- Executive Office of Education
- Department of Early Education and Care
Media Contact for Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber Plans to Depart at End of Fiscal Year
Colleen Quinn, Communications Director, Executive Office of Education
Boston — Today, Commissioner of Early Education and Care Tom Weber announced plans to depart the administration in June. Weber has served as Commissioner of Early Education and Care for six years, as the longest serving commissioner for this department, and he will resign after more than a decade of service in senior roles within the Education Secretariat.
“Under Commissioner Weber’s leadership, the Department of Early Education and Care established quality standards for early education programs, increased focus on workforce development for teachers, and provided the largest salary increase to providers in more than a decade,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “We appreciate Commissioner Weber’s service to the children of the Commonwealth and wish him all the best in the future.”
“Commissioner Weber’s hard work has increased opportunities for children across the Commonwealth,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said. “We appreciate his efforts to successfully implement the federal Preschool Expansion Grant program to provide more than 3,500 children in Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell and Springfield with free, high-quality preschool.”
The Board of Early Education and Care, led by Chair Nonie Lesaux, will launch a search to identify a successor immediately.
“It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve the Commonwealth on behalf of an important mission to support the healthy growth and development of our young learners and strengthen families,” Commissioner Tom Weber said. “My respect and appreciation for the dedicated, passionate professionals of the Department and the Commonwealth’s early education and care system is boundless. I am grateful to Governors Charlie Baker and Deval Patrick, as well as the Legislature and the Board of Early Education and Care, for their leadership and the opportunity to contribute to work that is essential to the present and future vitality of Massachusetts. I look forward to working closely with Chairperson Nonie Lesaux and Secretary Jim Peyser through the transition to position the Department for even greater results for the Commonwealth’s children and families.”
“Tom Weber’s work in education during the last decade will positively impact children in the Commonwealth for years to come,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “His tenure as Early Education and Care Commissioner significantly improved the quality of early education in Massachusetts, and laid a solid foundation for future success of the agency.”
“The Commonwealth’s young children and their families, along with the agency’s leaders and staff, have been so fortunate to have Tom at the helm during these pivotal years. He so ably led during a time when the field of early education and care is undergoing tremendous transformation and when leaders therefore need a dual lens: one focused on health, safety, and regulations and one focused on quality improvement and workforce development–with the goal of bringing these lines of work together for even greater impact. I know I speak for all board members when I express my tremendous gratitude. It has been a pleasure to work with Tom,” Board Chair Nonie Lesaux said.
“The impact of Commissioner Weber’s commitment to improving the quality of the programs overseen by EEC will benefit children and their families across the Commonwealth for years to come. It has been a pleasure to work with the Commissioner over the past several years and I will miss his thoughtful and steady leadership,” Rep. Alice Peisch, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, said. “I wish Commissioner Weber all the best in whatever direction his next step takes him and look forward to continuing to work with him over the next few months.”
During his tenure as commissioner, the Department of Early Education Care:
- Successfully secured and implemented a $60 million federal Preschool Expansion Grant, serving 3,500 preschool children with free, high-quality services through an innovative public-private partnership model in the communities of Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, and Springfield. The Preschool Expansion Grant Program was studied and Massachusetts is introducing a similar model this year known as the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative.
- Successfully implemented more than 50 initiatives to enhance program quality under a $50 million Federal Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant.
- Provided historic investments in early education and care programs, working closely with the Governor’s office, the Board, and the Legislature, including the Commonwealth’s most significant annual rate increases to programs providing services to children eligible for subsidized child care.
- Launched the Early Education and Out-of-School Time Capital Fund, supporting 25 programs with $19 million to build or upgrade facilities to support the healthy growth and development of young learners.
- Developed and introduced new initiatives designed to measure and support program and workforce quality and capacity-building; specifically, StrongStart to Program Quality, supported by newly revised Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) standards; and, StrongStart to Career Pathways, supported by an innovative new $10 million state program to support statewide professional development efforts through regional partnerships led by the Commonwealth’s community colleges.
The Department of Early Education and Care's mission is to support the healthy growth and development of all children by providing high quality programs and resources for families and communities.