COMMONWEALTH PRESCHOOL PARTNERSHIP
A collaborative, district-wide initiative for the next generation of Falmouth students and their families.
ABOUT THE PARTNERSHIP
The Commonwealth Preschool Partnership is a collaboration between the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), the Town of Falmouth, Falmouth Public Schools, The Coalition for Children and local EEC-licensed early education and care programs.
This journey began in March 2022 by conducting a needs assessment to better understand the local early education and care system, including programs serving infants, toddlers and a particular focus on preschool.
The needs assessment identified the current landscape, what is working, where there are gaps, what resources and supports are needed, and how we can better align these programs with the Falmouth Public Schools.
These results helped us to identify key issues that can be immediately addressed to strengthen these systems, build quality, and improve access for families and children.
ABOUT THE GRANT
The purpose of the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI) Grant is to support districts in working with local EEC-licensed programs, explore ways to expand local access to high quality preschool for 3-and-4-year-olds, and meet the diverse needs of families in their communities.
As of June 2022, The Commonwealth Preschool Partnership had completed the initial planning stage of the CPPI grant. The goal of this first stage was to determine what strengths, weaknesses and opportunities currently exist in our area regarding early education and care. Our needs assessment surveys and focus groups provided concrete and anecdotal evidence to support our findings and needs.
In addition we also compiled a comprehensive list of local early education and care programs which included status (public/ private/ center-based/ home-based, etc.) and capacity, including number of families served currently and those on waitlist. This directory will be updated continually to reflect any changes.
Additionally, we collaborated with the Cape Cod Commission who were working with families across Cape Cod and the Islands on a similar survey to define early education and care needs. Their preliminary data supported our findings and data trends.
Our June 2022 needs assessment survey and focus group data collection revealed five recurring barriers to quality, accessible, affordable and equitable local early education and care programs. Those were:
● Providers are at capacity with their available staffing and currently have waitlists;
● Affordability does not fall within a large majority of households’ price ranges;
● Social/Emotional/Behavioral concerns and lack of resources and supports;
● Lack of quality educators for hire especially due to low wages, and,
● Operational hours/days for care.
A summary of our findings can be downloaded here: