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    JULY 2016
FY17 State Budget

On Saturday, July 23, the Massachusetts Legislature started the override process and voted to restore an estimated $100 million of Governor Baker's vetoes to the $39.1 billion state budget for fiscal year 2017. The first round of veto overrides impacted four early education line items including the Rate Reserve for early educator salaries. The final FY17 funding amount for the Rate Reserve is now back to $12.5 million.

In addition to the Rate Reserve, legislative overrides restored $200,000 for preschool planning grants, $100,000 for a new family mentoring pilot program, and $1 million for Reach Out and Read.

EEC Administration and the Supportive & TANF account also had vetoes which have not been overridden at this time. The Legislature will meet in formal sessions on July 30 and 31 to continue to review budget vetoes.

Visit our website for budget details and stay tuned for updates.

At $540.6 million, plus the rate reserve, funding for the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and its programs would increase for the fourth straight fiscal year, but has still not returned to pre-recession levels.
Preschool Legislation Update

Preschool expansion bills will not become law this year. On June 21, State House News Service reported, “Ahead of a deadline last Friday to act on legislation relating to expanding access to early education, the Legislature's Joint Committee on Education sent all 10 of the bills to study, ending their move through the legislative process.”

Here at Strategies for Children, we began working on comprehensive pre-K expansion legislation in fall 2014. We worked with Representative Alice Peisch and Senator Sal DiDomenico to file An Act Ensuring High-Quality Pre-Kindergarten Education in January 2015. We testified in support of the legislation in September 2015. Since the beginning we have worked with our allies Stand for Children to raise awareness and momentum statewide.

While the recent news is disappointing, Strategies for Children is already looking ahead to the next legislative session. We have advocated for high-quality early education for the past 15 years, including the creation of the Department of Early Education and Care in 2005, and the passage of An Act Relative to Early Education and Care in 2008. While progress has been made, there is still much to be done. Today 30-40% of children statewide still have no formal preschool experience prior to kindergarten. In communities across the state, high-quality preschool remains unaffordable for many families. Failing to invest in early learning opportunities contributes to our state’s large educational achievement gaps, and hurts our long-term economic competitiveness.

We will continue to advocate for all Massachusetts children, from birth to age five, to have access high-quality early education programs that prepare them for success in school and life.

Stay tuned for updates and thank you for your advocacy.


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

Local Officials React to the State’s Full-Day Kindergarten Funding Cuts, July 11

Plans to Expand Preschool on Cape Cod, June 28

The White House Finds that Early Educators' Salaries Are Too Low, June 16

Early Education News Roundup from the Boston Globe, June 9

Continuing the Campaign for Full-Day Kindergarten, May 26

NIEER's New "State of Preschool" Yearbook, May 16


FirstFiveYearsFund ‏@firstfiveyears  Jul 12
BREAKING: New national poll shows voters want next POTUS, Congress to act on #EarlyEd http:// nal-poll-majorities-trump-clinton-supporters-unite-early-childhood-education/  … #ECE .

CSCCE at UC Berkeley @CSCCEUCB  Jul 19
2 million caregivers look after 12 million kids from 0 to 5-yo & they are among the lowest-paid in the country.

Put MA Kids First @PutMAKidsFirst  Jun 23
Analysis - High Percentage of Children Not Enrolled in Early Ed Unchanged After Nearly a Decade https://   via @education_world

EarlyEducationForAll @EarlyEd4All  Jun 7
Great to have Rep. @jaylivingstone @NAEYC conference helping us present on Advocacy101 in #Baltimore #naeycINST .

MABusAllianceforEduc @MBAENews  Jun 3
Thx to leadership of @SpeakerDeLeo @RepAlicePeisch biz groups, including MBAE, focusing on #earlyed #NewOpp2Lead.

MA Head Start Assn. @massheadstart  May 24
Joining with colleagues for the 10th ECE Dialogue #ECEDialogue @WheelockCollege @MassEarlyEdCare @EarlyEd4All.

The Alliance @4earlysuccess May 24
A great discussion about bringing more men to the #ECE career field  http://   #Bthru8 .



notes from Amy

In our advocacy for the FY17 state budget, we have joined with several groups to deliver one clear message - the early education and care workforce is in crisis. The message has been received. After negotiations, the state will invest $12.5 million to support early educators in FY17. We are grateful for this important first step, but know we have a long way to go.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo has convened the Early Childhood Education Business Advisory Group. This unique advisory aims to support “those who make it their business to educate and care for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.”

A new workforce report from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment has been making national news. This report adds to a growing list of workforce studies calling for improved compensation, credentials, and overall quality.

Finally, I was thrilled to join students from Quinsigamond Community College’s (QCC) Leadership in Early Education and Care program who testified before the Board of the Department of Early Education and Care in June. Read their stories. Susan Norquist described her experience in the program this way: “Each of us has become a leader, trailblazing our way into the field of early education. For me personally, this program has prepared me to speak of my passion and commitment to the profession...this leadership program prepared my colleagues and me to be the next leaders in the field. Those you see before you today are just a handful of professionals that have been impacted by this certificate program. There are many more of us who have been asked to go beyond our comfort zone and to advocate for what we are most passionate about. So here we are. You will be seeing and hearing from us a lot. We have been prepared by the very best and are ready to lead.”

The time has come to take action and do more to support early educators.


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.