A newly renovated classroom at the Child Care of the Berkshires. (@Damianos Photography)
On July 27, the Healey-Driscoll Administration and the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) announced FY23 awards through the Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) Capital Fund to provide critical resources necessary to sustain the Commonwealth’s essential child care infrastructure. The FY23 EEOST Capital Fund round granted $8.5M to 20 projects, representing non-profit early education and out-of-school time centers, to help fund expenses for critical capital improvements. Over 1,900 children will be impacted by the improvements at these sites.
Providing quality child care facilities and programs equitably and for all residents of Massachusetts is one of CEDAC’s and CIF’s top priorities. We are committed to working towards a future where all of the child care needs of the Commonwealth are met. Below are some projects receiving funding in the FY23 EEOST grant round:
Cape Cod Children’s Place, Eastham – $293,000
After 30 years, the skylights and windows within the Cape Cod Children’s Place (CCCP) reached the end of their useful life, and the fixtures within the center’s restrooms required maintenance and repairs to ensure they remained functional. The building lacked an accessible entrance and means for children and staff with mobility challenges to access the outdoor play space. The EEOST grant will permit CCCP to replace all 40 windows throughout the center as well as the leaking skylights, increasing the building’s energy efficiency. The center will install three accessible automatic doors and a new accessible pathway into the play space. It will also replace toilets, sinks, and other fixtures in restrooms, which will help conserve water.
Paige Academy, Roxbury – $500,000
For nearly fifty years, Paige Academy has provided culturally affirming child care that honors the seven principles of Kwanza, including purpose, creativity, responsibility, and compassion towards others within a verdant campus within the hills of Roxbury’s Highland Square. Paige’s historic 1859 building requires extensive repairs. The EEOST grant will enable Paige to restore service to an existing elevator and improve accessibility throughout the building and outdoor play space. Paige will also replace elements of the inefficient heating system and improve fresh air intake and ventilation throughout the four-story building.
Girls Club of Greenfield, Greenfield – $445,000
The Girls Club of Greenfield is the nation’s second-oldest Girls Club. It operates its infant, toddler, preschool, and school-age programs from a masonry building that nearly dates to the organization’s founding in 1895. The Club will utilize the EEOST grant towards a range of sweeping improvements throughout the building, including installing handwashing sinks and new flooring within the classrooms as well as purchasing shade structures, new play equipment, fencing, and benches to enhance their outdoor play areas and ensuring a more accessible environment for children and staff.
LEO, Inc., Lynn – $450,000
LEO, one of the largest Head Start provider agencies in Essex County, will consolidate three scattered preschool programs into its renovated landmark building. The project will include two new outdoor play spaces with universal design and accessibility and create fifteen new classrooms to serve 270 preschoolers for many of Lynn’s most vulnerable families. The EEOST grant will fund the highly efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to be installed, allowing teachers to adjust the temperature and ventilation in individual classrooms.
We would also like to acknowledge the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s bold investment in the EEOST Capital Fund in its FY24 – FY28 Capital Plan, with $10.85M allocated for the upcoming FY24 grant round. This funding is more than double the $4M that the EEOST Capital Fund has historically received each year. We look forward to supporting more providers with this increase and thank the Administration for its commitment.
For further information on CEDAC and CIF’s work in support of affordable child care, please visit: https://cedac.org/cif/