The Baker-Polito Administration, along with CEDAC’s affiliate Children’s Investment Fund (CIF), has announced $7.5 million in Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund (EEOST) capital improvement grants. Lt. Governor Polito joined Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy at East Boston Social Centers to announce the thirty-six organizations that received grant awards to fund expenses for capital improvements related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. EEC, CIF, and CEDAC manage the EEOST Capital Fund. The program traditionally provides grants of up to $1 million to non-profit childcare centers seeking to renovate or develop new high-quality learning spaces for children living in low-income communities. The FY21 EEOST funding round was modified to award grants between $100,000 and $250,000 to provide early childhood education and out-of-school time programs with the resources they need to make improvements and emergency repairs that address health and safety issues.
The event was recorded and can be accessed here.
Childcare providers face tremendous strain because of the COVID pandemic, and many families rely on these essential services to return to work. This critical funding will benefit providers across the state while strengthening the Commonwealth’s childcare infrastructure. All 36 grantees – listed in the state’s press release – address key COVID-19-related facility challenges, emergency repairs, and/or accessibility upgrades. A few project examples include:
Boys and Girls Club of Stoneham and Wakefield (Stoneham) – $225,000
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield has operated an out-of-school time program in their building for nearly 50 years and is licensed for up to 91 children. This project will convert storage space into two accessible restrooms and install a new Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system. It will also upgrade all bathrooms to have touchless controls.
The Club provides educational afterschool and summer programming to over 3,000 members across two locations each year. The organization works with youth aged 5 to 18 from various economic, social, and family circumstances.
Kwong Kow Chinese School (Boston) – $146,000
Kwong Kow operates an out-of-school time program for up to 117 children. The school will renovate all six of its restrooms with new child-height countertops, stall partitions, and touchless features. They will also refurbish walls throughout the center, install a security system, and purchase air purifiers.
Kwong Kow Chinese School provides a full-day program and out-of-school time program that share the history and culture of the Chinese language and heritage. The organization has served the Greater Boston area since 1916.
PACE Head Start (New Bedford) – $250,000
PACE Head Start serves infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and is licensed for up to 184 children. PACE will renovate worn and outdated bathrooms that accommodate children instead of adults. They will also replace 40-year-old inoperable windows with more efficient windows that can be opened to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the center.
PACE Head Start is a program of P.A.C.E. Inc. (People Acting In Community Endeavors), a non-profit, community action agency serving the Greater New Bedford area.
Child Care of the Berkshires (North Adams) – $207,000
Child Care of the Berkshires has operated out of a former school building in North Adams for the past 40 years serving 81 early childhood education and out-of-school time children. The organization will repair an HVAC air handler unit, replace 25 windows, and complete security system improvements. It will also receive funding to install a new classroom sink, repair outdoor sidewalks, and replace four doors required for fire safety code and security.
The FY21 EEOST Capital Fund underscores the enormous effort undertaken by childcare providers to create safe environments for children over the past year. We look forward to working with these 36 providers as they move their projects forward.