Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mass. Strives to Replace Mom with Government

It takes a village: The Massachusetts education department is advocating advanced education for caretakers of pre-school children, furthering a trend of outsourcing motherhood to "big (m)other."

-- From "Asking more of preschool" by James Vaznis, Boston Globe Staff 6/10/10

. . . the state wants more teachers to earn bachelor’s degrees.

Less than a third of early childhood educators who teach in private programs, where the vast majority of the state’s preschoolers are enrolled, hold bachelor’s degrees, and many are at education levels barely higher than a high school diploma, according to a report released this spring by Strategies for Children Inc., a nonprofit advocacy group in Boston.

Nationwide, the report found that 50 percent of early educators have a bachelor’s degree.

A more highly skilled workforce, particularly one well versed in how a child’s brain develops between birth and age 5, could play a pivotal role in identifying gaps in learning and crafting a plan to remedy them before the child reaches elementary school, education specialists say. Better trained preschool teachers could also be in a better position to spot learning disabilities or developmental issues at a younger age.

Boosting the credentials of the early childhood workforce is a key component of the state’s effort to offer universal access to high-quality preschool to all youngsters between the ages of 3 and 5. About 70 percent of the more than 244,000 children in that age bracket attend preschool, but the quality of the programs, which number several hundred, can vary widely.

. . . They say the state needs to do more to bolster the credentials of early childhood workers and compensate them more generously.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.