BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration, along with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) and its affiliate Children’s Investment Fund (CIF), recently 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 36 organizations that received grant awards to fund expenses for key COVID-19-related facility challenges, emergency repairs, and/or accessibility upgrades.
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 FY21 EEOST grant awards are funding critical improvements needed during the COVID-19 pandemic while strengthening the Commonwealth’s childcare infrastructure,” said Theresa Jordan, Children’s Investment Fund’s director. “This funding acknowledges that all children, regardless of family income or circumstances, should be educated in high-quality physical environments that support healthy development and learning.”
“Many families rely on essential childcare services to return to work during the public health crisis,” said Roger Herzog, CEDAC’s executive director. “We are grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for funding health and safety upgrades that are critical to the well-being of children, parents, and staff alike.”
One of the funded projects is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield (The Clubs), which has operated an out-of-school time program in their Stoneham building for nearly 50 years and is licensed for up to 100 children. The Clubs received $225,000 to 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 Clubs provide 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.
“The Clubs have been building pillars in the local community and across Greater Boston for nearly 50 years. We are proud to provide an environment of stability, consistency, and physical and emotional safety for our youth members,” said Adam Rodgers, Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield’s chief executive officer. “We are grateful for this funding, which will enhance the accessibility and safety of our Stoneham location.”