On October 15, 2015, the Beverly Children’s Learning Center (BCLC), the first child care facility built utilizing grant funding from the Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) Capital Fund, celebrated its new learning space. EEOST is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care in coordination with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) and its affiliate the Children’s Investment Fund, and provides child care providers with capital resources to develop high quality early learning facilities. BCLC’s new site provides safe and affordable early education care for nearly 160 children.
BCLC has served low-income and at-risk children (ages one month to 13 years) and families in Beverly for over 40 years. The new 16,000 square foot facility allows for a more efficient space—one designated floor for infants and toddlers and one for children and preteens participating in after-school programs. The center also includes exercise areas, homework studios, as well as resource areas for parents and guardians. Outdoor amenities of the site include playgrounds and a community garden where children learn about planting, growing, and harvesting fruits and vegetables.
The $1.4 billion Housing Bond Bill passed in November 2013 authorized $45 million to create the EEOST Capital Grant Fund to improve the quality of center-based child care facilities like BCLC. Earlier this year, ten centers in Massachusetts received awards totaling $7.45 million in capital grants to substantially renovate, improve or acquire and construct new program facilities. The grants made to these ten programs will improve learning environments for nearly 1,400 children across the Commonwealth, more than 85 percent of which are from low-income families. The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care is currently hosting information sessions for child care providers interested in applying for the next round of EEOST funding. More information on those sessions is available at http://www.mass.gov/edu/birth-grade-12/early-education-and-care/laws-regulations-and-policies/eeost-capital-fund-program.html.
CEDAC is a public-private community development finance institution that provides financial resources and technical expertise for community-based and other non-profit organizations engaged in the effective development in Massachusetts. Its affiliate, the Children’s Investment Fund provides loan and grant financing, technical assistance, and training to non-profit early childhood and out-of-school time programs planning capital improvements.