Coalition for Social Justice Childcare Campaign
For more information on our Childcare work, visit Common Start MA’s webpage. There you will find stories, more information about the legislation, and links to more information about the campaign.
Working-class families like ours need consideration if our Commonwealth intends to retain the talent that drives our economy. The committed child care workers that dedicate their time to caring for our children deserve equal consideration. Ensuring affordable child care is an issue that a majority of MA residents can agree on because it benefits so many directly, bolsters our economy by allowing more parents to re-enter the workforce, and makes the Commonwealth more attractive to those who might otherwise leave to raise a family. – Amanda Huggon-Mauretti, Fall River
While Massachusetts is a nationwide leader on early education and care, the current system is still unaffordable and/or inaccessible for many families. Massachusetts maintains one of the highest annual costs for child care ($20,125 for infants, $18,586 for toddlers, $14,256 for 4-year-olds); as a result, child care is financially out of reach for many families across the state. The business sector in Massachusetts has limited on-site programs and the state does not provide meaningful options for families with non-standard work hours that need child care.
In the Commonwealth, early educators are severely undercompensated; on average they are paid minimum wage ($30,000 annually for child care workers, $38,000 for preschool teachers, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics) and have limited access to fringe benefits. While early educators are actively pursuing associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in early education, compensation does not reflect their education and training levels. As a result, recruitment and retention of talent is difficult for child care centers, and providers are struggling to keep classrooms open due to high turnover rates.
Massachusetts has the momentum to reform early education and care. A poll by CSC Solutions in December 2018 showed overwhelming bipartisan support in making child care more affordable. There is consensus that a comprehensive overhaul of early education and care is the next logical step after passing paid family and medical leave. A successful early education and care campaign, that follows our comprehensive paid family and medical leave law, will create additional employment and social support opportunities for parents. Access to affordable, high quality child care dramatically impacts families’ work/life balance decisions and supports household economic stability and growth. Moreover, comprehensive policies that address accessibility to child care offer particular benefits to women, especially racially diverse and lower income women. Finally, ensuring access to quality child care and early education will give all children in the Commonwealth the chance to build social, emotional and learning skills that, in turn, will help shape their success in school, employment, health and wellbeing.
Based on the challenges and need, CSJ have come together with other stakeholders from around the state to listen, inspire and motivate each other and deliver a victory through uplifting families, caregivers and early educators, especially historically marginalized populations.
That is why we started The Massachusetts campaign for Affordable and Accessible High-Quality Early Education and Care to promote a childcare systems reform agenda. The intent is to advance legislation that introduces structural reforms to our state’s child care system. These reforms are designed to increase investment in the early educator workforce, infuse additional resources into programs that promote excellence in delivery of child care and early education, and to solve for financial barriers faced by families seeking affordable, high-quality childcare and early learning programming. The reform agenda we envision is intended to reflect the needs of the 21st century workforce and to build the foundation for a strong economy in a way that also reduces racial, gender, and income inequality in Massachusetts.
CSJ's Childcare Campaign In The News
"'I’m the 99 percent that doesn’t have a trust fund,' Bethany said, 'and these are basic human rights. Every other civilization has figured it out. Are the people who decide policy, who have paid leave thanks to my taxes, telling me I’m not important enough to have...read more
“Are Childcare and Paid Leave ‘Infrastructure’? Nearly $2 Trillion for Families May Hinge on Congress’ Answer” -Time
"...while individual companies in the United States grant 17% of civilian workers paid family leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and at least nine states have enacted laws providing the benefit, the U.S. remains the only industrialized nation in the...read more
"'Finally we’re seeing the private sector, the business community, understand the importance of this ‘system’ to the economy,' said Mary Jo Meisner, a member of the Boston Women Leaders Network, which endorsed the legislation. The Common Start legislation would change...read more
"'At foundational level, it's an economic development bill for the Commonwealth,' bill co-sponsor state Sen. Susan Moran said. 'It's going to allow parents to get back into the workforce. It's going to allow children to get a jumpstart on their education.'"...read more
“New bill promises ‘universal’ affordable child care, would cap costs for most families”- Boston Herald
"'As we recover from the pandemic, making this generational investment in children, families, providers, and early educators will help combat racial and gender inequities, reduce income inequality, and jumpstart our economy; it’s the single best investment we can make...read more
"Massachusetts would gradually establish a universal system of early education and child care from birth through age 5, under a new and pricey bill backed by a statewide coalition of more than 120 groups."...read more
“This proposal would provide free early education and child care from birth to age 5 to Massachusetts families, but it comes with a big price tag” -MassLive
Read up on some details on the Common Start Coalition's proposed bill: https://www.masslive.com/news/2021/02/this-proposal-would-provide-free-early-education-and-child-care-from-birth-to-age-5-to-massachusetts-families-but-it-comes-with-a-big-price-tag.htmlread more
"'The pandemic really laid bare just how critical a role childcare plays in supporting family economic opportunity and financial security,' said Lauren Kennedy, co-founder of Neighborhood Villages, which advocates for childcare policy reform and helped craft the...read more
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how important child care is to the Massachusetts economy. Without safe access to affordable, high-quality early education and child care, parents and other caregivers are either unable to work, or struggle to...read more
This month's activist meetings in New Bedford and Brockton focused on some themes we may all be familiar with - the struggle budgets of families. Both had a presentation on CSJ's Early Education and Care Campaign, outlining the convening of partners from around the...read more
Our executive director, Deb Fastino was highlighted by the Movement for Childcare this week. You can check out the full profile on their website. Here's a highlight. How did you become involved in child care and early education work? Having successfully participated...read more
"A new coalition, inspired by the success of groups who advocated for last year’s paid family and medical leave law, is working to develop a plan to give Massachusetts families easier access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education and care."...read more
"The letter to the committee was signed by representatives of 41 groups, including the Alliance for Business Leadership, the Massachusetts Association of Early Education & Care, Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Boston Democratic Socialists of America,...read more
“We, the undersigned organizations, recognize that in order to meet the needs of the 21st century workforce and strengthen our economy in a way that also reduces racial, gender, and income inequality in our state, Massachusetts families need affordable, accessible,...read more
"Coalition for Social Justice is pleased to hear that Senator Warren will be prioritizing early education and care for all. It's a vital policy that will support parents, aide in the healthy development of children and help boost our economy." -- Deb Fastino,...read more