The Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care voted to endorse a bond bill that includes $45 million in capital financing for non-profit providers of early education and out-of-school time services to build or renovate facilities. The bill follows the 2011 release of “Building an Infrastructure for Quality,” a report from Children’s Investment Fund, found shortcomings in safety, air quality, indoor space for physical activity and other measures.
Mav Pardee, director of the Children’s Investment Fund, updated the board on the Building Quality Campaign – a partnership comprised of the fund, Citizens Planning and Housing Association (CHAPA), and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. The bond financing for early education and out-of-school-time facilities is included in CHAPA’s $1.2 billion housing and community development bond bill. Representative Jeffrey Sanchez has filed a separate facilities financing bill with the same language as a placeholder.
The legislation would make financing available to licensed non-profit providers with at least a quarter of their enrollment children from low-income families. Financing would range from 50-80% of total development costs, based on the number of children eligible for subsidies, and would be in the form of permanent deferred loans for a term of 30 years. (See Pardee’s PowerPoint.)
The January 8 meeting was also the last for former Secretary of Education Paul Reville, who has returned to the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Matthew Malone, former superintendent of the Brockton Public Schools, who was sworn in as the state’s new education secretary on January 14. JD Chesloff, chairman of the EEC board, presented Secretary Reville with a certificate of appreciation. Reville thanked the board and the entire early childhood field for what he termed their “inspiring commitment” to the young children of Massachusetts.
Emily Levine, our field and research associate, reports the board also discussed:
- Massachusetts Child Care Quality Cost Model. Consultants. Consultants Anne Mitchell of the Alliance for Early Childhood Finance, and Andrew Brodsky of Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, updated the board on an interactive model that allows users to cost out various elements of quality. It identifies factors that drive costs at various levels, from licensing through the tiers of the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). It also estimates the cost implications of changing reimbursement rates and identifies current and potential funding strategies to support quality.
- Using research to advance the practice and impact of early education. The board heard a presentation and panel discussion (panelist bios) on current research projects on the professional development system; strategies for literacy, social-emotional development, numeracy and digital learning; Massachusetts Common Metric (funded by the federal Early Learning Challenge grant); QRIS validation (ELC funded); and home visiting grant.
- FY13 legislative report framework. Carol Nolan, EEC’s recently hired director of policy, outlined the framework for the departments FY13 report to the Legislature. The department will frame the year’s accomplishments and planned activities around the board’s five-year strategic plan and indicators of success. The board will vote on the final report at its February meeting.
The board will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, February 18, at the EEC central office at 51 Sleeper Street in Boston.