Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 11, 2020                                                                                      Contact:  Ellen M. Ganley, WCAC Director of Development  
508 762-9807  or 

MASSCAP/Health Foundation ready 
to support early educators 
WCAC among partners in new workforce development initiative
(L-R) MASSCAP Executive Director Joe Diamond, WCAC COO Kerry Brennan, WCAC Executive Director Marybeth Campbell, READYGO Project Co-Coordinator Kathleen McDermott, Tricia Pistone of MOC, with Health Foundation of Central MA President & CEO Jan Yost.
Boston, Massachusetts - During the Massachusetts Association for Community Action's (MASSCAP) public policy briefing at the State House last week, READYGO, a new early education and care workforce development initiative made possible through a planning grant from the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts (THFCM), was announced.

In announcing the $200,000 Reading Educators And Developing Young Children for Great Outcomes (READYGO) planning grant, Dr. Jan Yost, THFCM President and CEO noted the need for early educators to have the tools to address the increasingly challenging behaviors of young children and challenging classroom dynamics that they are facing. "Everyone knows that quality early childhood education and care is essential for all children and that quality early childhood education and care requires an educated workforce," she said. "Yet, we do not have enough early childhood education or Head Start classrooms, and we do not have a sufficient, skilled workforce to meet the needs."

The goal of the READYGO initiative is to maximize the early education and care experiences and the number of children receiving services by providing education and training in adverse childhood experiences, creating trauma-informed environments and acquiring behavioral management skills as well as to enhance the workforce career ladder for early educators and foster more equitable educational outcomes.

Assisted by evaluators form the Institute for COmmunity Health, MASSCAP will use a research-based approach, working closely with Mount Wachusett Community College and Quinsigamond Commuity College, as well as Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC) and Making Opportunity Count (MOC), to develop both courses and curriculum to be included in early educators' degree work and certification. In the first phase planning year, MASSCAP will work closely with these partners and the Foundation with the ultimate goal of creating a scalable solution that can be implemented statewide to give early educators the skills and credentials they need.

WCAC Chief Operating Officer Kerry Brennan said, "Providing tools and techniques to our pre-school teachers on how to approach children experiencing trauma will ensure that all children receive a quality early learning experience."

"We look forward to developing training and education approaches that over time will enhance the early care and education experience in classrooms across the state," said Joe Diamond, MASSCAP Executive Director.

MASSCAP is the state association representing 23 community action agencies operating throughout Massachsuetts. CAAs are one of the largest providers of nonprofit early education and care and Head Start in the state, providing care for more than 20,000 children. As a network, a key priority is to strengthen families through affordable and accessible early education and care.
About WCAC

Since 1965, the Worcester Community Action Council has served as the federally designated anti-poverty agency for central and southern Worcester County, with a mission of helping people move to economic self-sufficiency through programs, partnerships and advocacy. Among its largest programs, WCAC serves 203 pre-school children and their families at two Head Start sites - one located in Southbridge, the other in Webster.

Serving the City of Worcester and 45 neighboring communities of Auburn, Blackstone, Boylston, Brimfield, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Holden, Holland, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Grafton, Leicester, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Palmer, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield and Westborough.  
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