While it is becoming more and more common for states to create statewide early childhood offices, we are also seeing a rise in communities taking a more local approach to managing services for families with young children.
Two recent examples include:
• Montgomery County, Maryland: In February of this year, the Montgomery County Council approved Bill 42-21. The bill requires the Council to designate a nonprofit corporation to serve as the County’s Early Care and Education Coordinating Entity as well as establish its guidelines and duties. The independent organization will be focused on access, equity, and inclusion in early care and education programs while helping the sector recover from challenges caused by the COVID pandemic. To learn more about this work, visit Montgomery Moving Forward.
• Boston, Massachusetts: Also in February, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced the creation of a new Office of Early Childhood for the city. The office is intended to streamline resources for children under five. The new office will: o Create a one-stop shop for enrollment and access to early education and child care programs by building an accessible, multilingual platform so that options are clear, streamlined, and accessible to all families; o Invest in the early education and child care workforce by building sustainable career pathways that recognize early educators as professionals who are essential to young children’s well being; o Coordinate outreach and information for city and community programming that impacts the lives of young children and their families; and o Accelerate the creation of a universal pre-K system and expand high-quality, affordable options for infants and toddlers.