entire team has been positive and willing to help out our first-responders and other vital workers during the pandemic.

“They have been flexible, understanding, creative, and full of grace in a time of scared parents, uncertain futures, and shifting legislative rules and responsibilities. They are taking care of the babies and young children of people who are vital to us getting through this mess, and are having to do it knowing they may be exposed by the next inevitable sniffle or cough.

“Early childhood professionals all deserve so much credit and recognition.”

— Sarah Hall, Kenosha, Wisc., Letter to the Editor of the Kenosha Times, March 25, 2020

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Friends and colleagues,

We hope you are all staying healthy at this time of crisis.

Yesterday, Governor Charlie Baker announced that child care programs in Massachusetts will close on Monday, March 23, 2020.

However, Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs will be available regionally to provide care for emergency workers and others. Check the Department of Early Education and Care’s website for guidance documents.

The governor also said that, “Child care providers would continue to receive child care subsidy payments from the state in order to ensure that the programs will be able to reopen once the crisis is over.”

Strategies for Children has been working with the early education and care community to collect and share programs’ urgent needs and to consider advocacy strategies for supporting early education and care providers right now — with an eye on the potential long-term effects of the coronavirus.

If you are an early educator or program director please complete this online form to let us know your short- and long-term needs. If you would like more information, reply to this email or contact Amy O’Leary at aoleary@strategiesforchildren.org.

Here are additional links and resources: (more…)

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Strategies for Children is working with the early education community to share urgent needs and advocacy strategies to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus. If you are a parent or early educator and would like more information at this time, please contact Amy O’Leary at aoleary@strategiesforchildren.org.

 


 

 

The Washington, D.C.-based think tank New America is pointing to a tough knot that’s challenging the field of early education – and New America is proposing ways to untangle this knot.

This “long-standing thorny knot,” New America says, is composed of three of the field’s “most challenging issues: preparation and education, compensation and status, and diversity and inclusivity.”

These issues are addressed in “Moving Beyond False Choices for Early Childhood Educators—A Compendium,” which is “the culmination of an 18-month blog series that engaged diverse viewpoints.” These viewpoints agree in some areas and dissent in others.

Last week, New America hosted a related event (recorded in the YouTube video above) to discuss these issues.

Among those trying to untie early education’s knot is Albert Wat, a senior policy director at the Alliance for Early Success.

How, Wat asks in the opening essay of the compendium, can the field ask early educators to earn higher education degrees and simultaneously preserve diversity? And, “How do we acknowledge the competencies and diversity of the field’s incumbent workforce and at the same time, build an even stronger profession for the future?” (more…)

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In addition to hand washing, an important defense against the coronavirus is information. Here’s a list of links to information from nonprofit and government sources.

 


 

Earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency in response to the virus.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is working closely with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide updated information about the novel coronavirus outbreak.

 


 

Zero to Three has tips for how to talk to children about the virus.

 


 

Child Care Aware of America is committed to providing news and the latest information to help prepare families, child care providers and policymakers.

 


 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted a wide range of virus information.

 

The CDC also has a list of frequently asked questions about the virus and children.

 

Here’s the CDC’s guidance for workplaces, schools, and homes.

 


 

Take good care of yourself and each other.

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