From our November 2019 newsletter
Immigrant women in our community called on JPNDC two decades ago to help residents start home-based businesses as licensed childcare providers. Today, with 45 early educators, our system is highly respected in Massachusetts for our investment in the ongoing professional development of each one of them.
Why do we care so much? Because childcare is a major equity issue.
First: although the field in general is notoriously low-paid, independent providers at full capacity can earn a living income and build financial security for their families. The higher their credentials, the more they can earn.
Second: closing the “achievement gap” between low- and high-income children requires excellent education from the start.
80 percent of children’s brain development takes place before age 5. And when early educators are themselves well-educated, research shows that their pupils are most likely to be ready for reading, math, science, and learning in general when they enter grade school.
Our goal, and that of our educators, is to prepare at least 1,000 low-income children of color (a third of whom live in shelters) for successful transitions to kindergarten by 2023.