The pandemic changed everything.
It’s now clear to state legislators that Massachusetts’ childcare system, or lack thereof, isn’t working. Unaffordable for many families, it leaves children without high-quality learning and care, forces parents to forgo jobs and careers, and leaves businesses without staff. Early educators are severely underpaid, further destabilizing programs and undermining childhood development.
No wonder so many legislators and community leaders are proposing changes.
In March, the state’s Special Legislative Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission recommended policy improvements, and the Common Start Coalition is holding a rally for change on April 9th.
Economic Review Commission wants to support vulnerable children, families, and the economy
In its Final Report, the Commission noted the critical role of childcare in the Commonwealth and advocated for program stabilization, greater affordability for parents, and increased workforce compensation in the face of persistently low wages.
To achieve these goals, the Commission, made up of legislators, providers, employers, and advocates, endorsed several policy changes, including:
- Continue funding increases established during the pandemic, with a focus on childcare programs serving high-need children
- Permanently adopt enrollment-based funding for centers, another pandemic-era fix. Attendance-based funding fails to account for fixed operational costs and absences due to illness. It leaves programs financially vulnerable and, lacking consistent revenue, unable to budget for curriculum and programming.
- Increase subsidy reimbursement rates for families that are least able to afford childcare.
“High quality early education and care promotes children’s appropriate development, school achievement, and long-term success...[and] affects families’ economic well-being and the overall strength of the economy,” the report states.
Rally your state legislators to take action via email or phone, or by attending the Common Start Rally on April 9th
While many legislators now recognize the importance of childcare, real change demands broad support.
You can help by urging your state legislators to fund improvements in early education and care.
1.) Call or email your state legislators. It’s easy to do! Simply plug in your street address and city or town at https://malegislature.gov/statehouse/contact. Their names, email addresses, and phone numbers will pop right up.
2.) Join the Common Start Rally on April 9th in support of affordable childcare for all. It’s free and family friendly. RSVP today and sign up for free transportation from Central Massachusetts to Boston Common.
Time: 11 AM-1 PM
Place: Boston Common at the Parkman Bandstand
Let’s not let this historic opportunity pass us by. Let’s build a better future by building a better childcare system.
Edward Street is proud to support high-quality, affordable childcare. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn, and donate today!