SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

March 10, 2014

Letter: A comprehensive approach to child health and wellbeing

To the editor:

I could not agree with you more that technological advancements should be only one feature of a comprehensive approach to strengthening our system of early education and care in the commonwealth (“Technology upgrade is part of solution to state’s child welfare woes,” Feb. 28).

That is why the Department of Early Education and Care is already advancing multiple approaches to enhancing our oversight of the nearly 11,000 programs that comprise our system.

The Special Commission on Early Education and Care Operations and Finance recently concluded the type of review that you suggest — a study of current practices and recommendations on enhancing programs and services in the Commonwealth.

The commission’s technology recommendations are only one component of an 18-point strategy covering health and safety, workforce development, and access to quality services for children and families that received the unanimous support of commission members, including legislators, early education leaders, and the commonwealth’s child-serving agencies.

Gov. Deval Patrick has proposed additional investments in the state budget that would help advance this comprehensive approach.

The department is committed deeply to the healthy development, well-being, and success of Massachusetts’ children. The commission’s recommendations and Gov. Patrick’s proposed investments offer the systemic approach that our children deserve, and are a wise strategy for a more prosperous future that our youngest citizens will lead.

Thomas L. Weber

Commissioner of Early Education and Care

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