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    MAY 2016
House passes FY17 state budget

On April 27, 2016, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a $39.56 billion state budget for fiscal year 2017. The budget will now move to the Senate.

During budget debate in the House, several amendments for early education were filed by representatives and successfully passed, adding an additional $8 million to support high-quality early education and care. The additional funding is targeted to the workforce rate reserve (now at $15 million in the House budget), quality improvement, services for infants and parents, Head Start, Reach Out and Read, and preschool planning.

Massachusetts residents, please take a minute to thank your state representative for prioritizing young children, families, and the early education workforce in FY17. 

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means is expected to release its FY17 proposal in mid-May. Visit our website for budget details and stay tuned for updates.
Voices from the field

Over the last several months, we have featured “Voices from the Field” on our Eye on Early Education Blog, sharing the first-person accounts of early educators in Massachusetts.  We run this series each Friday to highlight the important work of early educators, working every day to positively impact the lives of children and families.

The blog series is a great opportunity to elevate the workforce throughout the budget season and share powerful stories with policymakers and elected officials.

Please find the featured stories below.

  1. Lisa Crowley, Horizons for Homeless Children, Roxbury.
  2. Nair Alabachian, Family Child Care Provider in Lynn.
  3. Erin Butts, Haggerty Preschool, Cambridge.
  4. Susan LaCroix, GLCAC Inc. Child Care Center located in Lawrence.
  5. Laura Polanco, Worcester Head Start.
  6. Donna Servideo, YWCA of Central Massachusetts.
If you or early educators in your program are interested in contributing to the blog series, please contact Laura Healy at or (617) 330 7389.

Check out our Eye on Early Education blog for recent stories you may have missed.

“Our Boston”—Preschoolers Design a Better City, May 3

“Our Kids” Grapple with Income Inequality, April 21

Making the Case for a Constitutional Right to Preschool, April 20

Providing Early Educators with High-Quality Coaches and Mentors, April 7

136 Local Elected Officials Call for a Larger Investment in Early Education, March 31

In Quotes: Advocacy Day Voices, March 25

Speaker Bob DeLeo@SpeakerDeLeo  Apr 25
Education up next. Proud the House has focused on early education and care this year.

Massachusetts EEC @MassEarlyEdCare  Apr 22
Grand opening of new @FKOAfterschool -financed thru state capital fund that supports high quality #earlyed programs.
EarlyEducationForAll @EarlyEd4All  Apr 18
Wahoo! 10,000 followers!

Put MA Kids First  @PutMAKidsFirst  Apr 7
New video by @MAFairShare - take a look! #investinkids #ece #earlyed

readby4thgrade  ‏@readby4thgrade  Apr 7
#GLRHuddle #SpringfieldMA recognized as 2015 Pacesetter! @SPS_Mass @readingby3rd @EarlyEd4All #413reads

Sonia Chang-Díaz@SoniaChangDiaz  Mar 24
May we all hear words of Speaker Pro Tempore Pat Haddad on $$: "No excuses, we have to find a way." #EarlyEd #mapoli

MADCA‏ @MADCAorg  Mar 24
@SenMikeMoore THANK YOU for recognizing the importance of Early Ed. #ValueEarlyEducators



notes from Amy

Local communities are driving innovation in early education.
Springfield received a “Pacesetter Award” recently from the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and is one of 38 communities nationwide to receive this recognition. The award is given to communities making measurable progress on eliminating barriers faced by children from low-income families on the path to becoming proficient readers.

New Bedford’s collaborative preschool planning has earned local press coverage. The article highlights exactly the kind of private/public partnership that is needed to expand preschool opportunity for our children and families. 

We know that the five communities that received Federal Preschool Expansion Grants—Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell and Springfield— and the 13 communities / regions that received the state-funded Preschool Expansion Planning Grants—Athol, Brockton, Cape Cod, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, North Adams, Pittsfield, Springfield, Somerville and Worcester— are working together and learning critical lessons about what it will take to deliver on the promise of ensuring high-quality preschool in a mixed delivery system in Massachusetts. 

They are considering the programmatic landscape, demographic data, the number of children enrolled, the wants and needs of families, how to recruit and retain early educators and how to make transitions smoother between early education and the early elementary grades.

We continue to learn so much from our local work, and use it to inform our state advocacy. SFC sees “Community Readiness” as a necessary condition for the effective use of public resources. And we see many opportunities for state and national experts to learn from the fantastic local work underway in Massachusetts.


617.330.7380           400 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02110 
Strategies for Children works to ensure that Massachusetts invests the resources needed for all children, from birth to age five, to access high-quality early education programs that prepare them for success in school and life.