This week, the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) offers thanks to two state officials who have been extremely important to the creation and successful implementation of the Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) Capital Fund: Commissioner Tom Weber and Deputy Commissioner for Administration/Chief Financial Officer Bill Concannon.
Both CEDAC and the Children’s Investment Fund have worked closely with Commissioner Weber and Deputy Commissioner Concannon since 2013, when the EEOST Capital Fund – the capital bond program for early childhood education and out-of-school time facilities – was signed into law.
EEOST and the growing recognition that child care is a critical component of community development have placed Massachusetts at the forefront of a national movement to improve the quality of child care facilities. Since EEOST’s inclusion in the 2013 Housing Bond Bill, the EEC team helped to create the program’s regulations, guidelines and application; worked closely with the Executive Office of Education and the Executive Office for Administration and Finance; and personally attended groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings throughout the Commonwealth to witness the program’s success.
EEOST has enabled non-profit child care providers across Massachusetts to upgrade or build new, high-quality learning centers. In the six years since the program was created, Massachusetts has granted 25 centers – most of whom serve children living in low income communities – with $19.2 million in EEOST funds. Collectively, these centers are adding capacity to the early childhood education and out-of-school time system to serve 650 additional children, improving the learning environments for 2,500 children, and leveraging $89 million in additional investment from other sources.
We look forward to working with the next Commissioner, Samantha Aigner-Treworgy, and with the Board of Early Education and Care to continue this important program. We know that the support of Commissioner Weber and Deputy Commissioner Concannon was essential to establishing EEOST in its earliest stages and to making sure it became the effective program it is today. We wish them good luck and continued success in their next endeavors.
Top photo: Commissioner Weber. Bottom photo: Deputy Commissioner Concannon (far right)