November 2, 2013

Early Child Care Committee Report


By 2024, 90% of all children who enter school at kindergarten in Springfield are ready.


Using the Mayor’s Commission for Children 2014 Kindergarten Readiness study as a baseline, kindergarten readiness will be measured through the DIAL-4 and the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment.


1) A cultural shift, in the neighborhood, which includes seeing the school as the hub, the place to be, the place where families can find what they need.

2) Support a system of quality child care that is affordable for parents, and sustainable for the child care programs.

3) Engage families beginning before birth of the child, supporting them through parent education and connecting them to resources .


1) A system that insures families have what they need, including a clearinghouse referral system to determine eligibility and make appropriate referrals. Included in the system will be peer mentors or community organizers within neighborhoods who already have credibility with families and are aware of younger children in the home.

2) Tuition Assistance to all families with children birth to three years in Springfield public schools to be used in high quality child care—set it up like A+ program. Requirements of families to receive the scholarship of $100 per month per child and requirements of programs that would receive the scholarship dollars will be place.

3) Expand “Parents As Teachers” to the universal access (Springfield hybrid) model including all families prenatal-3.

4) Provide Nurse/Family Partnership program to eligible first time parents.

Parent Engagement will include:

A hook—incentives to participate

Leaders within a neighborhood

Join with people where they are, considering transportation and comfort issues

Comprehensive programming (dental, mental health, services—eliminate the barriers)

Start small with a defined population—universal reach within a targeted boundary

Get to families early (ideally prenatal)

Building an extended family

Families should have a choice—Center or Home care. However, the expectations should be consistent regardless of the setting. Programs that are to be included would have to agree to meet quality standards. In exchange, the programs would be able to increase salaries, provide benefits, retain employees and provide professional development to staff.