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Presidential Seminar panelists. Front row: Zaina Cahill and Rachel Giannini. Back row: Llanet Montoya, Mary Graham, and Amy O’Leary.

 

Earlier this month at the NAEYC Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., the Presidential Seminar featured a panel discussion about advocacy with both seasoned advocates and newer advocates who are just finding their advocacy voices.

“To achieve universally accessible, high-early early education and care in our country, we need to build a broad-based movement that is organized, guided and supported by a diverse leadership that has as its core the voices of those who directly work with children and families,” the panel’s description explains, adding that to make a difference for children, families, and the field, early educators should understand that, “We are the ones we have been waiting for – we need to be the change we want to see in the world!”

The panel was planned and moderated by Amy O’Leary, NAEYC’s president and the director of Strategies for Children’s Early Education for All campaign.

The panel discussion was also featured in the Education Dive article, “Panelists stress need for educators to play dual role as pre-K policy advocates.” Continue Reading »

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

 

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. Continue Reading »

A Montessori student and Janet Begin

 

“Leading the Way,” is a series featuring the next generation of leaders in the field of early education and care.

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Janet Begin was a computer engineer for ten years. She worked at AT&T Bell Labs.

“I always knew I wanted to go into education,” Begin, a Haverhill resident, says. “But I knew I liked computers, and I was good at that, so I started there because it was more profitable than education. That’s the sad reality.”

Eventually her company offered a buyout — and tuition benefits. Begin took both and went back to school. She earned a master’s degree in education from Lesley University. She became a substitute teacher in Haverhill where she lived. And she started looking for a preschool program for her daughter.

“In my search, I found a Montessori school, and basically it changed my world,” Begin said. Continue Reading »

Last week, New America, a Washington, D.C., think tank, hosted a policy event called, “At the Breaking Point: How to Better Compensate and Support Teachers of Our Youngest Learners.”

It was a panel discussion on workforce challenges that you can watch by clicking on the video above or by clicking here.

“Teaching and caring for young children is skilled and challenging work. Yet current conditions cause many early childhood educators to come to work each morning exhausted, worried about how to pay their bills, and even clinically depressed,” New America says. Continue Reading »

Colorado: Rep. Jared Polis (D) was elected governor last night. He has pledged to ‘establish universal full-day kindergarten and preschool in every community across Colorado within two years.’ ”

Maine: Janet Mills (D) made history last night when she was elected Maine’s first female governor. As a candidate, Mills pledged to implement universal preschool for all 4-year-olds. She also told the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children that she would convene a children’s cabinet to prioritize young children and expand home visiting and Head Start.”

Pennsylvania: As governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf (D) expanded early learning opportunities by investing in home visiting, child care, and pre-K expansion. As a candidate, he ran on these successes and won.”

“Newly Elected Governors Support Expanding Early Childhood Programs,” By Katie Hamm, Cristina Novoa, and Steven Jessen-Howard, Center for American Progress, November 7, 2018

Screen shot: National League of Cities

 

How can a city or town become an Early Learning Community?

The National League of Cities has some good answers — as well as a new initiative to expand early education that six cities will be able to join (read more about this below).

Earlier this year, the league and the Center for the Study of Social Policy released the “Early Learning Community Action Guide.”

“The goal of an Early Learning Community,” according to a league information sheet, “is to ensure that all young children get a great start, setting the foundations for life-long success and well-being.”

Given that roughly 4 million babies are born in the United States each year, there’s a lot of work to do.

Communities seek results in three categories: Continue Reading »

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