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Archive for the ‘Strategies for Children’ Category

In 2013, the Massachusetts Legislature approved a bond bill that included the new Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) Capital Fund. The fund provides grants to programs that want to repair or renovate their spaces — everything from fixing roofs to adding more classroom space.

 

“Along with many others, I helped to advocate for the reauthorization of the bond bill in 2018 which included the EEOST Capital Fund. It has been absolutely AMAZING to see the transformation of the programs that have received the funding. The difference is not just in the physical space — it can also be seen and felt in the classroom practices and from positive feedback from educators, administrators, and families. I am so encouraged by the number of programs that are applying for the funds and hope that we will secure annual bond allocations of the full $9 million that was authorized for the EEOST Capital Fund.”

“Working Together To Invest In High-Quality Early Education And Care,” by Amy O’Leary, Insites, a blog published by the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, November 12, 2019

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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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Last month the event “Action for Boston Children: A Plan for BPS’ Future,” was held at The Boston Foundation. The panelists in this photograph are: Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell (at podium); Brenda Cassellius, Superintendent, Boston Public Schools; Latoya Gayle, Executive Director, Boston School Finder; Amy O’Leary, Director of Strategies for Children’s Education for All Campaign; and Paul Reville, Former Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor.

 

“Today, until a child turns four or five, it can feel to families as though there is no place to go. The birth to four landscape is dominated by private providers that can be hard to find, and to afford. A patchwork of funding sources and cumbersome state and federal requirements that families cannot meet or do not understand contribute to locking out many children and families from access to quality childcare. We should start by asking what parents and families need to ensure that their children are on the strongest path to a life of learning and outcomes. And if we ask that question, it’s hard not to arrive at the conclusion that a comprehensive view of birth to five is the way forward.”

“Action for Boston Children,” a report released by Andrea Campbell, president of the Boston City Council, June 2019

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Parents already know that it’s tough to find high-quality, affordable child care in Boston.

Now, a new report — State of Early Education and Care in Boston: Supply, Demand, Affordability and Quality — has used data to better define the child care landscape for policymakers.

“During the process of creating a citywide plan for young children to achieve this goal, we discovered that there were many questions that could not be answered and supported with the data available,” the report, which was released by the Boston Opportunity Agenda, explains.

Among the questions: (more…)

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Local communities are ready for preschool expansion, but often lack the funds to get started. Absent a clear federal or state path for preschool expansion, innovative local leaders are forging ahead using a variety of collaborative approaches.

Last week, Strategies for Children hosted a webinar on this topic: “Local Preschool Financing Strategies in Massachusetts.” Three communities presented their work, and 15 other communities participated in the webinar.

Here’s a recap of the event and the topics we discussed.

We heard from Holyoke, Springfield, and Boston, all communities that are leading the way on financing more preschool spots for children through a mixed-delivery system.

Presentations were made by: (more…)

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“America, It’s Time to Talk About Child Care.”

That’s the title of a new report that declares what a lot of parents already know: America has a child care problem.

“…the federal government does not treat early childhood education as a public good nor does it provide adequate funding to support it,” the report says. “This chronic underfunding has led to a shortage of affordable, quality child care across the nation. And to the extent that child care is affordable for families, it is largely because early educators earn very low wages, and many must struggle to feed their own families.”

Eight organizations released the report jointly. They are: the Center for American Progress, the American Federation of Teachers, the Center for Law and Social Policy, Community Change, Every Child Matters, MomsRising, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Service Employees International Union.

This shortage of affordable, high-quality child care makes it tough for parents to go to work, which slows down the economy.

“Right now, the U.S. economy loses an astounding $57 billion per year in revenue, wages, and productivity as a result of child care problems,” the report warns. (more…)

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Clifford Kwong and Amy O’Leary. Photo courtesy of Amy O’Leary

“My mother is the one who tried to scare me around from education,” Clifford Kwong says.

“Every time I showed interest in education, she asked me not to do it.” His mother, who had worked in education for decades, warned that his student loans would be high and his salary would be low.

Her advice: choose business or science.

But as a student at Boston College High School, to fulfill his school’s community service requirement, Kwong chose to work at a child care center in Quincy. “They told me I was a natural,” he says of his time there.

He didn’t think much of this feedback at the time. He was on his way to college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and he was taking his mother’s advice.

“I tried science,” Kwong says. “At the end of the day it didn’t feel like it was enough. Whereas at the end of a day doing community service, I felt great after working with kids.” (more…)

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