Finding childcare is one of the central issues facing Boston families. The average cost of care for one infant eats up 75 percent of a minimum wage earner's salary. Thousands of eligible children sit on waitlists for subsidized childcare. At the same time, childcare workers are struggling. The median wage of an early child care professional is $25,000, with 37 percent of workers relying on public aid. On top of that, the number of childcare programs in Massachusetts decreased by nearly 25 percent in just four years.
We are building on our innovative Universal Pre-K model to address these problems head on.
Our approach focuses on three key areas:1. Using Innovative Research to Support Best Practices:
We are analyzing large-scale surveys and in-depth interviews with residents. We're also drawing from top academic findings. With this research, we're creating childcare policies and programs that help all residents.2. Supporting Boston's Entrepreneurs:
We provide training and grants to childcare providers. These efforts support a key sector in Boston that is almost exclusively female. We're helping the women who make up 90 percent of the childcare industry run sustainable, financially sound businesses.3. Encouraging Labor Force Participation:
Parents in the workforce are better able to provide financial security for their families. Along with the creation of new childcare centers, we support workplace policies that allow families to be both involved caregivers and valued workers.
Improving the care of our youngest residents has a number of benefits:
- We help the brain growth that occurs in the first three years of life.
- We set the stage for long-term academic, financial, and social-emotional gains in our children.
- We support a key sector of our economy — childcare — and those taking part in the labor force.
In this way, our efforts encourage the healthy development of all of Boston.