The Massachusetts legislature recently passed a housing bond bill that includes funding for renovating child-care facilities around the state.
The bill, signed by Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, on Nov. 14, is a $1.4 billion package that includes $45 million in bond financing that would be used for capital improvements to daycare centers and after-school facilities serving children from low-income families. My recent article on the measure noted that in Massachusetts and around the country, many early-childhood providers that focus on at-risk children have to make do with buildings that were not intended for the unique needs of young children. Many of those facilities lack adequate outdoor space, recommended safety measures, or accessibility for children or employees with disabilities.
The Children’s Investment Fund, based in Boston, works statewide to provide grants, loans, and technical assistance to early-childhood care providers and supported the measure. The organization released a study in 2011 that outlined some of the deficiencies of child-care facilities around the state.
“This is the first time that facilities financing for these service providers is part of community development legislation,” said Mav Pardee, the program manager of Children’s Investment Fund, in a statement. “It recognizes the vital role that education plays in children’s lives and is an investment in improving education quality, beginning early, when it is most effective.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.