Today Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor’s Office of Early Childhood announced the recipients of grants totaling $5,600,000 from the Essential Worker and Stimulus and Stability Funds. These grants are part of Boston’s equitable and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic specifically through supporting child care centers and essential workers who work non-traditional hours. These programs are funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
“Investing in a robust and accessible childcare system is an investment in our collective future,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “With this grant, we can support childcare centers to expand their services for our essential workers, and provide better opportunities for childcare workers who serve as the backbone of youth development.”
Essential Worker Childcare Fund
The strain on our child care system created by the pandemic has made it even more difficult for parents and caregivers who work outside of the traditional 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. work day to find care for their young children. Recipients of the Essential Worker Childcare Fund presented a clear plan to increase the number of childcare providers who offer non-traditional hours for essential workers including hospital, construction and education workers who are helping Boston recover from the COVID 19 pandemic. The fund’s grantees – Building Pathways, Community Labor United and SEIU Education and Support Fund – will recruit center or family child care providers who will agree to provide early and late care and match them with essential workers who need that care.
“As a single mother who struggled to make ends meet and find suitable childcare, I understand the importance of having accessible, affordable, and reliable childcare services,” said City Councilor Julia Mejia. “Our office is incredibly proud to have worked in partnership with the coalition and administration to secure one million dollars to ensure that our childcare providers and non-traditional workers receive the assistance they need. This investment will be a game changer for both workers and providers and it’s the boost that our economy needs as we continue to work toward recovering from the pandemic.”