Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3.6 Million in Grants for Facilities Development to Increase Quality in Early Education Programs
WEBSTER – The Baker-Polito Administration and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) today announced $3.6 million in grant awards for facility improvements at early education and care programs that serve low income children. Six agencies were selected to receive an Early Education and Care and Out of School Time grant, which will help increase the quality of their early education programs through critical facility repairs and renovations. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito made the announcement at the new Guild of St. Agnes early education program in Webster, the site of one of the facilities funded by the 2016 grant awards.
"The Early Education and Care and Out of School Time grants are a critical resource for helping ensure that our early learning program environments support children's learning," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "By providing high quality facilities for children to grow and thrive in, we are both helping foster their success and building a more prosperous future for all of us."
The $3.6 million in FY16 grant awards will improve the quality of existing settings for approximately 500 children in programs licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care, will increase the capacity of these programs to serve an additional 119 children in higher quality settings, and will support the creation of 179 jobs during the grant period.
The Early Education and Care and Out of School Time grants are financed through the state's capital budget and provide matching funds that leverage private investment. The Baker-Polito Administration's FY17 Capital Budget Plan included $4 million for the Early Education and Out of School Time grant program.
"It is well established through research that environments influence the architecture of a child's developing brain, so having program spaces that facilitate positive experiences for children is critical," said Early Education and Care Commissioner Tom Weber. "The planned facility developments will modernize spaces, improve the efficiency of systems, and provide better environments for the children that support their optimum growth and learning."
All of the programs selected to receive a grant award serve publicly subsidized families, have demonstrated financial need, and have secured additional funding to pay for a portion of their project costs. The Department of Early Education and Care partnered with CEDAC's affiliate, the Children's Investment Fund, to administer the grant awards. All of the grantees are tax-exempt non-profit corporations or organizations in which a non-profit corporation has a controlling interest.
“The EEOST Capital Fund is a critical resource for helping non-profit child care providers improve the spaces where so many low income children attend child care,” said Theresa Jordan, Program Manager of Children’s Investment Fund. “It has helped fund renovations and construction of centers, creating wonderful learning environments across the Commonwealth. The child care community is grateful that policymakers had both the vision and commitment to quality that led to establishment of the Capital Fund. This Fund has made Massachusetts a national leader in developing facilities that support children’s education and wellbeing.”
Sixteen organizations submitted requests for funding that totaled over $12 million combined. The applicants selected for a grant award demonstrated sound feasibility of project, readiness for implementation, and likely potential for long-term sustainability and success. The grantees and their award amounts are listed below:
|Lead Agency||Service Area||Award|
|Aspire Developmental Services||Lynn||$1,000,000|
|Brookview House, Inc||Boston||$450,000|
|Community Art Center||Cambridge||$750,000|
|Guild of St. Agnes||Webster||$700,000|
|Rainbow Child Development Center||Worcester||$200,000|
The grants were financed through the Early Education and Care and Out of School Time Capital Fund, which was established in 2013 through An Act Financing the Production and Preservation of Housing for Low and Moderate Income Residents. The legislation that established the capital fund provided $45 million in general obligation bond funding over five years.