Like many states, Massachusetts is attempting to develop a comprehensive early education and care system. One of the first steps towards that was bringing most of the providers into one department – known in this state as the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).
EEC is currently sponsoring a public-private Workforce Development Task Force, which I am participating in. One of my motivations in electing to be part of the Task Force was the potential the work offered for addressing the lack of males involved in EEC professions. While doing background research, I came across the original legislation which enabled the creation of the new department. I was struck by the document’s directive regarding the diversity of the workforce.
“Diversity – The recruitment and retention of individuals into the early education and care workforce who reflect the ethnic, racial, linguistic, and cultural diversity of Massachusetts families based on the current census data.”
As we began to develop an agreed upon shared glossary of EEC terms, I suggested to the Task Force that we add the following word to our definition (and goals)
“Diversity – The recruitment and retention of individuals into the early education and care workforce who reflect the gender, ethnic, racial, linguistic, and cultural diversity of Massachusetts families based on the current census data.”
I plan to undertake a trip or two to the State House to find a legislator or two willing to support a similar amendment to the enabling legislation. I’ll keep you posted on any progress.
In the meantime, I’d be interested in hearing about EEC diversity policies in other states or countries.
Is there an existing model out there that Massachusetts could follow?
I look forward to any information folks are able to provide.
Thanks (or Mahalo for those of you headed to Hawaii next spring!)
Mr. Kitt Cox
Birth To Three Family Center
Massachusetts Family Network
15 Market Street
Ipswich, MA 01938