Last Tuesday afternoon Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Early Education and Care Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy announced $7.5 million in Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund (EEOST) capital improvement grants to thirty-six organizations to renovate childcare facilities that serve primarily low-income families like Lynn’s YMCA of Metro North and the Boys & Girls Club of Lynn.
Polito said the Baker-Polito Administration teamed up with the Children’s Investment Fund (CIF) and its affiliate the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) for $250,000 in grant money towards the Boys & Girls Club and $186,000 to the YMCA of Metro North. The 36 recipients all received grants between $100,000 to $250,000 to provide capital funding needed to address health and safety concerns related to COVID-19.
“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 Polito last week at the Social Centers. “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.”
The capital grants will help continue to support major renovation and construction projects at the two Lynn organizations and improve the quality of learning environments for the over 300 children they serve.
The Early Education and Out of School Time capital improvement grants are financed through the state’s capital budget and provide matching funds that leverage private investment. More than $200 million in public and private investments have been leveraged throughout the life of the grant program. The Baker-Polito Administration’s FY21 Capital Budget Plan included funding for the Early Education and Out of School Time capital improvement grant program.
“Every child deserves the opportunity to learn in high-quality, safe, healthy, and joyous education environments,” said Commissioner Aigner-Treworgy at last week’s event. “Well-designed classrooms and play spaces can greatly enhance early learning and support children to grow and thrive.”
In a statement after the announcement Gov. Charlie Baker said his administration is committed to supporting childcare providers like the Social Centers who have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to care for children and support families returning to work.
“Since the start of this grant program, we’ve invested more than $39.2 million in capital funding at childcare programs that impact the learning experiences of more than 9,000 children in communities across Massachusetts,” he said.