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Archive for the ‘Pre-kindergarten’ Category

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

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My name is Susan Irene Rogers, and I work at Commonwealth Children’s Center (CCC) in Boston where I am the executive director. I have been in the early education field for 29 years! I started as a homework tutor at the age of 13.

In addition to working with children at a very young age, I was actually studying to become a firefighter. I was a senior in high school, and I was determined to accomplish both professions! At some point, my mother expressed her concerns regarding my safety as a female firefighter and said she would spend the rest of her life waiting to be informed that her child was fatally harmed. So, I enrolled at Northeastern University to study Early Childhood Education and Sociology. Less than a year later, I returned to NU to study American Sign Language.

The importance of my work as an early educator cannot be measured, but should certainly be valued. I truly love working with children and families and feel honored to experience this time in their lives. Assuring parents, especially first-time parents, that investing in their child’s early education experiences is one of the best choices they could ever make is THE most important part of my job.  (more…)

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“Even before my daughter was born, I struggled to find childcare for her. I searched months before she was born. Once she was born, I placed her on two waiting lists—one was three months long, and the other one year. The whole situation was stressful because my six weeks of maternity leave was running out. Luckily my employer allowed me to work part-time until I secured childcare. I relied on my network of family and friends to find a babysitter.”
– a Parent

 

“Our pay rate is not a living wage.”
– Center director

 

“Fifty hours of direct childcare plus 10–15 hours of curriculum and food prep, cleaning, shopping, and paperwork is too much with a family of my own to care for. Employment and tax laws make it too difficult to hire an employee, and if I did, parents can’t afford a tuition increase to cover this cost. I already make far less than minimum wage.”
– Family Child Care provider

(more…)

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“Gov. Cuomo late Wednesday night gave his approval to a city plan to build a cutting-edge pre-kindergarten school at the New York Hall of Science.

“Cuomo, just before midnight, signed legislation that would allow the city Department of Education to use a portion of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for the $50 million Pre-K Center, which would enroll 300 kids and focus on science, engineering, math and the arts.”

“‘STEM education is an important part of my education policy and the purpose underlying the bill is a noble one,’ Cuomo wrote in his approval measure.”

“Cuomo approves plan to build pre-K at New York Hall of Science,” The New York Daily News, November 30, 2017

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

 

Study after study keeps coming to the same conclusion: Early education works.

Now new research drives home the point: Early education provides benefits that last through high school.

That’s the result of a meta-study published by the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

“It is exciting that our results show that the benefits of early childhood education are sustained through elementary school and beyond,” study coauthor Dana McCoy, an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said in a press release.

“These results provide further evidence for the potential individual and societal benefits of expanding early childhood education programming in the United States.”

The researchers conducted a meta-study of 22 early education studies conducted between 1960 and 2016. (more…)

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“My name is Shakurah. I’m a mom of three,” Shakurah Hairston said, standing on stage at the Horizons for Homeless Children’s 19th Annual Women’s Breakfast.

Then the tears came.

“In 2013, I become homeless due to domestic violence. I finally accepted the fact that I was in a dangerous relationship, and once I did, I decided to flee.” She stayed with a relative, which meant eight people in a two-bedroom apartment. Since then she has stayed in motels, shelters, and a hospital.

Fortunately, she also took her youngest son to Horizons for Homeless Children. Horizons helps homeless families by providing world-class early education programs. (more…)

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Nonie Lesaux. Photo source: Harvard Graduate School of Education

Nonie Lesaux — the academic dean at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE) – appeared on NECN to talk about HGSE’s statewide study on early education.

The study, Lesaux says in the video, is “designed effectively to strengthen early learning in the U.S. and increase the pathways to success for young children.”

“What we don’t really know is how to scale high-quality programs,” Lesaux adds. “What are the key ingredients that would allow us to do so much better by so many more children…?”

Lesaux is also the author of the Strategies for Children report “Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success.”

The Boston Globe covered the study here.

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“Long acknowledged as a valuable learning opportunity with proven success, many families simply can’t afford preschool or are on waiting lists for affordable spots to open. New Bedford and Fall River are among 15 communities where stakeholders have been working to address this issue and prepare for growth. Next steps toward implementation require the passage of an initiative that would allow preschool expansion to be funded.

“One such initiative is An Act Ensuring High Quality Pre-Kindergarten Education; a bill that calls on the Department of Early Education and Care and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop a grant program to fund high-quality, pre-K programs. The grants would be awarded to cities and towns that are ready that already have state-approved implementation plans as well as large percentages of high-needs students.”

“Your View: Preschoolers deserve quality education,” by Kathleen Treglia, SouthCoast Today, November 12, 2017

Strategies for Children continues to advocate for passage of An Act Ensuring High Quality Pre-Kindergarten Education (H.2874, S.240). Massachusetts residents, please click here to tell your state legislators to pass the bill.

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