This session, we highlighted the role of cities in solving the early childhood workforce crisis. We were joined by Kristin McSwain, the recently appointed Director of the City of Boston’s Office of Early Childhood and Senior Advisor to Mayor Michelle Wu, for a conversation with leaders from Cambridge and Somerville about how cities can address child care challenges in their communities.
This month, the Early Childhood Coffee and Conversation series welcomed Dr. Kim D. Lucas to lead a discussion with and special guests Lindsay McCluskey of Community Labor United and early education consultant Wayne Ysaguirre, about the challenges of innovation in early childhood, and what innovation in early childhood looks like—as research and data are turned into action as a critical piece of co-imagining new systems, development, support, and compensation for the early childhood workforce.
This month's conversation focused on data from a Boston Opportunity Agenda report about the availability of child care during the pandemic, and what the lack of availability has meant for the number of children receiving developmental screenings and accessing needed supports.
This third session of "When the Bough Breaks," an ongoing series of talks about the challenges facing early childhood in Massachusetts, featured the perspective of those closest to the work: childcare providers. Laura Perille (Nurtury Early Education) and Binal Patel (Neighborhood Villages) discussed the challenges and temporary solutions for providers during the ongoing pandemic.
On January 7, the Boston Foundation continued its "coffee and conversation" look at the state of the early education and care system, with an exploration of funding for the fragile system. Colin Jones of MassBudget presented the current picture for state and federal funding, and took questions from the engaged audience.
The Boston Foundation launched the Early Childhood Coffee and Conversation series for 2021-22 with the State Commissioner of Early Education and Care, Samantha Aigner-Treworgy. In addition, the Boston Foundation provided a preview of "When the Bough Breaks", a paper about the ramifications of the childcare crisis.
On March 12, 2021, early education leaders, grassroots leaders, health care providers and child care directors explored vaccine hesitancy and what it means for the education community. They covered historical and current trends, community resources and how to support those who need more information. Presenters and panelists included Elizabeth Pauley (Associate Vice President, Education to Career, The Boston Foundation), Pratima Patil (Senior Manager, Program and Policy, Boston Opportunity Agenda), Natanja Craig-Oquendo (Executive Director, Boston Women's Fund), Dr. Renee Boynton Jarrett (Founding Director, Vital Village), Donna Warner (Child Care Center Director, Boston Children's Hospital) and Josette Williams (Program Manager, Countdown to Kindergarten).Watch the video
This Early Childhood Coffee and Conversation explored the composition and challenges of the early childhood workforce during the pandemic, including two recent surveys from UMass Boston and Neighborhood Villages. Featured speakers include Dr. Anne Douglass and Ara Reyes, MEd from UMass Boston; Binal Patel, Chief Program Officer, Neighborhood Villages; Orlando Watkins, Vice President for Programs, TBF; Brian Gold, Program Officer for Early Childhood, TBF; Joycelyn Browne, Owner, Little Ones Child Care in Dorchester; and Alicia Jno-Baptiste, Director, Wee Care JP.
On June 26, the Boston Foundation hosted its latest in the Early Childhood Coffee and Conversations series, exploring the challenges, considerations, and long-term issues around reopening and reimagining an equitable early childhood system. Early Childhood Program Officer Brian Gold moderated the discussion, which included: Kira Taj, Associate Director of Research and Development, Children's Investment Fund at CEDAC; Jynaí McDonald, Family Child Care Coordinator, SEIU Local 509; Aditi Subramaniam, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, Partnership Manager, MSPCC; and Amy Gamache Turner, Chief Programs Officer & Executive Vice President of Operations, YMCA of Greater Boston;
On May 22, 2020, the virtual Coffee and Conversation discussion turned to the stunning impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on early childhood, and what the future holds for daycare and early education programs. We heard from some of Boston's emergency child care providers as to how they are supporting both the children who were in their care pre-COVID and those who are in care during the crisis. Tania Del Rio, Executive Director for the Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement for the City of Boston, presented the sobering overall picture, after which a panel of practitioners, including Keith Mahon, Early Childhood Director for the Wang YMCA of Greater Boston, Laura Perille, CEO of Nurtury, and Dorothy Williams, owner of Dottie's Family Childcare in Dorchester, discussed the challenges of staying open or reopening under the new regulations and uncertain demand as the COVID lockdown eases.
In April, we partnered with Success Boston to hear how five of Boston's higher education institutions are supporting their college students, led by Urban College of Boston, a TBF funded partner that provides post-secondary courses for working professionals, a large number of whom are early childhood educators. Clea Andreadis, Chief Academic Officer at Urban College was joined by Michel Dennehy, Executive Director of College Access and Student Success at Boston University; Joan Becker, Vice Provost for Academic Support Services at UMass Boston; Aisha Francis, Chief of Staff and Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, and Arlene Vallie, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Bunker Hill Community College.