Bringing It All Together: Enhancing the Early Childhood Education Workforce.This paper focuses on the issue of ensuring that Massachusetts has a qualified workforce to meet the needs young learners. We recommend that Massachusetts join the 20 other states that have adapted a professional development system called T.E.A.C.H.Caring, Credibility, and Credentials: Advancing Family Child Care in Massachusetts Family Child Care is a popular choice among families. However, Family Child Care providers often have limited educational opportunity needed to be full partners in meeting Massachusetts educational goals. We recommend requiring Family Child Care providers to have a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate.
Ready, Set, Together! Supporting Early Childhood Social and Emotional Development Across the Commonwealth Massachusetts ranks 9th in preschool expulsions.To address this issue, we recommend that Massachusetts effectively use support from The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (CSEFEL) to better support young children.
Ready to Educate ALL Children? What Can Massachusetts and Higher Education Do To Ensure Cultural Competence? There is a need for early care and education programs to recognize the increasing diversity in Massachusetts. This paper recommends that Massachusetts develops a plan that supports cultural competence as a required content area for all programs serving children and families.
Where Are the Men? Promoting Gender Diversity in the Massachusetts Early Childhood Workforce discusses men in early care and education. Recent Massachusetts workforce development policy recommendations for the early childhood field suggest that program staff reflect the diverse composition of communities served, yet men comprise less than 6% of that workforce.
Recognizing Quality: Building a Quality Rating and Improvement System that Works for Massachusetts defines a quality rating system and describes the steps to develop a quality rating system in Massachusetts. This system has the potential to be a key part of the establishment of a fully integrated and adequately funded state system of early education and care that begins at birth.
Transporting Young Children in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts identifies the concerns of early childhood leaders regarding the quality and consistency of transportation in early childhood settings. With the increased funding to create universal prekindergarten, some of the focus needs to be turned to transporting these young children.
Improving Child Care Access for Immigrant Families highlights the increased prevalence of immigrant families in the state and offers suggestions on how the Commonwealth can be more responsive to both the needs of these families and the early educators who serve them.
Prioritizing Health and Safety in Early Childhood Programs: A Wise Investment in School Readiness identifies the concerns of early childhood leaders regarding the quality and consistency of health practices and safety issues in early childhood programs. A new study has identified serious concerns with the quality of health and safety in group care for young children.
Initiating Statewide Assessment in Early Education and Care: Opportunities and Challenges reminds us that a state effort must prioritize a focus on building program staff capacity to understand the purpose, uses, and cautions of an assessment system. We applaud recent efforts and suggest next steps to make these efforts more effective.
Early Education and Care Workforce Development explains how Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) developed a scholarship that allows educators in early care and school-age education to pursue an education and training in higher education, in order to have the best quality programs The paper suggested ways the scholarship could be readily available and accessible to more people.
Everybody’s Baby proposed that new universal preschool should be available to all infants and toddlers, not just those who are four. Massachusetts must also think about other issues linked to universal preschool such as quality health care, families need care for children younger than four, and an education for toddlers and infants is important for their success in preschool.
Coordinated Social-Emotional Supports brings up the issue of the lack of support regarding children with social-emotional problems. It also outlines the challenges faced in Massachusetts concerning the issue and their recommendations in how Massachusetts can help these children.
Essential to Quality: Supporting Cultural Competence in the Department of Early Education and Care Regulated Workforce highlights the growing diversity in our state and the need for specific training requirements for early educators.
Family Involvement and Support: Essential Components for Effective Early Childhood Care and Education Programs tells us that studies showing the benefits of preschool have included strong family support components that are now absent in the Massachusetts legislation.
Quality Early Care and Education for All Children in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts identifies important inconsistencies in statewide regulations for children ages 3-5.
Using Data to Create Change In The Commonwealth offers an overview of Massachusetts data collection and reporting for young children. It offers three recommendations for improving the systems that collect information on young children.