At a virtual town hall meeting on Wednesday, Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy shared plans for reopening Massachusetts’ early childhood programs.
A recording of the event is posted here.
“We’re looking toward the future and trying to think [about] and design strategies that can ensure that we are building a more supportive and more solid foundation for child care providers,” Commissioner Sam said at the town hall.
She is proposing a phased opening that builds on Governor Charlie’s Baker’s order that all schools and EEC programs remain closed through June 29, 2020.
As the slide below explains, EEC will engage in a three-step reopening process of assessing the EEC landscape, designing strategies that “addresses health and safety, sustainability, workforce, and financing,” and preparing to put these strategies into action.
At every step in the process, EEC will solicit feedback from stakeholders.
And the entire process will be based on clear, guiding principles.
Specific opportunities to provide feedback include:
In the meantime, Massachusetts will continue to pay for subsidized child care slots throughout the closure, so programs will not lose this income.
EEC is keeping its website updated with COVID-19-related information about financial support for businesses, unemployment insurance, and other information for providers and families.
In addition, providers who need information about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) can email the Children’s Investment Fund at email@example.com.
EEC has also developed a partnership with Care.com so that, “Essential workers looking for in-home child care will be able to find eligible EEC-licensed, certified, or approved educators who are currently not working in child care programs and may provide skilled in-home care.”
As EEC reaches out to hear from the field about reopening, please let the department know what you think. For more information or to share your ideas with EEC, contact Victoria Celano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharing your experience is a crucial part of ensuring that Massachusetts designs well-informed policies that meet the needs of providers and families.
As Commissioner Sam says: “Our first priority and our most pressing priority is the public health and safety of the commonwealth.”