The Early Childhood Agenda has been released!

On Tuesday, early education advocates gathered at the Massachusetts State House for the release event. Watch a video replay here. And check out #EarlyChildhoodAgenda on Twitter.

“The Early Childhood Agenda imagines, prioritizes, and builds collective action around equitable and impact-driven solutions by providing a space for the early childhood community to work across sectors for better policy development,” a newly released brief explains.

It’s an exciting plan for unified action that can improve the experiences of young children and families in Massachusetts.

The Agenda includes the input of more than 1,000 people who contributed to a conversation that identified 10 priorities. They are:

1 Work with state government to “pass and implement comprehensive early education and care legislation that addresses family affordability and establishes a career pathway and funding mechanism to drive investments in workforce compensation.”

2 Ensure “early childhood professionals across multiple sectors have access to competitive wages and an affordable benefits package (health care, paid leave, retirement, child care)” by drawing on “operational grants, state-funded benefits, an opt-in group health plan, unionization, and premium assistance programs”

3 Provide a “guaranteed minimum income” for Massachusetts families and ensure there is an adequate safety net

4 Ensure “greater dissemination of publicly available tools” for “developmental monitoring and universal screening.” And support “evaluations, connections/referrals, transitions, and timely delivery of services.”

5 Create a roadmap for building a “comprehensive quality improvement infrastructure

6 “Conduct a landscape analysis of existing local coordination efforts, family councils, and regional navigation hubs or family support centers” in Massachusetts and other states, and “develop a comprehensive plan/blueprint to create local infrastructure… for early childhood.”

7 “Create a children’s cabinet within the Executive Office of the Governor”

8 “Develop a comprehensive public education campaign to establish community-wide recognition of the importance of high-quality experiences.”

9 “Strengthen the links between medical professionals and other early childhood programs and services.”

10 “Ensure all students (PK-12) have access to free school meals. Identify a comprehensive solution to address early childhood hunger starting at birth considering a variety of mechanisms.”

The next step is action carried out by coalitions and campaigns that are already leading advocacy on these issues. These include the Common Start Coalition, Healthy Families Tax Credits Coalition, Massachusetts Early Intervention Consortium, and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

Stay tuned for updates in the months ahead as we work to enact and implement pieces of the Agenda and turn this bold vision a reality. Through united action, we can transform Massachusetts and make it a better place for young children and families.