The Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children
Track Sponsor: Eos Foundation
Current Budget: $465,000
Despite the proven benefits of quality early education, low income families in Massachusetts are less likely to have access to high-quality care than their more affluent peers.
- Infants and toddlers who are not exposed to high-quality early education and care are 30% less likely to graduate from high school and 50% less likely to graduate from college.
- Statewide, only one-fifth of 300,000 income-eligible children receive subsidies for early education through the state-run voucher program, and more than 22,000 children are on the waiting list.
- Research has shown a clear link between quality and teacher compensation and credentials. Teachers who work in centers serving subsidized children earn up to two-thirds less than their peers who teach in public preschools.
- Only 10% of classroom staff at centers serving mostly low income families have a two-year college degree, as compared to 61% for those serving moderate to high-income families.
The Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children (BTWIC) works through research, advocacy, and policy reform to strengthen early education and care for low-income children, ages 0–5, across Massachusetts. A pioneer in early education, Bessie Tartt Wilson opened her first childcare center in 1946, serving working families in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Her daughter, Mary Reed, followed in her mother's footsteps and led Tartt's Day Care Centers, where she witnessed firsthand the challenges low-income families face in their attempt to access reliable, quality care for their children. Recognizing that many of these challenges are due to shortcomings in the early education system and seeking broader, more enduring impact, Mary decided to shift her role from practitioner to advocate. She established BTWIC in her mother’s name and is working to elevate and permanently sustain the quality of early education for low-income children across Massachusetts. BTWIC partners with parents, childcare providers, and government leaders to develop and implement effective policy solutions that positively impact the lives of tens of thousands of children and families.
- Improved continuity of care for children, as voucher certification period was extended from 6 months to 1 year.
- Improved access to care for families with limited English proficiency by ensuring that translated materials and live translation services are available.
- Reduced administrative burdens for families and agencieswith the elimination of the requirement to provide the same documentation to multiple state agencies.
Join the Cause
- In-Kind Printing and marketing support
- In-Kind Space to convene large-scale meetings and other events
- In-Kind Computers, network infrastructure, IT support
|$100,000||Funds accountability studies to assess how reform impacts the lives of children across Massachusetts|
|$25,000||Funds compilation, analysis and dissemination of data from grassroots research|
|$7,500||Supports outreach to 500 early educators and families across the commonwealth and helps activate a grassroots reform effort toward policy change|
Want to learn more about The Bessie Tart Wilson Initiative for Children? View their full Social Innovation Forum prospectus here.
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