Stabilization Grants for All Family Child Care Providers in Boston Announced
Mayor Michelle Wu today announced the City of Boston Childcare Stabilization Grant, providing all family-based child care providers a one-time flexible spending grant of $3,260 to be used for their businesses. This funding will provide additional support to early childcare educators and providers in an effort to stabilize childcare providers in Boston as they continue to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. All 459 licensed family child care providers in Boston registered with the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care will receive the grant, which is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act and was approved by the City Council in 2021.
“Empowering early childhood and childcare providers is critical to ensuring an equitable recovery for Boston’s young children and working families,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “As we work to ramp up access to accessible, high-quality childcare, these investments will immediately support our early childcare providers in their critical work to set up all of our children and families for success.”
Boston had 489 family child care providers in March 2020, of which 400 are still open today. Today 459 family child care programs have an active EEC license. Boston has lost 89 family child care providers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and gained 59 new ones. These grants will help family child care providers sustain or grow their business to give more Boston families access to high-quality early education. The grant can be used to offset a variety of costs including hiring or retention bonuses for child care staff or to support new and existing learning activities.
Massachusetts is the second most expensive state for childcare in the U.S., with center-based infant care costing an average of $20,913 per year. Family child care providers tend to be more affordable than center-based childcare, making them a critical service for low- and moderate-income families. Family child care providers can also offer families more flexible hours, as well as multilingual or mixed-age settings.
The childcare industry is primarily composed of women. In Boston, 92% of the childcare workforce is made up of women, 62% are people of color, and 39% are immigrants across centers and family-based settings. The Childcare Stabilization Grant will assist in closing economic gaps for providers and ensuring they can continue to provide access for working families who need childcare options.
“Supporting family child care providers in the City of Boston is essential to our economic recovery,” said Alexandra Valdez, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. “This funding is an important investment in giving childcare and early education providers the resources they need to create successful, sustainable businesses in our city. These funds will empower a profession that is largely represented by women, specifically women of color, and our immigrant community. As a first-time mom, I know that it’s essential to ensure that childcare providers continue to have the resources needed in order to succeed.”
“High-quality, accessible early childhood education and care is a public good, and we must treat it that way – especially as we recover from the pandemic,” said Kristin McSwain, Director of the Office of Early Childhood. “I’m excited that the City of Boston is able to leverage our federal recovery funding to support these providers that are a lifeline for so many families in Boston.”
In March, Mayor Wu announced that Kristin McSwain will lead the newly formed Office of Early Childhood as Director and serve as Senior Advisor to the Mayor. The Office of Early Childhood was created to advance the administration’s commitment to universal, affordable, high-quality early education and care for infants, toddlers, and all children under five. The office seeks to expand access to early education and childcare programs, invest in Boston’s early education and care workforce, and build a central point-of-entry for residents looking for information on early education and childcare programming and wraparound services for young children and their families.
The Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement (MOWA) 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. MOWA, in conjunction with the Election Department, is collecting submissions for this year’s survey online which was included with this year’s Annual Census. In 2021, MOWA and the City of Boston’s Economic Mobility Lab developed the Childcare Entrepreneur Fund, a grant program to empower family-based childcare providers through business training and technical assistance. Throughout the pandemic, the program expanded significantly to provide additional aid, with programming in English, Spanish, and Cantonese. In 2020, MOWA released a report about the state of childcare during COVID-19. The City of Boston will continue to enhance high-quality and accessible childcare through the new Office of Early Childhood.
For more information about the grant, including eligibility and status, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.