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    DECEMBER 2018
State House event recap:
Looking Back to Look Forward

“It’s like getting the band back together,” Pat Haddad (D-Somerset), Speaker Pro Tempore of the House, said of herself and some her colleagues who gathered at the State House on Tuesday for “Looking Back to Look Forward,” a Strategies for Children celebration of the tenth anniversary of An Act Relative to Early Education and Care, which became law in 2008.

To mark the law’s anniversary and reflect on its future, Strategies for Children’s Amy O’Leary moderated a lineup of speakers including Haddad, House Speaker DeLeo, state officials, and local early education program directors to speak at Looking Back to Look Forward. Many of the speakers remarked that though they have had different roles over the last 10 years their commitment to the issue remains strong. Visit our blog for highlights.
How early educators are becoming advocates

Last 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. 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. As the panel description explained, 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!” Read more.

New research highlights early education workforce challenges in Massachusetts

Every day in Massachusetts, 75,000 early childhood educators go to work caring for more than 400,000 young children. Yet, these educators face increasing demands inside and outside of the classroom, with low pay and high economic insecurity contributing to a workforce shortage. To respond to these challenges, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Boston are conducting a sweeping study of the early education workforce. Read the initial study findings here.


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

An early education agenda for governors, December 18

Boston’s recipe for early education success, December 4

Leading the Way: Janet Begin promotes access and quality in Haverhill, November 16

Polling data shows that Americans Support Early Education, November 6

Voices from the field: Amanda Medeiros supports families in Lowell, October 26

Voices from the field: Efrain Ponce on teaching and being a role model, October 19

Brigid Strong Boyd@brigidboyd Dec 11
Celebrating 10 years of working toward universal high quality early education & care today w/ tireless #earlyed advocate Amy O’Leary. Since 2000 MA has tripled the percentage of children in FDK & increased state budget funding by $125M since 2013! #MApoli

Marta T. Rosa, M.Ed.‏ @mtrconsulting57 Dec 11
@MassEarlyEdCare @EarlyEd4All @AmyEO takes us on a Look Back Look Forward adventure with an incredible lineup of speakers! History matters Moving forward is imperative! #childrenmatter

BPS Early Learning@BPSEarlyLearn Dec 4
In reflecting on the recent @WOLBoston exhibit hosted by @BUWheelock , we are inspired by this quote from our own David Ramsey: "Learning is social and inspired by doing". ( … ) How are you fostering this in your classroom today? #EarlyEdChat #ece #maedu

Hidden Brain @HiddenBrain Nov 15
The places we call home shape how we live and work. And researchers say the effects of neighborhoods can follow us for decades.This week, we explore the relationship between childhood zipcode and future success. | Zipcode Destiny

Lauren Hogan @llhogan7 Nov 14
“It’s time to find and be confident in our own voices as early childhood #educators .” - @143neighbor @NAEYC #naeycAC

EarlyEducationForAll @EarlyEd4All Oct 30
What a great night - the No Small Matter Boston Screening! Thanks to @BUWheelock & @WOLBoston for hosting! And co- sponsors @newprofit @MAAEYC and @strongnationUSA . Keep the conversation going and take action! #NoSmallMatter #ECEwins @NoSmallMatter

Suzanne Bouffard@SuzanneBouffard Oct 18
My new piece on helping #earlyed teachers get bachelor’s degrees @hechingerreport #EarlyChildhoodEducation #preschool



notes from Amy

On July 31, 2008, An Act Relative to Early Education and Care was signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick. This was an historic day for young children and families in Massachusetts. This legislation built upon the foundation that was created on July 1, 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. This innovative governance structure had equal standing with the state’s Department of Education and Board of Higher Education.

In Massachusetts, and nationally, the new Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) was greeted with excitement, high expectations and a keen sense of watchfulness. Read more here. The creation of the Department was the culmination of several years of work by advocates and policymakers and was influenced by a growing focus statewide and nationally on the importance of high-quality early education.

As we celebrated the ten year anniversary of this bill at the State House earlier this month, it was incredible to hear the stories and perspectives of so many of the key players. Visit our blog for highlights.

As the event showcased, Massachusetts has accomplished great things for young children, families, and educators since 2008. But much work remains to be done to deliver on the promise to provide all our children with access to high-quality early education and care.

It is going to take all of us.

We have seen a renewed interested and attention to the importance of advocacy and accurate information. Make sure you are signed up to receive our advocacy alerts and help spread the word to others who can help advocate! Click here to see a summary of Early Education in the News for 2018. You can find our publications, infographics, research briefs, Fast Facts for Children and Families, and more on our website.

We are grateful for our partners and funders who help to support our work and the hundreds of people who took action this year to advocate for increased investments. We must continue to work together to make 2019 an even better year for children, families, and communities here in the Commonwealth.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season…and get ready for ACTION in 2019!


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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.