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Somerville Partnership for Young Children (SPYC) is a Somerville Public Schools Early Education & Care Department initiative

Our Mission

Somerville Partnership for Young Children (SPYC) unifies Somerville early education providers in a coordinated system that offers access to high quality programs for children, supported by instructional and wrap-around supports that empower early educators and families in our city.

Our Vision

Somerville Partnership for Young Children (SPYC) envisions an early education system that gives every child an opportunity to develop a love of learning in a nurturing, responsive, and stimulating environment. SPYC believes that supporting local early education programs and uniting as one network with a shared vision will meet the range of needs among children and families in Somerville.

This work ensures that:


  • Receive more information, through broad outreach, about the importance of growth and development in the early years and the environments that support this growth
  • Regardless of socio-economic status, geography, race, ethnicity, or any other demographic factor, have access to high quality early education programming that fits individual family needs


  • Attend early education programs staffed with caring, knowledgeable, and professionally supported teachers and directors
  • Have rich and high quality opportunities to play, learn, and grow
  • Connect in meaningful ways and build strong relationships with other children and adults

Early Educators & Program Directors

  • Have access to increased professional support (via instructional coaching, professional development, degree attainment support, and mentorship) to deepen instructional practice and job satisfaction
  • Can join a learning community of early educators across Somerville to align quality practices and increase connectivity among previously siloed programs
  • To learn more about how the SPYC network can support you, contact Alison Mann, Assistant Director of Early Education and Care (!


  • Sees young children as capable and competent members of the community
  • Continues to value and support early education options across the city
  • Is home to programs that represent and serve the diverse needs of Somerville residents

SPYC Network Team

The SPYC Network is led by Somerville Public School’s Early Education & Care Department.

Somerville Early Education & Care Department

Kathleen Bailer
Kathleen Bailer Director of Early Education

Kathleen Bailer, M.Ed. is the Director of Early Childhood Education and Care for Somerville Public Schools. Kathleen brings nearly 30 years of teaching and leadership experience to support the implementation of a comprehensive, integrated, mixed-delivery early education system in Somerville and ensure that all students meet and exceed the kindergarten readiness benchmarks.

Ms. Bailer earned a B.A. in Art from Bucknell University and an M.S. in Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York. Prior to coming to Somerville, Ms. Bailer worked as a principal in public schools, a director of a private school, an early childhood consultant and a teacher in grades PK-5.

Ms. Bailer brings a deep knowledge of early childhood curriculum and an approach that respects and follows the child. She is passionate about the importance of early childhood education and believes that providing high quality education and care is foundational to later success in school and life.

Ms. Bailer holds a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education license in Principal/Assistant Principal PreK – 6, Early Childhood PreK – 3, Elementary 1 – 6, Art/Visual Art PreK – 9, SEI-Admin Endorsement as well as a Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, Lead Teacher, Director I, Director II License.

Alison Mann
Alison Mann Assistant Director of Early Education and Care

As the Assistant Director of Early Education and Care, Alison works closely with early education programs across Somerville to implement our mixed-delivery preschool partnerships.

Alison brings over a decade’s worth of experience as a preschool and kindergarten teacher, in which she has served students and families in the public school system. She has always approached her practice with a social justice lens where students are taught to be critical thinkers as they engage with the world and learn to be agents of change. In addition to her role as teacher, Alison has served as a consultant, leading professional development for teachers, focused on developing and sustaining cultural, racial, and linguistic equity.

Alison earned her B.S. in Education from the University of Delaware and her M.Ed. in Early Childhood from Boston College.

Heidi Given
Heidi Given Early Childhood Instructional Coach

As an Early Childhood Instructional Coach, Heidi works with teachers and teams to build strong classroom communities and learning environments. She enjoys working throughout the city with various centers and programs. Heidi is dedicated to building classroom communities that reflect and embrace every child and support the range of social, physical, linguistic, and cognitive development found in preschool classrooms.

Valerie Giltinan
Valerie Giltinan Early Childhood Instructional Coach

As an Early Childhood Instructional Coach, Valerie builds relationships with teachers to facilitate growth and deep knowledge of teaching and learning through play and rich curriculum. A preschool teacher for more than 20 years, Valerie brings her love of art and nature to her work. Valerie feels strongly that all children should have access to warm, welcoming learning environments that are engaging, meaningful, and reflect children’s sense of self and the world around them.

Karen Daniels
Karen Daniels Speech and Language Pathologist

As the Somerville Partnership for Young Children Itinerant Service Provider, Karen delivers speech and language services to children as preventive measures within preschool classrooms. She also conducts consultation and implements direct services for children with special needs. As an educator with a diverse range of experiences, Karen aims to ensure that all children have access to materials and resources that nurture their curiosity, insights, and ability to communicate. Karen earned her B.A. in Communication Disorders from Elms College, Springfield, MA, and her M.S. in Speech/Language Pathology from Emerson College, Boston, MA.

Director Mentors

Director Mentors work with directors of child care programs to provide support.
Kate Director Mentor
Polly Director Mentor