Put Massachusetts Kids First is a broad-based coalition of 76 organizations across the Commonwealth focused on improving outcomes for children by stabilizing and strengthening the workforce that engages with young children who can most benefit from qualified educators.
Since 2001, state funding for community-based early education and care and out-of-school time has not kept pace with inflation, resulting in a reduction of more than $100 million – a 50% decrease in the state’s commitment to its youngest scholars. Strengthening community-based early education and care should be an integral part of the Commonwealth’s long-term plan to invest in human capital to support growth and quality goals.
For FY ’18 the Put MA Kids First Coalition supports:
- The fields’ request of $36.4 million for the early education and school age rate reserve (line item 1599-0042)
- Continued investment of $2.5 million for direct quality grants to early education and care programs (line item 3000-1020)
- Encouraging funding for the Department of Early Education and Care to meet its regulatory and support obligations.
Together these will:
- Helps to move the average early educator salary from $25,000 to $27,250
- Addresses the 30% early educator staff turnover rate that hinders quality
- Moves subsidy rates to the 50th percentile, increasing high-quality options for children
Overwhelmingly, current state investment levels place the brunt of the deficit in the early education and care and out-of-school time system on the shoulders of working women, who are often heads of households and living on the margins. Because median salaries stagnate around $25,000 a year, 37% of early educators are forced to rely on some form of public assistance. The funding levels requested above will continue our steady march towards a stronger effective and more equitable quality early education and care system in Massachusetts.