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Ellis Welcomes State Leaders

Updated: Feb 28

Ellis children welcome (from left) Commissioner Kershaw, Secretary Hao, Undersecretary Reilly and Secretary Jones.

On January 24th, Ellis Early Learning had the distinguished pleasure of hosting members of Governor Healey's cabinet for a tour and roundtable discussion.

The guests included Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Lauren E. Jones, Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler, Undersecretary of Education Mark Reilly, and Commissioner of the Department of Early Education and Care Amy Kershaw. Joining them for the roundtable discussion in the Ellis Music and Movement studio were some special Ellis friends: Rahn Dorsey, Chief Impact Officer at Eastern Bank Foundation; Amy O’Leary, Executive Director of Strategies for Children and Ellis Board member; and Jeri Robinson, Chairwoman of the Boston Public School Committee.

The roundtable discussion recognized the societal importance of early childhood education by highlighting demonstrated long-term benefits, such as improvements in academic performance, socio-emotional development, and economic outcomes. These benefits are amplified for children from underserved backgrounds who face additional hurdles, such as trauma and limited access to resources, which further widen existing educational gaps and perpetuate cycles of inequality.

The roundtable discussion took place in the Music and Movement Studio

The roundtable also stressed that improving teachers' salaries and filling teacher vacancies is critical for the stability of the sector and positive outcomes for children. Despite their essential role in shaping young minds, early childhood educators are paid significantly less than K-12 teachers for longer and more workdays and longer workdays, leading to high turnover rates.

As Governor Healey herself has acknowledged in a recent Executive Order, addressing these challenges calls for a collective “whole-of-government approach to ensuring high quality, affordable childcare.” Ellis is grateful to serve in our Commonwealth, where our state leadership clearly understands that a cross-sectoral effort is necessary to transform the early education and care sector, benefiting children, families, the early education workforce, and the economy.

(from left) Commissioner Kershaw, Secretary Hao, Secretary Jones, and Secretary Tutwiler
(from left) Jeri Robinson, Rahn Dorsey, Claire McNally, and Undersecretary Reilly

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