Last week, Speaker Robert A. DeLeo announced the creation of the House’s Early Education and Care Recovery Advisory Group, which will take on the challenge of childcare in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and gradual economic reopening. I am proud to report that Speaker DeLeo has appointed me as a co-chair of the group along with my friend and colleague Rep. Alice Peisch, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education.
A key component of a successful economic recovery will be access to safe childcare. The Early Education and Care Recovery Advisory Group will look at how health protocols will impact childcare, examine the financing models for programs amid tremendous change, and explore the effect the pandemic has had on programs in communities of color and those throughout the sector.
Part of my role in this endeavour, alongside Rep. Peisch, will be to engage with our business and childcare provider communities to ensure businesses and providers are prepared to support families and workers in this new landscape. Business leader engagement and a commitment to actionable coordination between businesses and early childcare providers will be crucial to the Commonwealth’s reopening efforts and successful economic recovery.
With this work, the House will be continuing a long-standing commitment to our Early Education and Care providers and most vulnerable children. Over the years, the House has worked to champion innovative new models for increased coordination between early education programming and health care, made key recommendations for targeting investments that strengthened EEC efforts in Massachusetts, and provide more than $60 million in increases to support the workforce and improve programs for the most at-risk children.
I am looking forward to working alongside Rep. Peisch on this issue and I want to thank Speaker DeLeo for appointing me to help lead this group. As always, I will be bringing the voice of Cape Ann to the table to advocate on your behalf as we tackle this important and complex issue.