ERIC Number: ED451887
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Our Youngest Children: Massachusetts Voters and Opinion Leaders Speak Out on Their Care and Education. A Report on the Findings from Strategies for Children.
Despite strong research evidence on the importance of early learning for later school success, thousands of Massachusetts children enter school without the benefit of quality preschool experiences. This statewide study examined the opinions of voters, child care experts, and opinion leaders regarding early care and education in order to inform a statewide effort to meet the early childhood education needs of Massachusetts children and their families. Two 400-person voter polls were conducted, and 48 leaders from a variety of constituency groups were interviewed. Among the findings of the study are the following: (1) voters are more willing to support public financing of "early childhood education" for 3- to 5-year-olds in working families than they are of supporting "child care"; (2) fully one-third of voters identified child care and early childhood education as top Massachusetts priorities; (3) voters heavily support increased tobacco and alcohol taxes to help fund child care for working parents; (4) state government leaders place child care and early education relatively high on their list of public policy priorities; (5) although a few labor leaders view child care as an important public policy concern, child care is not a concern in other sectors; (6) voters and most opinion leaders show a stunning lack of knowledge about child care; and (7) many voters feel that caring for young children is the responsibility of their families. (Five appendices include a profile of polled voters, a list of the child care experts and opinion leaders interviewed, and information on Massachusetts' expanded state tax deductions for child and dependent care. (KB)
Descriptors: Day Care, Early Childhood Education, Interviews, Knowledge Level, Public Opinion, Public Policy, Public Support, Social Attitudes, Young Children
Strategies for Children, Inc., Stride Rite Foundation, 400 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02110. For full text: http://www.schott.foundation.org. available).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Caroline and Sigmund Schott Foundation, Cambridge, MA.; Boston Globe Foundation, MA.; Child Care Resource Center, Cambridge, MA.; Work/Family Directions, Boston, MA.; Boston Foundation, MA.
Authoring Institution: Stride Rite Foundation, Boston, MA.
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts