The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) started the StrongStart initiative in phases, beginning in Summer 2019. The five StrongStart Professional Development Centers (PDCs) are administered by the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation. PDCs provide the state’s early education and out-of-school time workforce with training and technical assistance services. Professional development offerings include professional learning Professional learning: Learning and support activities (e.g., coaching) that help develop educators’ competencies and skills. communities (PLC) and one-on-one coaching. PLCs consist of a facilitated group of educators and administrators who meet regularly to exchange expertise. One-on-one coaching is offered to family child care (FCC) owners, out-of-school time administrators, and center directors to work on all aspects of managing an early education program including curriculum development, quality improvement, and other strategies for meeting the needs of staff, families, and children. Coaches meet with participants for up to 20 hours over eight weeks, and coaching is offered in Cantonese, English, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish. StrongStart also offers a web-based tool that provides professionals with a credentialing system, a professional registry, and a Learning Management System where educators can take courses on a computer or mobile device.
Massachusetts StrongStart. (n.d.). What We Do.
Massachusetts StrongStart. (n.d.). Free coaching for programs.
Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. (n.d.). StrongStart Professional Development Centers.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:
Learn More about ELS@H Findings
The early education workforce is the foundation upon which all daily work and any expansion and quality improvement efforts rest. Research suggests that states and cities should invest in the workforce across all early education setting types, focusing on enhancing educators’ professional learning, compensation, and workplace conditions.
Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:
- Early educators play a critical role in supporting the well-being of young children and families across setting types.
- Yet their pay, benefits, and other professional supports are often inadequate in light of the job demands and their cost of living.