(This is the third entry in our ongoing Common Start Legislation series. See our Blog for more.)
Good news in the quest for universal, affordable early education and care! A majority of state legislators have now signed on as co-sponsors of the Common Start Legislation.
It’s a great start—no pun intended—but we need to make sure they keep their eyes on the prize. Here’s how:
- Find out if your state senator or legislator signed on as a co-sponsor and then send a thank-you note. This will help remind them that the Common Start Legislation matters to voters.
- Raise awareness and support through local news publications. Use this handy template or write your own letter to the editor. Tell the community why affordable childcare matters!
The Common Start legislation would dramatically increase the affordability and quality of early education and child care for all Massachusetts families. The bill’s framework uses a combination of direct-to-provider funding and ongoing family financial assistance to reduce costs to families while compensating providers for the true cost of providing quality care.
Bedrock Funding: The legislation would create a new direct-to-provider funding allocation based on provider capacity (not attendance) that directly offsets provider’s operating costs, including higher educator pay.
Family Subsidy: Once fully implemented, families below 50% of statewide median income (50% of SMI today is $62,668 for a family of four, or $42,614 for a single parent with one child) would be able to access early education and child care options for free. Families with incomes above that threshold would pay no more than 7 percent of their total household income.
Failure to address the child care crisis will take its toll on the next generation: when denied access to high-quality early education and child care, vulnerable children miss out on the learning environments, structure, and stability that help set them up for education success, optimal earnings, and long-term health and wellbeing. Ensuring that all children have access to high quality early education and care is how we prevent achievement gaps from widening and health disparities from worsening.
Massachusetts families need affordable, high-quality early education and child care now! If you're a parent, an early educator, a provider, an employer, or an advocate — we need your voice. Sign up here to join the Common Start movement!