On June 26, the Boston Foundation hosted its latest in the Early Childhood Coffee and Conversations series, exploring the challenges, considerations, and long-term issues around reopening and reimagining an equitable early childhood system. Early Childhood Program Officer Brian Gold moderated the discussion, which included: Kira Taj, Associate Director of Research and Development, Children's Investment Fund at CEDAC; Jynaí McDonald, Family Child Care Coordinator, SEIU Local 509; Aditi Subramaniam, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, Partnership Manager, MSPCC; and Amy Gamache Turner, Chief Programs Officer & Executive Vice President of Operations, YMCA of Greater Boston.
On May 22, 2020, the virtual Coffee and Conversation discussion turned to the stunning impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on early childhood, and what the future holds for daycare and early education programs. We heard from some of Boston's emergency child care providers as to how they are supporting both the children who were in their care pre-COVID and those who are in care during the crisis. Tania Del Rio, Executive Director for the Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement for the City of Boston, presented the sobering overall picture, after which a panel of practitioners, including Keith Mahon, Early Childhood Director for the Wang YMCA of Greater Boston, Laura Perille, CEO of Nurtury, and Dorothy Williams, owner of Dottie's Family Childcare in Dorchester, discussed the challenges of staying open or reopening under the new regulations and uncertain demand as the COVID lockdown eases.
In April, we partnered with Success Boston to hear how five of Boston's higher education institutions are supporting their college students, led by Urban College of Boston, a TBF funded partner that provides post-secondary courses for working professionals, a large number of whom are early childhood educators. Clea Andreadis, Chief Academic Officer at Urban College was joined by Michel Dennehy, Executive Director of College Access and Student Success at Boston University; Joan Becker, Vice Provost for Academic Support Services at UMass Boston; Aisha Francis, Chief of Staff and Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, and Arlene Vallie, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Bunker Hill Community College.