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History & Accomplishments

B3 LogoAfter a lengthy needs assessment process, in November 2015, the Early Childhood Task Force recommended that Cambridge adopt a mixed-delivery Universal Pre-Kindergarten system that includes Cambridge Public Schools, the Department of Human Service Programs, Head Start, and community-based providers.

In February 2016, Cambridge City Council voted to implement the Task Force recommendations, and the Birth to 3rd Grade Partnership was born. By August, the Partnership hired an Early Childhood Director, responsible for coordinating improvement of the mixed-delivery system. Recent accomplishments include:

Timeline & Accomplishments

2015

Task Force Issues Recommendations

2016

  • Funding is Secured to Create Birth to Third Grade Partnership

  • Subcommittees Established: Quality & Access, Family Engagement, Health

  • Cambridge Creates Position of Early Childhood Director 

  • Find It Cambridge, an innovative, high-tech and high-touch information resource for families is developed. It includes website, phone, and in-person assistance for finding early childhood programming and other resources in Cambridge.

  • New Windsor Street Preschool Opens, creating a new preschool option for 34 students. Half are reserved for children who live in public housing and receive financial aid.

2017

Program Quality Improvement (PQI) Initiative Launches, seeking to improve educators’ practice within rich learning environments. Eight community-based Cambridge preschools participated in the PQI pilot.

Launch of Massachusetts’ first “Shared Resources” program for early childhood educators, developed through the United Way. Cost savings result from pooled purchasing power, and time savings result from an array of templates, resources, and policy documents. So far, ten early childhood providers have signed up to participate.

Scholarships for Low-Income Families Launched: Over twenty families have received a scholarship to enroll in a preschool that participates in the PQI pilot.

A citywide Family Engagement statement is adopted by the Cambridge Public Schools, Department of Human Services, Public Health Department, and many local providers.

New Resources for Social-Emotional Learning Needs: The Partnership is instrumental in expanding the Early Years Project, an initiative of Riverside Community Care (Formerly the Guidance Center) and Cambridge Health Alliance that provides consultation to early childhood educators around young children’s emotional and behavioral needs.

Next

  • Double Scholarship Program
  • Expand Cost Sharing Enrollment
  • Grow Quality Improvement Efforts
  • Increase Child Mental Health Support & Awareness
  • Open New Preschool at King Open School (slated for 2019)