Kids First is a multi-year initiative, led DiDomenico, D-Everett, to identify and support innovative strategies to invest in Massachusetts' children. Members of the initiative are taking a comprehensive look at a wide variety of policy areas relating to supporting children, including education, nutrition, public health, housing and workforce development.
The state senate group is currently working on the first phase of the initiative, focusing on early childhood development from pre-natal through the fourth grade. Members of the initiative visited Nurtury's state-of-the-art learning lab as they continue seeking input on the best-in-the-nation practices for supporting children.
"We are excited to have (State) Senator Sal DiDomenico and members of the Senate's Kids First Committee visit Nurtury," said Nurtury President & CEO Wayne Ysaguirre. "We know that the goal of putting children first in the legislative process is one that makes so much sense to us, the earlier we begin to think about a child, the more effective our strategies will be.
"The legislature needs to start with the youngest children possible to achieve the measurable outcomes that we want for them as they progress into adulthood. The crux of early education at Nurtury is a three-pronged approach that actively engages the entire child, their family, and their community. We are thrilled to allow the Senate the opportunity to see early education in practice, discuss our challenges, and inform their thinking around where to invest," said Ysaguirre.
"Organizations like Nurtury help us to see firsthand the great work being done in the Commonwealth to produce high quality early education and care, and allow us to understand what areas of the field might need improvement," said DiDomenico, leader of the Senate Kids First Initiative. "We know that without a strong workforce we cannot expect the objectives of Kids First to become a reality, and beginning these open dialogues with organizations like Nurtury are crucial to our success in this endeavor."
Nurtury Learning Lab, located at 33 Bickford St. in the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments, incorporates the most creative thinking and evidence-based practices, with the long-term objective of becoming a replicable, national model for delivering early education and comprehensive family services in an urban area.
The Senate Kids First Initiative was launched by state Senate President Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, in January of 2016 with the mission of creating a bold blueprint for how Massachusetts can better invest in order to raise strong and resilient children. Kids First is set to release its first report focusing on early childhood in February.