Rockville, Md. – Abt Associates announced today that it is joining 70 Massachusetts employers to found the Massachusetts Business Coalition for Early Childhood Education.
Abt has a long history of working to identify policies and programs that support and improve the outcomes of young children and their families in partnership with federal and state agencies, philanthropic organizations, and nonprofit organizations. Together with other members of the coalition, Abt seeks to identify opportunities to improve early care and education access, affordability, and quality and collaborate around employer best practices to advance equitable child care solutions.
Abt’s recent evaluation of the Massachusetts Preschool Expansion Grant (PEG) found that access to high-quality preschool had a powerful impact on children’s early academic skills and had an even bigger impact on children from homes where English was not the primary language and for children with no prior formal childcare experience.
“We know that building a strong foundation early on can improve children’s longterm engagement—and achievement—in school,” said Kathleen Flanagan, Abt’s President and CEO.
The availability of early childcare and education has become an increasingly urgent issue due to COVID-19’s devastating impact on a fragile—and inequitable--system. Abt’s research makes clear that the lack of access to high quality early care and education creates gaps at school entry that are harder to overcome as a child grows up, and often disproportionately puts the most vulnerable children—including children of color—at greater risk.
“Our company was founded in Massachusetts more than 55 years ago to help create a world free from poverty,” said Flanagan. “We know early child care and education is an economic imperative with extraordinary benefits to all employers, working families, and children. The need for accessible quality child care is urgent, and we want to join forces with others in the business community to help build a more robust and sustainable system.”
About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that uses data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives. From combatting infectious disease and conducting rigorous program evaluations, to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing—and more—we partner with clients and communities to tackle their most complex challenges. https://www.abtassociates.com