About the Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children


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The Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children (BTWIC) conducts independent and operational research to identify the most prevailing deficiencies in the Massachusetts early education and care system and works with strategic partners to champion and implement solutions that ensure underserved children enter kindergarten ready to learn

BTWIC had much success with Keeping the Promise: A Study of the Massachusetts Child Care Voucher System, our first major policy initiative, published in 2006. Keeping the Promise examined quality and consistency of care for children who receive childcare subsidies through vouchers provided by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.

After following 3,200 children and conducting town meetings statewide, the study concluded that limited funding for the voucher system and significant administrative burdens result in reduced quality and accessibility for subsidized care. Within a year of the release of the study, we achieved our goal of enhancing continuity of care for the over 50,000 children in the voucher program.

We are nearing the end of our multi-year effort Eating to Learn: Increasing Participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, continuing outreach for Child Development in Informal Care, and leading the Put MA Kids First Coalition. In October 2015, we launched our Early Education and Care Small Business Innovation Center, while we continue to update and maintain our Early Educator’s Roadmap to a College Degree.

Through our work, Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children has begun to fulfill our promise and will continue to work towards enhancing the lives of all children and families.