BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll administration announced that 20 organizations across Massachusetts are being awarded $8.5 million in Early Education and Out-of-School Time (EEOST) capital funding grants to renovate facilities that serve primarily low-income families.
These capital grants support major renovations and construction projects to expand capacity and improve the quality of learning environments for children, ensuring they have safe and developmentally appropriate spaces to learn and play. These grants will improve program facilities, add classrooms, and in many cases expand the number of children served by increasing the number of state-subsidized childcare spots across Massachusetts.
Three of the awards are in Western Mass.: $500,000 to Chicopee Child Development Center, $500,000 to the Boys & Girls Club Family Center in Springfield, and $445,000 to the Girls Club of Greenfield Inc.
“Our administration is proud to provide this support to our incredible Early Education and Care and Out-of-School Time providers to help ensure that our kids can learn and play in modern facilities. This program will improve and expand childcare offerings for low-income parents, which will help families struggling with the high cost of living make ends meet and ensure their kids can get a high-quality education,” Gov. Maura Healey said. “These grants are a critical step in our efforts to make early education and care more affordable, accessible, and equitable across the state, which is why we increased funding for this program by $4 million per year for the next four years.”
The EEOST grants are financed through the state’s capital budget and leverage private investments with matching funds. They are administered by the Department of Early Education and Care in partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund, an affiliate of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corp. The Healey-Driscoll administration’s FY 2024-2028 Capital Investment Plan increased these grants by $4 million a year for four years. The application for FY 2024 funding will be available soon.
The EEOST grants provide between $200,000 and $500,000 to each recipient to offset expenses incurred from Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2024 that address health and safety, emergency repairs, and accessibility modifications. Examples of what these funds can be used for include, but are not limited to, modifications to improve indoor air quality, emergency repairs such as roof replacement or upgrading electrical or security systems, and physical-environment modifications addressing accessibility or other improvements to support inclusion of children and adults with disabilities.