State House
Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

Get ready for next week’s virtual State House hearing, where the Joint Committee on Education will hear testimony on “bills related to Early Education and Care, Kindergarten, and Literacy.”

To watch the hearing, tune in on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at 11 am.

Want to testify? The deadline for signing up is the day before, Monday, November 22, at noon.

You can also email written testimony to and Please include “Education Committee Testimony, [Relevant Bill Number]” in the email’s subject line.

Need to learn more about the bills? Keep reading.

Strategies for Children will provide testimony in support of two bills. One is the Common Start legislation, a bill (H.605S.362) that “would establish a system of affordable, high-quality early education and child care for all Massachusetts families, over a 5-year timeline,” according to a fact sheet.

The other bill is Senator Sal DiDomenico’s (D-Everett) preschool expansion bill (S.319). As we explain in the testimony that we’ll share next week, this bill will “advance local infrastructure for collaborative and coordinated early education and care by requiring communities to work together.” School districts and programs licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care would develop a shared vision for high-quality preschool. “This coordination – a true community-wide vision for early education – is unique to S.319, and not included in the other bills before you today.”

DiDomenico’s bill would build on the progress that has been made thanks to federal Preschool Expansion Grants (PEG) and to the state-funded Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative.

Some of the other bills that will be discussed at the hearing include:

S.358  An Act to preserve early education support for families

S.316  An Act to support healthy development among preschoolers, and

H.544  An Act to support healthy development among preschoolers

The complete list is available on the hearing webpage. You can also learn more from Strategies for Children’s legislative bill tracker.

We are also keeping our eye on federal action in Washington, D.C., where we expect Congress to pass the Build Back Better act in the coming weeks. This historic bill would provide $400 billion for child care and preschool, providing an estimated $1.3 billion for Massachusetts over three years.

In the meantime, please participate in next week’s State House hearing — whether you watch, submit written testimony, or sign up to testify.

To be successful, this public policy process needs your expertise and insights.