Massachusetts Awarded $36 Million Federal Grant to Strengthen Services for Young Children
From: Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey
January 5, 2023
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration announced on Jan 4th, that Massachusetts has been awarded a three-year, $36 million federal Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5). This new federal funding will support ongoing work across multiple state agencies to better promote the educational, health and economic outcomes of young children and their families across the Commonwealth.
The funding will also focus on developing and promoting meaningful career pathways and professional development opportunities for early educators and teachers that work with young learners and programs each day. The federal grant will be administered by the Department of Early Education and Care. In addition to the federal funding, the Commonwealth will provide $3 million each year in matching funds.
This award enables the Commonwealth to build on work that began in 2019 when the state received a $1.8 million PDG B-5 Planning Grant to conduct a comprehensive assessment of strengths and gaps in the system as well as identify promising strategies and interventions. The planning team included experts from the Executive Office of Education, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Public Health, and Children’s Trust, among others.
Leveraging the interagency collaboration established in the planning grant phase, the additional funding will support new and ongoing work to improve families’ ability to access high-quality programs and services, establish clear career growth pathways for the workforce serving young children, and support high-quality programming. Key initiatives include:
- Launching a new credentialling and certification process for early educators.
- Continuing efforts to streamline child care financial assistance for working families and improve coordination with other state and federal benefit programs.
- Creating additional opportunities for family voices in policy and program development, including through a new Family Advisory Council.
- Increasing supports for early education and care programs to deliver to high-quality programming and implement evidence-based curriculums appropriate for young children.
- Building additional infrastructure at the local level to ensure families with young children can be easily connected to the programs and services they need in the communities where they live and work.
- Partnering with schools and other local organizations to provide increased access to behavioral and mental health and special education services to support the success of all young learners and their families.
“These new federal funds come at a critical time for Massachusetts and our early education and care sector,” said Acting Early Education and Care Commissioner Amy Kershaw. “As programs across the Commonwealth face critical staffing shortages and families struggle to find child care so they can go to or return to work, these new federal resources will help accelerate our work to improve equitable access to high-quality programming for all families.”
The Department of Early Education and Care's mission is to support the healthy growth and development of all children by providing high-quality programs and resources for families and communities. Our vision is that children, youth, and families reach their full potential now and in the future.