New Website Analyzes Early Childhood Support in Massachusetts
From birth to age 5, children develop more rapidly than at any other time in their lives. In these early years, children display incredible physical, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, and social growthall of which help to set the foundation for their future success, health, and wellbeing. During this crucial time, young children and their caregivers interact with a whole host of supports, from health care providers, to early educators, to community programs and more. But this "network" of supports is far from a system. In fact, many services for young children and their families operate in isolation from each other. This makes it challenging for caregivers to access the support they need, and it leads to inefficiency and significant equity issues. 

So how do we build a comprehensive system that equitably supports families with young children? First, we must begin by understanding the journey that young children and their caregivers take, how they access support, and what challenges they face. To do that, we teamed up with the Massachusetts Early Childhood Funder Collaborative to create a tool to map the early childhood experience and highlight gaps in this ecosystem of support. We hope the Early Childhood 101 website will help a larger audience understand where and how to support Massachusetts’ youngest children and, ultimately, lead to further investment and political focus on coordinating and improving this "non-system."

EC101 Website



Last month, we officially launched the Early Childhood 101 website with a discussion on what's to come in the early childhood field and a tutorial on the new website. Speakers included Representative Adrian Madaro (D-Boston), Turahn Dorsey and Brian Gold of the Massachusetts Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, Marisa Fear of Strategies for Children, Magda Rodriguez of Families First, and Elle Jansen of the Rennie Center.

An Act to expand access to high-quality, affordable early education and care

Check out our latest bill analysis on 'An Act to expand access to high-quality, affordable early education and care' to learn how this legislation would impact families, educators, providers, and policy makers. 

Among other changes, the bill would make subsidies for high-quality early education and care available to more families, establish operational grants for providers, and create scholarship and loan forgiveness programs for early educators. 



'Stabilize, heal and transform': Mass. education secretary announces priorities
By Carrie Jung, WBUR
January 31, 2023
Massachusetts' new secretary of education, Patrick Tutwiler, is challenging himself and educators around the state to deeply reflect on the academic and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. That reflection will enable state educators to learn from the past and institute bold ideas for re-imagining education, the state's top education advisor said Tuesday in a keynote speech at the 2023 "Condition of Education" annual presentation convened by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, a local think tank.  READ MORE >

The state's new education secretary ticked off his list of priorities. Hiring is at the top
By Sam Drysdale, State House News Service
January 31, 2023

Reinvigorating the educational workforce and addressing students’ mental health are among the priorities of top state education officials, as schools still struggle to recover from pandemic-related learning losses and teacher shortages. In some of his first public remarks since Gov. Maura Healey made him state education secretary, Patrick Tutwiler said his plan for tackling challenges in Massachusetts’ education system is to “stabilize, heal, transform” — then “rethink” what school is and what it could be. “We are still in a recovery period, we’re not back,” Tutwiler said Tuesday at the Rennie Center’s 10th Condition of Education conference in Boston. The education policy nonprofit released its ”Action Guide” report on Monday, which makes recommendations on early education and care, instructional practices in the classroom, student well-being and college and career pathways. READ MORE>

4 key takeaways from the 2023 'Condition of Education' data report
By Carrie Jung, WBUR
February 2, 2023

While the days of virtual classes and widespread mask mandates are largely behind us, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still linger in many Massachusetts' school districts. Schools across the state are adapting to a landscape of increased student needs from academic learning loss to mental and behavioral health struggles. A new data report released Thursday from the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, a non-partisan education think tank, attempts to measure some of the ways the pandemic is still impacting students. READ MORE>

Report finds fewer students heading to college; pols call for more investment
By Sydney Ko, The Daily Hampshire Gazette
February 9, 2023

The number of students choosing to attend post-secondary education in Massachusetts has dropped significantly in recent years, a trend that started nearly a decade ago and has only been exacerbated during the pandemic. “The pandemic’s impact and the rising costs of a college education may have contributed to the decrease in 2- and 4-year college enrollment and the associated increase in students pursuing career and other pathways,” according to a recent report published by the Rennie Center on Education Research & Policy, a Boston nonpartisan education think tank. READ MORE> 


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