Ayanna Pressley is set to make history history on Tuesday November 6th when she wins the congressional seat for Massachusetts 7th Congressional District.
Her win will also be a win for Early Childhood Education. Pressley is one is the best advocates for ECE I have seen. First off all, I’ve seen her show up to many ECE events like the annual Umass Boston Leadership Forum on Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice where she not only gives speeches, but also talks with educators and listens to their perspectives.
Pressley was one of the four “City Councilors applied the spotlight to early childhood education and daycare in the City of Boston – inclusive of every neighborhood – in a series of public meetings in the community”
Pressley has come out as a strong supporter of the MOMMA Act (Mothers and Offspring Mortality & Morbidity Awareness (MOMMA) Act to Reverse America’s Rising Maternal Mortality Rate)
Pressley has often spoken about and worked to improve social and emotional learning for children and helping children who have relate with traumatic experiences.
”Boston, City Councilor-at-Large Ayanna Pressley has worked for years to push awareness of SEL’s importance. In 2012, she and former City Councilor John Connolly sponsored a hearing on equitable access to social and emotional support services and curricula in BPS.
Pressley emphasized that different types of stresses could affect readiness to learn for a wide spectrum of students.
“I think people have underestimated how pervasive trauma is and how it affects the whole school community,” she told the Banner. “It could be a new immigrant, it could be a child battling anxiety, a child whose parents are going through a divorce, a child who has lost someone in their school community, whether through cancer or violence.” https://www.baystatebanner.com/2015/11/04/bps-hires-social-emotional-learning-expert/
On Twitter, Pressley is a frequent outspoken advocate for ECE. “
On her website, Pressley gets even more in depth about her support of ECE issues writing “
- Increase funding for Head Start and Early Head Start. Head Start, and Early Head Start, are the largest federal programs aimed at providing early education opportunities for 3- and 4-year-olds from low-income families. Head Start provides grants to local educational agencies and oversees the operations of agencies providing Head Start services. Head Start and Early Head Start funding received a significant increase in funding under the FY2018 omnibus spending legislation, but available programs are still only able to cover a fraction of eligible children. In Congress, I would fight for increased funding for Head Start and Early Head Start in FY19 and beyond, in order to ensure access for low-income families across the 7th District.
- Support comprehensive data collection on early educator wages, benefits, educational levels, and turnover. Early educators play a critical role in preparing young children to succeed throughout elementary school and closing persistent achievement gaps. However, persistently low wages and lack of opportunity for professional development lead to high turnover in the early education workforce, especially among educators with a college degree (many of whom have accrued student debt). In order to address these challenges, policymakers need up-to-date information on the wages, benefits, and other characteristics of early educators in different settings, including center-based staff and home care providers. In Congress, I would sponsor legislation to establish a consistent framework for collecting and disseminating staff information from early education and care providers.“
Back in 2010 Pressley went to The Harlem Children Zone to get ideas on how to improve ECE in Boston.
Even Pressley’s campaign manager Sarah Groh has been a strong advocate for ECE while working with Horizons For Homless Children and while attending The Harvard Graduate School of Education.
I have no doubt that Pressley will continue to be an advocate for ECE and I am ecstatic she will be representing Massachusetts in Congress.