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Archive for the ‘Pre-kindergarten’ Category

 

We join our early education colleagues in Massachusetts and across the country in remembering Betty Bardige, who passed away last month.

Betty was a fierce advocate for children and families. She was a developmental psychologist and an expert on early language development. She was a long-time resident of Cambridge, Mass., who served for nearly two decades on the board of the Cambridge Community Foundation. And she was a co-author of the book “Children at the Center,” which tells the story of Boston Public Schools’ preschool program.

As her website makes clear, Betty wanted every child to start school with a “wealth of words.”

In her book, “Talk to Me, Baby!: How You Can Support Young Children’s Language Development,” Betty reminds of us how much power word wealth can have, writing: (more…)

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“In 1962, 58 African-American 3- and 4-year-olds, all from poor families and likely candidates for failure in school, enrolled in Perry Preschool in Ypsilanti, Mich. This was a novel venture, and parents clamored to sign their children up.”

“By now, many of the children whose parents signed up decades ago have had children of their own. And scholars have begun asking whether advantages conferred on one generation are passed on to the next.

“The answer is a resounding yes. Public investments can break the cycle of poverty.

“The Perry preschoolers’ offspring are more likely to have graduated from high school, gone to college and found jobs, and less likely to have a criminal record than their peers whose parents lacked the same opportunity. As for Head Start, more of the second generation graduate from high school and enroll in college, and fewer become pregnant as teenagers or go to prison.”

“How to Break the Poverty Cycle,” by David L. Kirp, The New York Times, November 27, 2019

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Photo: Titus DosRemedios

 

A new early childhood champion is being born: Wednesday, January 1, 2020 will be the official start of One SouthCoast Chamber, a regional chamber of commerce that covers Fall River, New Bedford, and parts of Rhode Island.

And the new organization — which unites the SouthCoast Chamber of New Bedford and the Bristol County Chamber of Fall River — has already announced a key area of focus: early childhood education.

“Over the next few months, business leaders and educators will collaborate to develop a plan to expand high-quality pre-kindergarten and childcare in the region, particularly in Fall River and New Bedford,” a SouthCoast Today article says.

And Brian LeComte, the incoming chairman of the One SouthCoast Chamber board, tells SouthCoast Today:

“The business community wants to have a positive impact on the success of our region and there is no greater success we can champion than early childhood education.” (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

Please spread the word: The Massachusetts Partnership for Infants and Toddlers (MPIT) is releasing its family survey.

The partnership wants to hear from families about what they need and want to support their infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children.

As we’ve blogged, the partnership is a collaboration of organizations, facilitated by Strategies for Children, and we hope the family survey will “improve infants’ and toddlers’ access to high-quality programs and services and create more positive experiences that meet families’ needs and expectations.”

The English version of the survey is here.

And the Spanish version is posted here.

Please share the survey links, or, post a flyer about the survey in a location in your program where families will see it. They can scan the QR code with their smart phone to go directly to the survey. (more…)

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Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

The opioid crisis has hit people across Massachusetts – including families in early education and care settings.

To help the early education and care field address this crisis, Carol Nolan has convened small meetings of staff from different state agencies to share information about opioids and about helping families. Nolan is the associate commissioner for Strategic Partnerships for the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.

“We have to change the conversation so that those who are suffering feel freer to talk about their circumstances and receive treatment,” Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said last year at the first event. (more…)

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Springfield’s Educare Center. Photo: Magnus Monroe

 

Last year, civic partners broke ground on Springfield’s Educare Center.

Now, as construction is winding down, the Educare Center is growing into a state-of-the art facility that will serve 141 children, as a BusinessWest.com article reports.

Nikki Burnett, the executive director of Educare Springfield, tells BusinessWest.com that the neighborhood deserves the $14 million, 27,000-square-foot facility, which is part of a national network of high-quality early education and care programs. There are 24 Educare centers around the country, but this is the first one in Massachusetts. (more…)

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The East Boston Social Centers recently interviewed Representative Adrian Madaro (D-Boston). Here’s an excerpt.

“As an undergraduate, you majored in child development. What would ideal system of early childhood supports look like and how can organizations like the Social Centers help get there?”

“We know that everything starts young. Children’s brains are developing, they’re formulating thoughts and learning from day one so it’s important that we invest as early as possible in the development of children and that’s exactly what the Social Centers does. The earlier you invest in a young person, the positive outcomes that can come from that increase dramatically. The sooner we can intervene and the sooner we can start to get at those children, the better for the long term.”

And here’s a relevant personal note from Madaro’s bio:

“Adrian and his wife Ariel met as undergraduate students at Tufts University in a child development class taught by the same professor who would officiate their wedding seven years later.”

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