Boston Foundation Studies Our Early Childhood Partnership

Boston Foundation Studies Our Early Childhood Partnership
Posted on 04/01/2019
B3 and Boston FoundationLei-Anne Ellis of the Birth to Third Grade Partnership shared lessons learned here in Cambridge, as part of a panel presented by the Edgerley Center for Civic Leadership at the Boston Foundation on March 28.

The Early Childhood Research Roundtable included Ellis and Principal Researcher at the Education Development Center (EDC) David Jacobson, who is studying Cambridge's four-pronged approach to improving the network of early childhood education and care.

While some communities focus on preschool seat availability, Cambridge has adopted a more comprehensive and integrated approach to overall system improvement. This includes:
  • Improving the quality of early childhood education and care; because research indicates that poor quality can be destructive for students, whereas high quality programs dramatically improve student outcomes.
  • Increasing access and affordability - through new scholarships, new programs, and coordination of information shared with families--including personalized outreach to families from low-income backgrounds.
  • Supporting programs to develop meaningful partnerships with families through training and resources that support family engagement
  • Coordinating with healthcare providers to ensure access to quality healthcare services, including supporting children's social-emotional health and wellbeing.
Drawing on both national examples and local cases in Boston and Cambridge, the panel discussed different types of alignment, including instructional alignment between Pre-K and the early elementary school grades, and coordination of comprehensive services beyond the preschool or early elementary school day.

Pictured (left-right): Meghan McCormick (MDRC), David Jacobson (EDC), Melissa Tonachel (Boston Public Schools), Lei-Anne Ellis (Birth to Third Grade Partnership), Kristin McSwain, Boston Opportunity Agenda
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