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Applications open for funding for organizations supporting childcare

Applicants should prioritize equitable access and strengthening worker pay.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement (MOWA) and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) today announced the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) of $250,000 in funding to support organizations working to create equitable access to childcare services in Boston. Grantees will be awarded until the fund is exhausted. Childcare providers, nonprofit organizations, community stakeholders are encouraged to apply. The application period is now open and proposals will be accepted through April 23, 2021. Application can be found online.

“It is crucial that families have access to the services they need to care for their children, especially as many families face challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’d like to thank the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement and the Boston Planning & Development Agency for their work on this grant application, which will help expand child care services for the communities that need it most. Embedding equitable hiring, staffing and services into child care is vital to individuals’ economic growth and families’ access to services.” 

Building on the Walsh Administration’s ongoing work to support equitable access to child care for all of Boston’s families, applications should establish a clear, sustainable plan that supports low-income families and children of color. Applications that include cooperative ownership models and/or shared services are strongly encouraged, with a description of the cooperative governance and/or shared services model. 

Competitive applications should also include the ways in which the activity or program strengthens worker pay and provides continuing education for childcare providers. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to supporting staff of color and staff from other marginalized communities to move into leadership positions. This includes targeted recruitment, hiring practices, staff development, mentoring, and more. In response to existing needs identified within Boston’s child care market from previous reports, special considerations will be given to project plans that include a focus on expanding seats for infants, voucher eligible children, and families who need childcare outside of traditional business hours. 

The funding may be used to either provide or expand existing child care services. All applications must include a detailed budget and comprehensive plan describing their objectives and goals if they are to receive funding. All proposals must be submitted by April 23, 2021 by 5 p.m. to the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. To apply, visit the Women’s Advancement website

Funding for this grant is part of the BPDA’s Child Care Contribution fund, collected from commercial developments over 100,000 square feet in certain Downtown neighborhoods. 

The Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement has prioritized childcare as a critical issue for Boston’s families, leading several landmark initiatives. Boston launched a first in the nation citywide childcare survey in 2019, which led to the 2020 Making Childcare Work report, and is again collecting survey responses this year. Also, MOWA and the City of Boston’s Economic Mobility Lab developed the Childcare Entrepreneur Fund, a grant program for home-based childcare providers that helps these educators be confident small business owners. That program launched in 2019 and expanded significantly to provide additional aid during the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, in 2020, MOWA released a report about the state of childcare during COVID-19, titled Too Much and Not Enough. Other critical work related to children under five years old includes the Boston Opportunity Agenda’s research and reporting about childcare supply, as well as the expansion of pre-kindergarten under Mayor Walsh’s leadership. 


The Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement creates specific programming and opportunities that support three priority areas: economic equity, safety, and empowerment, and representation. Some of the office's most recent work includes research on paid parental leave and childcare affordability; a multi-pronged approach to closing the gender pay gaps; reducing the demand for commercial sexual exploitation; and creating specific programming for women entrepreneurs. Learn more here.


As the City of Boston’s urban planning and economic development agency, the BPDA works in partnership with the community to plan Boston's future while respecting its past. The agency’s passionate and knowledgeable staff guides physical, social, and economic change in Boston’s neighborhoods and its downtown to shape a more prosperous, resilient, and vibrant city for all. The BPDA also prepares residents for new opportunities through employment training, human services, and job creation. Learn more at, and follow us on Twitter @BostonPlans.

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