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: (more…)
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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston publishes a quarterly journal, Communities & Banking, which focuses on issues of concern to low- and moderate-income communities. We are pleased that early childhood is on the magazine’s radar screen. The Winter 2012 edition featured a story on the importance of third grade reading and Springfield’s citywide Read! campaign to improve early literacy in the Western Massachusetts city. Now the Spring 2012 issue features a story – “Infrastructure Investment Begins with Children” – about efforts by the Children’s Investment Fund to improve the physical condition of early education and care facilities in Massachusetts.
Among community-based facilities the fund surveyed for its recent report, 34% had inadequate heating and cooling, 54% lacked indoor active play space, 20% had one or more classrooms without windows, 22% had indoor air with elevated levels of carbon dioxide, 70% had no classroom sinks, 22% lacked workspace for teachers, and 65% lacked technology for teachers.
“Massachusetts, like other states, has invested significant private and public resources in quality improvement for early care and education and out-of-school-time services, particularly for low-income children,” the Fed story notes. “But quality — and the physical infrastructure to support it — is critical to fulfilling the state’s aspirations for these children, and clearly, the resources to fix problems cannot be found in program operating budgets. (more…)
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Posted in Facilities, Research on January 10, 2012 |
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Building an Infrastructure for Quality – that, among other things, found shortcomings in safety, air quality and indoor space for physical activity in early education and out-of-school-time facilities around the state. Since then representatives of the fund have traveled throughout the commonwealth to build support to address the problems identified in the report. “We need to expand the definition of quality to include the physical environment,” Mav Pardee, director of the Children’s Investment Fund, tells the Telegram & Gazette.
Last fall, the Children’s Investment Fund issued a report — “
The video shown above tells the story of how one early education program, the Crispus Attucks Children’s Center in Dorchester, upgraded its indoor and outdoor space and, in the process, improved the learning environment for the children it serves. Another video focuses on the physical transformation of Children’s First Enterprises in rural Granby.
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