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Making Young Children a Top Civic Priority:


Boston has unique models Countdown to Kindergarten, ReadBoston, and Reach Out ... impact young kids DEEC, BPS/Countdown to Kindergarten, ECE providers but ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Making Young Children a Top Civic Priority:

Making Young Children a Top Civic Priority
Data to Guide Planning
  • Data and Research Team Presentation to the
    City/Community Work Group
  • July 10, 2007

  • Key examples from around the world and pop
  • Boston Demographics, strengths and challenges
  • Boston History and current state of governance,
    accountability, funding, and public engagement
  • Other initiatives in Boston and MA
  • Questions and other resources

  • What does a city and community that makes early
    childhood development a top civic priority look

Reggio Emilia, Italy
Infant preschool programs with innovative
approach that responds to child as a competent
learner and views environment as an
important teacher
Internationally renowned model, which Reggio
Children now promotes through advocacy, research
and professional development
Cultural value of child as collective
responsibility and parents desire for high
quality care that promotes critical thinking and
City which values and responds to children and
UNICEF Childrens Cities
  • Launched in 1996 to make cities liveable for
  • 867 total only two in the United States
    Chicago and Oakland
  • Characteristics
  • Developing a city-wide Children's Rights
    Strategy or a comprehensive agenda for building
    a Child Friendly City
  • Creating permanent government structures to
    ensure priority consideration of children's
    perspective and coordinate efforts
  • Ensuring assessment and evaluation of the impact
    of law, policy and practice on children
  • Producing a regular State of the City's Children
    Report to monitor childrens status
  • Investing in necessary programs through a
    children's budget
  • Making children's rights known among adults and
  • Promoting children's active involvement in issues
    that affect them and taking them into
    consideration in decision-making
  • Ensuring a child-friendly legal framework
  • Supporting organizations and institutions that
    promote children's rights

Pop Culture Rankings
  • Best Cities to Have a Baby in America (Fit
  • Boston is 1!
  • Best States for Babies (Child)
  • Massachusetts is 4
  • Best Cities for Families (Child)
  • Boston is 9
  • Best Childrens Hospitals (Child)
  • Childrens Hospital Boston is 2

Where do the rankings come from?
  • Some things you would expect
  • Pediatricians per capita
  • Immunization rates
  • Infant mortality rate
  • Crime rate
  • School spending
  • Pupil-teacher ratio
  • Paid leave laws
  • Child care ratios
  • Average cost of a 3-bedroom home
  • And some that you might not
  • Stroller friendliness
  • Average commute time
  • Number of sunny days
  • Unemployment rate
  • Future job growth
  • Air and water quality
  • Mothers breastfeeding at 6 months
  • Infertility coverage and access to treatment

How do we compare?
  • Family Economic Self Sufficiency Index Based
    on a family of two adults, one infant and one
  • Preschool Care Cost/Infant Care Cost

What do we know about Bostons birth to five year
olds and their families?
Who are Bostons Young Children?
Children Ages 0 to 5 by Race 37,947 Children Ages
Birth to Five Total
SOURCES U.S. Census Bureau, 2000, Public Use
Microdata (PUMS) 5 Sample, BRA Research
Division Analysis U.S. Census Bureau, 2000,
Summary File 3 (SF3) data
(No Transcript)
What did we learn?
  • Dorchester is home to 20 of 0 to 5 year olds.
  • Age group is evenly spread in other areas - 7 to
    11 in Roxbury, Mattapan, East Boston,
    Allston/Brighton, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park.
  • 43 of householders with 0 to 5 year olds are
    foreign born.
  • 47 of 0-5 householders do not speak English as a
    first language.
  • 8300 (26) with limited English proficiency.
  • Needs of children 0 to 3 are better met than
    those of ages 3 to 6 particularly for children
    with special needs.

Top Needs
Affordable, High Quality ECE (infant/toddler care)
Less Burdensome Systems
Family Support
Help Meeting Basic Needs
What else did we learn?
Some challenges
Some opportunities
  • Families are overwhelmed with options and
  • Organizations do not collaborate and coordinate
  • A lot of strategic planning but planning in a
  • Strong models are not to scale and do not meet
  • Lack of information about quality
  • Boston is resource-rich, abundance of health,
    early care and education, and family support
  • Lots of strategic planning DSS and other state
    agencies pushing for system development
  • Boston has unique models Countdown to
    Kindergarten, ReadBoston, and Reach Out and Read
    and many more are growing

No citywide understanding of why the early years
What kind of Governance, Accountability,
Funding, and Public Engagement structuresdoes
Boston have for early childhood?
Bostons History The Office for Children
  • Office for Children existed within the City of
    Boston under the Mayors Office of Community
    Partnerships from 1997 to 2002 focused on birth
    to 13
  • Major focus was support for ECE providers through
    small quality improvement grants (500 to 4,500)
    for accreditation, staff training, parent
    engagement and moveable equipment
  • Other projects
  • Boston Childrens Week events for families
    during April school vacation, expanded to a full
  • Boston Family Resource Guide family info guide
  • Room to Grow Report
  • SummerFun Resource Fair

Boston Governance
  • Many organization that impact young kids DEEC,
    BPS/Countdown to Kindergarten, ECE providers
    but none taking leadership with a holistic view
    of early childhood
  • Community Partnerships for Children is the
    closest to a city-wide governing body but only
    focuses on ECE
  • Boston Full-service Schools Roundtable brings
    together providers to provide non-academic
    support children in school but only focuses on
    K-12 (mainly K-8)
  • No home within City for early childhood

Boston Accountability
  • No city-wide standard/definition for school
    readiness yet
  • No data on how many kids are ready for school
  • No single source of information about Bostons
    young children yet?
  • MA School Readiness Indicators Project state
    project in 2001 identified 35 key indicators
    working on measuring various indicators
  • Lots of information from providers about services
    but little to no information from parents
    directly about needs and services

Boston Funding
  • Focus of youth funding has been school-age and
    teens, mainly after-school programming
  • Funders, like the general public, are
  • slow to understand the importance of the early
  • reluctant to shift funding away from at-risk age
  • Boston Education Funders is Bostons city-wide
    education funding group but mainly interested
    in K-12 initiatives
  • Providers are left to compete for limited
    resources that dont allow for much coordination
    and collaboration between systems

Boston Public Engagement
  • Several current and planned programs/campaigns
    focused on raising awareness about specific early
    childhood issues or targeting parents
  • Very little focus on birth to three
  • No campaign to promote city-wide understanding
    of the importance of early childhood
  • FrameWorks Institute research highlights lack of
    public understanding of child development and
  • Child development is a black box no model to
    explain it
  • Child rearing happens in family outside actions
  • Day care isnt about child development
  • School Readiness is confusing and can be seen as
    negative hurrying children, academic focus
    rather than social/emotional

Connections to Other Initiatives/Planning
Refer to Other Planning and Initiatives handout
for more information
Questions?What other information does the group
have or want to guide our work?