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Universal Pre-K Ad-Hoc

Mayor Siddiqui has formed a City Council and School Committee Ad-Hoc in collaboration with the Office of Early Childhood Education to continue working towards Universal Pre-K in Cambridge. The purpose of the joint ad-hoc committee is to receive frequent updates on progress made, engage in thoughtful conversations about findings, and provide guidance about implementation for Universal Pre-K. The ad-hoc committee will be responsible for providing feedback to the leadership team. The ad-hoc committee will meet every 6 weeks following Memorial Day, in order to synthesize through updates and provide any necessary approvals on steps towards advancing the work of Universal Pre-K.


Through the Cambridge Early Childhood Task Force, the Birth to 3rd Grade Partnership (now the Office of Early Childhood Education) was launched in 2016 to implement a set of recommendations to improve early education and care throughout the community and to ensure that all children receive high quality early education and care. The Office of Early Childhood Education is developing and designing a universal Pre-K (UPK) system to include a program guide for participating programs, and a single point of access for information and application for families applying for Pre-K within this system.

UPK Structure

The Office of Early Childhood Education has created a structure consisting of a UPK leadership team, an advisory committee, a family advisory committee, and three task forces. The work of these groups will be led by The Office of Early Childhood Education’s Executive Director and a newly hired UPK Project Manager.

  • The leadership team represents the school department and city and will make decisions and advance necessary items to final approval through the school committee or city council.
  • The UPK advisory committee is composed of the UPK leadership team and representatives of the school department, city, and community and will provide expertise in making final recommendations.
  • The family advisory committee will consist of Cambridge families with young children. This group will provide input and feedback through a variety of strategies (focus groups, surveys, interviews, meetings) to key teams as needed, to ensure family voice is represented throughout the UPK design and development process. The three UPK task forces will provide expertise and make/advance preliminary recommendations in the areas of workforce development (i.e., teacher qualifications), program quality (i.e., quality standards), and family hub (i.e., application process).
  • A UPK Project Manager will support the design and implementation of the city’s universal Pre-K system; managing each constituent group, synthesizing data, supporting the overall communication strategy, and ensuring timelines are met.


  • Sumbul Siddiqui, Mayor (Chair)
  • Alanna Mallon, Vice Mayor
  • Marc McGovern, City Councilor
  • Dennis Carlone, City Councilor
  • David Weinstein, School Committee
  • Ayesha Wilson, School Committee
  • Dr. Lisa Grant, Executive Director, Birth to 3rd Grade Partnership
  • Dr. Carolyn Turk, Deputy Superintendent
  • Dr. Michelle Madera, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools
  • Ellen Semonoff, Assistant City Manager for Human Services
  • Michelle Farnum, Assistant Director, Children Youth and Families

Ad-Hoc Meetings

Header photograph by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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