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Five Tasks for Newly Elected Officials

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Dear Local and Statewide Elected Officials:

Congratulations on your victory November 8th. We appreciate your commitment to serving our community.

We’ve been celebrating with you. Now, the work begins. Tackle these five tasks and voters of all ages will benefit.

Task #1: Get schooled in the importance of early education and care

Support for early childhood is support for the entire community!

Quality childcare programs graduate children who are more likely to succeed through high school and professionally. When parents know young children are cared for, more families can work and more businesses can find qualified workers. Over time, quality childcare promotes racial and economic justice and helps grow the economy.

Yet, in spite of these benefits—proven by decades of research—childcare is severely underfunded, in contrast to public k-12 education. Early education and care is too expensive for too many families. Early educators are grossly underpaid and providers struggle to stay in business.

Task #2: Listen, learn, and plan your agenda

Once you understand its importance you’ll need to set an early childhood agenda. Fortunately, Strategies for Children is doing the work for you. Strategies for Children is convening Massachusetts parents, advocates, educators, and business owners to learn what matters most to each group.

The resulting Early Childhood Agenda will be released in January 2023, but you can sign up to receive it right now.

Here in Worcester, Edward Street invites you to meet local people with boots on the ground. Get in touch with us and we’ll get you in touch with providers, early educators, parents, and business owners.

Difficult decisions will need to be made; you should know where voters stand so you can make your tenure count.

Task #3: Join the push for statewide policy changes

Many of your colleagues have already joined the call to improve the state’s early education and care system.

In March, the State Legislature’s Special Legislative Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission issued its Final Report. The Commission, consisting of legislators, providers, employers, and advocates, recommended an infusion of support, including:

  1. The continuation of pandemic childcare funding increases
  2. Permanent adoption of enrollment-based funding (attendance-based leaves programs financially vulnerable)
  3. Subsidy reimbursement rates for families that are least able to afford childcare.

Your colleagues got the ball rolling. Now, it’s your turn. Stand up for young children and families at the State House.

Task #4: Collaborate for change in Worcester and Central Massachusetts

The pandemic, as difficult as it was, reinforced what we’ve always known: we all succeed when we all work together, including you, our elected officials.

Edward Street has been collaborating to solve community challenges since 1883, and we can help you too. Whatever your goals are, we’ll convene the right partners and support you every step of the way.

Task #5: Keep children and families top of mind in all facets of your work

Early childhood initiatives touch the entire community in one way or another. The same goes for other sectors: they eventually touch the lives of children and families. (Think: climate change, housing, immigration, transportation, and military and veterans issues.)

Take a cross-sector approach and you’ll achieve cross-sector results that support all of us. Children, families, and businesses all stand to benefit, and our community will be stronger than ever.

Ready to get started? Edward Street is here to help.

Your partner in building a strong community,
Edward Street