The FY 2023 budget included funding for early education programs in Stoneham and Framingham, a $23 million increase to the Child Care and Development Block Grant for Massachusetts providers, and a 5.4% salary increase for Head Start early educators.
WALTHAM, MA – Today, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) visited Creative Start, a child care provider in Waltham, to celebrate the more than $20 billion that she secured for child care and early education in the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2023. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) will receive $8 billion in funding – a 30 percent boost from last year – while Head Start programs will receive $12 billion. The increased Head Start funding includes a 5.4 percent cost-of-living adjustment to early educator pay, delivering a hard-earned raise to an essential, sorely underpaid workforce.
The increase to CCDBG funding will deliver an additional $23 million to Massachusetts providers and families to improve child care access across the Commonwealth. Additionally, Clark secured $3.4 million in community project funding for two local early education projects in Stoneham and Framingham.
“Just like roads and bridges, child care is essential economic infrastructure. It enables families, businesses, and our entire economy to thrive. I’m working every day to ensure that the needs of working families are front and center in Congress and with these significant child care investments, we’re making progress in that fight,” said Democratic Whip Katherine Clark. “I’m proud to have worked with our partners in Waltham, Stoneham, Framingham and across the Fifth District to make child care more accessible and affordable to families.”
As a longtime advocate for early education and the Co-Founder of the Pre-K and Child Care Caucus, Clark visited Waltham Creative Start to see firsthand how federal funding for programs like Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant are expanding access to quality care to working families and improving teacher retention.
“Without consistent access to childcare, children lose out on valuable opportunities to learn and grow, while countless parents—and in particular, mothers—are forced to leave their jobs,” said Rachel Gwaltney, Executive Director, Children’s League of Massachusetts. “With reliable and affordable childcare, families are able to earn a living wage, reduce household poverty, and contribute their talents and skills to a thriving economy. We are incredibly thankful for Representative Clark’s leadership as a champion of investing in a childcare infrastructure that promotes long-term success for our children and stability and well-being for families across the Commonwealth.”
The local community investments include:
Boys and Girls Club of Stoneham Child Care Facility Project — Stoneham, MA: $3,000,000
This funding will be used to build a new child care facility and training center at the Boys and Girls Club of Stoneham. This will increase the amount of preschool children in full-day programs they can serve and expand their after-school care capacity.
"This investment is the ideal partnership between government and service provider, and we could not be more grateful to Congresswoman Clark for her advocacy,” said Adam Rodgers, Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield. “Her leadership on childcare has helped hundreds of families in our service area. This funding will allow us to rebuild the Stoneham Boys & Girls Club and greatly expand the number of children we serve."
"Congresswoman Clark has said many times; 'Lack of child care creates a cycle of poverty.' We could not agree more,” said Anthony Guardia, Chief Development Officer Boys & Girls Clubs of Stoneham & Wakefield. “That is why we are so passionate about increasing our capacity, closing our waitlist, and training the next generation of early education teachers. With this appropriation, Congresswoman Clark has delivered for all of them."
MassBay Community College’s Center of Health Science, Early Childhood Education, and Human Services Project — Framingham, MA and Wellesley, MA: $400,000
This funding will help Massachusetts Bay Community College acquire laboratory equipment for the new Center of Health Science, Early Childhood Education, and Human Services. This new, state-of-the-art laboratory equipment will allow students to use the same gear they’ll find on the job in most modern facilities, and is vital to properly training medical, early childhood, and human service professionals. It will also make a profound impact on students’ lives, giving them rich opportunities to begin or advance their careers and achieve financial stability for their family.
The Center is currently under construction in the City of Framingham and will begin training the next generation of Substance Abuse Counselors, Central Processing Technologists, Medical Sonographers, Early Childhood Educators, Emergency Medical Technicians, Nursing, Paramedics, Phlebotomists, Radiologic Technologists, and Surgical Technologists this summer.
“We are extremely grateful to Congresswoman Clark for spearheading the effort to secure these needed funds to support the MassBay Center for Health Sciences, Early Childhood, and Human Services, in Framingham,” said David Podell, President, MassBay Community College. “With this funding, we will be purchasing state-of-the-art laboratory equipment to ensure our students are prepared to become health professionals having learned with the very tools they will encounter in the medical centers in which they will work. With this new building and its state-of-the-art equipment, MassBay is well positioned to provide the skills, training, and community services that not only will benefit thousands of students and their families but will also fortify the regional economy with a well-prepared workforce in critical economic development drivers in health care, human services, and early childhood fields. This is a critical investment that will sustain the College and the region for decades to come.”
Photos from today’s event in Waltham can be found HERE.
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