Looking Back on the Last Three Years: Thank You PMKF Community!

The Put MA Kids First Coalition, a multi-year initiative led by CEO Marie St. Fleur of the Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children, was formed in 2014 to bring together early education and care and out-of-school time organizations across the state to increase support for high quality learning.

Officially launched in January of 2015 with two-dozen members, the coalition successfully advocated for $6M in funding for early education programs in the FY2016 budget. The FY2016 budget included $5M for the early education and school-age salary rate reserve and $1M in grants directly to programs. As the FY2017 budget cycle comes to a close, the coalition has grown to 76 members and successfully advocated for $12.5M for the salary rate reserve and $2M in grants directly to programs – almost doubling the prior year’s investments.

As the Coalition’s work comes to a close, we wanted to take the time to thank the many people and organizations that have made our work possible.

First we would like to thank the six organizations and their leaders who provided over $40,000 to support the delivery of a focused communication strategy on 3 fronts traditional media, outreach to Business community and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, the PMKF website and a newsletter: MADCA (William Eddy), Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs (Peter Doliber), Nurtury (Wayne Ysaguirre), Ellis Memorial (Leo Delaney), Wheelock College (Marta Rosa), and Mass Afterschool Partnership (Ardith Wieworka). these organization invested over $40K. This type of critical investment must continue to ensure the voice of early education is represented throughout the state.

We also want to acknowledge the work of Speaker Robert DeLeo and the Early Education Business Task Force, and the MA State Senate. The fields’ active engagement from every sector engendered the support and leadership of Speaker DeLeo.  From his leadership and activism the interest of the Business Community in Massachusetts has begun to grow.

A big thanks also go out to Bob French and NorthStar Learning Centers, Nathan Proctor and Mass Fair Share, who responded to the call for action at very turn making sure that their local media was engaged and their local grass roots organizations informed. Recognition also goes to Slowey McManus for their early campaign consultation work, Beth Beard, PMKF’s Campaign Manager since October 2015 and all of the staff at BTWIC for their tireless efforts on behalf of Massachusetts children.

Accomplishment Highlights:

  • Funding for early education more than doubled to support increased salaries and quality
  • Members quadrupled from 24 to 76 (20% of whom are not educators), reaching over 10,000 MA residents
  • Over 2,000 educators were reached across MA through over 15 professional development forums
  • Almost 1,000 letters were sent to local legislators in support of early education and out of school time programs
  • Letters to the editor and feature articles were published in more than a dozen state, metro and local new publications
  • Engagement, visibility and awareness of these critical issues was increased among Massachusetts providers, families, legislators and leaders, quadrupling social media engagement and doubling website growth



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