Grant to support capital upgrades at the Clubs’ facilities.
The Baker-Polito Administration and the Children’s Investment Fund (CIF), with its affiliate the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), awarded $7.5 million in Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund (EEOST) capital improvement grants to thirty-six organizations.
The grants to child care centers and out-of-school time programs range from $100,000-$250,000, and this year the emphasis shifted to provide capital funding needed to address health and safety concerns related to COVID-19.
“Our Administration is pleased to support childcare providers across the Commonwealth who have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to care for children and support families returning to work,” said Governor Charlie Baker.
“Our programs during COVID-19 were designed to support the education and social and emotional health of young people. Many of them spend more than 20 hours a week in early learning and after-school settings because of their parents’ job situation. This already stressful situation was exacerbated by the pandemic, especially for essential workers. During the pandemic some children spent more than 40 hours a week with us. This grant will address our pressing facility needs that are critical for these programs to be successful,” commented John Brinkman, Chief Operating Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield never closed during the pandemic. They operated with a series of appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all their children, including opening at four different sites, providing childcare from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. This included allowing children to attend their virtual schooling at the Clubs and providing them 3 meals/snacks a day.
“These awards announced today – which mark the largest total amount awarded since the inception of the EEOST grants – will improve child care programs across the state,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Now more than ever, as families return to workplaces, investments in early education and care settings are vital to provide necessary resources to children and their families through high-quality early childhood education and out-of-school time programs.”
“Every child deserves the opportunity to learn in high-quality, safe, healthy, and joyous education environments,” said Early Education and Care Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy. “Well-designed classrooms and play spaces can greatly enhance early learning and support children to grow and thrive.”
“This year’s grants will reach five times as many providers as last year,” said Theresa Jordan, Director of the Children’s Investment Fund, an affiliate of CEDAC. “It is funding critical improvements needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, recognizing the enormous effort undertaken by child care providers over the past year to create safe environments for children.”
All the grantees are non-profit corporations or organizations in which a non-profit corporation has a controlling interest. The Department of Early Education and Care partners with CEDAC’s affiliate, the Children’s Investment Fund, to administer the grants.