EEA  
Early Education for All
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    DECEMBER 2020
In a pandemic, Massachusetts invests in early education and care

This month, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a state budget for fiscal year 2021. The budget includes substantial public investments in early education and care, a sector that has lost so much due to the ongoing pandemic, but nonetheless remains resilient, hopeful, and as essential as ever. Thank your state legislators for their historic investments in early education and care in the FY21 state budget.

This historic state budget includes a $40 million sliding fee scale reserve to help reduce parent fees; a $25 million reserve for Coronavirus-related support for early education programs and for the workforce; a $20 million rate increase for early educator salaries in subsidized programs; $15 million for Head Start; $5 million for the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative; and more. Governor Baker signed the bill into law on December 11, and vetoed $16.5 million in early education and care funding. The House and Senate are currently considering veto overrides. Despite the vetoes, the budget represents more than a 20% increase for early education and care over FY20. Visit our state budget webpage for details.
 
Federal stimulus includes $10 billion for child care

On Monday, Congress passed a $900 billion stimulus package to help the country weather the COVID-19 pandemic. This new bill includes $10 billion for child care. This is short of the $50 billion advocates had called for, but, it is roughly three times the size of the child care funding in the CARES Act, which passed in March. The bottom line: good news for early education and care. Read more.

 
Navigating the challenges of reopening early education and care programs

Across Massachusetts, after closing because of the pandemic, early education and care providers have been reopening, navigating the challenges created by COVID-19. “We still are ahead of many, many states in our reopening capacity,” Samantha Aigner-Treworgy, commissioner of the Department of Early Education and Care, said at a recent department board meeting, public radio station WBUR reports. “While that is really great, what we’re hearing back is many of those [providers] are at a level of vulnerability that could easily put us behind the country quickly as well.” Read more .

 

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

Early childhood workforce challenges before — and after — the pandemic, December 10

EEC programs need access to rapid testing, December 3

In quotes: Ibram Kendi on antiracism and early childhood, November 20

What COVID-19 reveals about Boston’s child care crisis, November 19

Our Interns, November 17

COVID-19’s economic impact on women, October 27

A new study looks at COVID-19 in child care programs, October 20
 

Sesame Street @sesamestreet Dec 21
This holiday season remind your friends that you are thinking about them, even from a distance! Tag a friend to remind them that you care.

NAEYC @NAEYC Dec 21
For #childcare providers who have sacrificed & struggled throughout the pandemic, this relief package is the definition of 'necessary but not sufficient.' $10B for #CCDBG is just the start of what it will take to support children, families, #ECE educators & our economy. (1/2)

Massachusetts EEC @MassEarlyEdCare Dec 17
Since June #earlyeducation providers have been keeping MA child care facilities safe & healthy for our children & families. Based on the latest guidance, important new updates to health & safety requirements can be found in the updated Child Care Playbook: https://buff.ly/3paXR4L

 

 

 

notes from Amy

We have made it to the end of 2020, together.

As we at Strategies for Children reflect upon this past year, we take stock of the many hardships that have faced young children, families, and the early education and care community. Who could have imagined the pivoting, problem solving, tough decisions and solution finding we would do together this year.

From our small nonprofit “remote” office, we have been working since March to listen, share information and updates, make connections, survey programs and families, convene coalitions, and advocate, advocate, advocate.

Your advocacy has paid off! You told your child care story to our elected officials, and their response was, “message received!” The fiscal year 2021 state budget invested significant new resources in early education and care and out-of-school time programs. Congress has responded with a deal that includes $10 billion for child care and $250 million for Head Start. We are grateful to our Congressional delegation for leading the fight and we will continue to advocate for flexibile child care stabilization funding.

This year has shown the public, without any doubt, that safe, affordable, high-quality child care is essential to our economy, our communities, and our families.

We will continue to rely on the innovation, creativity and can-do attitude of the early education and care and out-of-school time community.

We know that will not be enough. We need an unprecedented level of intentional and thoughtful collaboration, alignment and sharing of resources.

Systemic change is starting to happen, and you are making it happen.

Happy holidays, and have a safe, healthy,and happy New Year.

 

 
           400 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02110           info@earlyeducationforall.org
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.
 

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