2011 UPDATE! Economic Impact of Early Education and Child Care Services in Alaska
"America under-invests in the early years of its disadvantaged children. Redirecting additional funds toward the early years, is a sound investment in the productivity and safety of our society," Nobel Laureate James Heckman. Read thread's updated 2011 Economic Impact of Early Education and Child Care Services in Alaska report.
Local Initiative Supporting Early Childhood Workforce Funded
Juneau, AK - An initiative to increase the recruitment and retention of qualified early educators in Juneau was approved for full funding by the finance committee of the Juneau City and Borough Assembly on May 16th, 2012.
The HEARTS Initiative or Hiring, Educating, and Retaining Teaching Staff, suggests educational incentives, Child Care fee waivers and reimbursements for early educators as ways to improve the quality and availability of child care in Juneau. The initiative is based on recommendations developed through a two-year strategic planning process involving the Association for the Education of Young Children (AEYC), Partnerships for Families and Children, the Juneau Economic Development Council (JEDC), the Juneau Child Care Association and Juneau Child Care Task Force members.
Assembly members heard previous testimony on the HEARTS Initiative and received a petition with over 325 signatures from community members supporting the funding of HEARTS.
The Juneau Assembly decision to support the HEARTS Initiative comes at the same time Alaska's Governor Sean Parnell signed into law three budget bills for fiscal year 2013 that include support for early educators in Anchorage, including a wage incentive program and funding to help child care providers replace outdated cribs.
"These types of investments are a huge step toward creating the best early childhood workforce in Alaska," says Stephanie Berglund, thread's CEO. "The early childhood workforce is the professionals taking care of our children and Alaska's future leaders."