Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Executive Office of Education, Department of Early Education and Care
Co-sponsored by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
**New to 2018**
Co-Sponsored by the Center on the Developing Child
The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is offering a unique opportunity for an undergraduate to work in a state early education agency. The intern will work across initiatives within EEC to support the agency’s strategic planning and ensure integration of current research in child development and adversity.
EEC was established in 2005 with a mission to provide "the foundation that supports all children in their development as lifelong learners and contributing members of the community, and supports families in their essential work as parents and caregivers." EEC is part of the Executive Office of Education, one of eight Executive Offices under Governor Charlie Baker. Secretary James A. Peyser oversees the Executive Office of Education and is Governor Baker's top advisor on education. Commissioner Thomas L. Weber manages EEC, and with an eleven member EEC Board, chaired by Nonie Lesaux, Ph.D. (Academic Dean at the Harvard Graduate School of Education), sets policies and regulations related to early education and care programs and services in the Commonwealth.
The Department of Early Education and Care serves as the entry point to Massachusetts' birth to 21 education pipeline. "Early education and care" includes:
- formal programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children during out-of-school time;
- group homes;
- foster care and adoption placement agencies;
- residential schools for children with special needs;
- programs in informal settings such as home visiting; and
- community-based, family engagement networks that provide literacy and other developmental activities for children and parents in libraries and adult education centers.
In support of these efforts, EEC licenses programs, manages childcare subsidies, provides multiple grants to support program quality and runs the state’s quality rating and improvement system. Throughout all these endeavors, EEC is very interested in ensuring that policies incorporate current understanding of child development and the needs of adult learners. The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (the Center) has created many resources to support policymakers in this work, and EEC is interested in hiring an intern to review current policies in light of the Center’s work.
This internship is a great opportunity for a student who is interested in the intersection between education research and public policy. The intern will become familiar with EEC’s policies, programs and grants that support the early education workforce. He or she will also review the resources developed by the Center, particularly those focusing on adult learners and the role of adults in children’s lives. He or she will develop a rubric for using the science to evaluate programs and policies against a core set of science-based principles. The intern will pilot this rubric to review selected EEC policies and provide EEC feedback and suggestions on better alignment with the science. In particular, EEC is currently building a career lattice with associated competencies to define roles and expectations for the early education workforce. The Quality Rating and Improvement System also has expectations for education skills and training that will be under revision this summer. Feedback on the policies around competencies, training expectations and educator roles will be an important expectation of this internship. Opportunities to share feedback with senior leadership will be provided, as will opportunities to visit programs and discuss EEC’s professional recommendations with the field. The student will also share the rubric with the Center, along with recommendations on using the rubric in a policy context. We are looking for a candidate who is organized, independent, a strong writer and communicator and a team player.
For background information on the Center on the Developing Child, the Frontiers of Innovation Initiative, and the science of early childhood, including executive function and self-regulation, please visit the Center’s web site at http://developingchild.harvard.edu.
- Strong record of academic achievement;
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
- Demonstrated interest in education, public policy issues, and public service;
- Exceptional time management and organizational skills; and
- Ability to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
2018 Intern Reflection
This summer I had the privilege of working at two offices. I spent half the week at the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), a government agency that licenses, manages, and supports childcare programs across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The other half of the week I spent at the Harvard Center on the Developing Child (CDC), a research and development platform for science-based innovation. Given my own interest of turning innovative research into something actionable, this Director’s Internship was an ideal fit for my summer.
Interning at both workplaces gave me simultaneous exposure and access to the world of policy and government, as well as research and development. I participated in meetings at the Federal Reserve and the Boston Foundation, listened to powerful speakers from the National Governors Association and the Board of Education, and got to contribute to leadership meetings on workforce development, data systems and data use, and community building.
Learning and participating in the interaction of these two seemingly distinct spaces was a valuable lesson in cocreation. Saturating myself in the CDC’s brain science, and seeking how to situate their insights into policy at various stages of development was a fast-paced, iterative, and collaborative process. Every step felt purposeful and meaningful to myself and the field. My summer culminated in a policy memo for EEC, including recommendations for further alignment of their workforce development policy and quality rating and improvement system with science. I also developed materials for CDC to inform their continued collaboration with policy makers.
Of all the experiences I had at both offices, the support and generosity of my coworkers was the most memorable. Numerous members of the team made time to get lunch with me and talk about their own lives and career paths, offering sage advice on my own journey. The willingness of my coworkers to connect and reflect with me throughout the summer made it the best one yet!
Elizabeth Quiñonez '19