To chart a course for the future, the Department of Early Education and Care has a new strategic plan. Please check it out, so you can keep up with the department and its work.

“We cannot separate children and family outcomes,” EEC Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy said on Tuesday at the EEC Board meeting where the plan was presented.

“We hold children and families in a single breath,” the commissioner added, explaining that child outcomes along with educational outcomes, social opportunities, and economic outcomes are all braided parts of overall family success.

The commissioner noted that EEC’s work benefits the state’s workforce in two ways: by preparing children for future success as workers, and by investing in the existing workforce of early education and care providers.

“And we know that quality matters across all of that.”

The board voted unanimously to approve the plan.

Specifically, the strategic plan outlines EEC’s next phase of innovation, and it “articulates a vision for a system of equitable access to high quality early education and care, with strategies that will be prioritized for action through 2025.”

Based in part on months of community input, the plan has a great deal of flexibility so it can adapt to an unpredictable and continually changing landscape:

“We view this action plan as a living document — one that we will all shape, together, in the coming years. It is intended to serve as a road map whose navigation will be conducted collectively by all of the stakeholders engaged in this work across the Commonwealth.”

A key element is urgency.

The plan calls for quick action “aligned around the change we want to create.” The three goals for “transformative change at the family, educator, and program levels” are:

 1 increase access and affordability for families and ensure that children are on course. To do this, EEC plans to build “a measurement system to ensure children are on track to 3rd grade success”

2 grow and diversify the number of highly skilled educators and create an educator credentialing framework that translates across settings and geographies and validates increasing expertise, and

3 create a backbone for program quality to drive increased investment. EEC will expand “the network of comprehensive supports available for providers” so they can address the increasing complexity of families’ needs

EEC also plans to improve operations and continue drawing on community feedback.

“Why focus on these innovative strategies?” the commissioner asked at the board meeting.

Because, she said, Massachusetts as a leader in education has the opportunity to transform lives and set a national example of investing early in young children’s long term success.