October 23, 2009
Dear Representative Hecht, Senator Tolman, & Governor Patrick,
We, the following parents, write to ask you for your support of the Early Childhood Watertown Grants that include the Watertown Family Network, The Parent Child Home Program, & the Community Partnerships for Children during this time of most dire need. It has come to our attention that the Family Network could be facing elimination with the Governor’s impending 9C cuts. This would be an unbelievable tragedy for the children of Watertown and the community at large.
Of course, we are acutely aware of the state’s budget situation. We understand the unfortunate reality that these are difficult times for all those that depend on funding from the government. Yet we must call to your attention that we believe it is essential to keep programs such as the Watertown Family Network alive – programs that truly pay for themselves in the long term.
The importance of these programs is demonstrated by numerous comprehensive studies such as that of “The Economic Impact of the Child Care and Early Education Industry in Massachusetts,” published in 2004, which, among its many conclusions emphasizing the rate of return of the early childhood “industry” on taxpayers’ dollars, supports Richard Lord and Alan MacDonald’s opinion that, “Ensuring an adequate supply of educated workers and increasing the likelihood of obtaining a college degree, by improving children’s early learning opportunities, will help position Massachusetts for future economic growth and prepare tomorrow’s work force for the changing demands of our economy.”
As parents, we can all attest to the fact that the Family Network has been vital in enriching and developing the cognitive, emotional, social, and physical skills of our children through its varied and diverse activities - activities that prepare children for early childhood care and beyond.
During times such as these, it is the government’s responsibility to maintain those programs that truly embody the spirit of its guiding principals, and, without a doubt, the Watertown Family Network is a unique program that sews the fabrics of our community together and creates the building blocks for successful, well-prepared families and children. From new parent support groups to music sessions with residents of the local assisted living facility, the Network fulfills countless needs of young families dependent on the support from and connection to their community. The loss of accessibility to this program would not only be the loss of one of Watertown’s greatest assets, but also a loss for Massachusetts of a crucial means to attract and retain young families. We hope that you defend the Watertown Family
Network as such during the fiscal negotiations ahead.
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