Twenty-one Boston child care centers, including two in Jamaica Plain, are receiving funds dedicated to supporting child care centers and essential workers who work non-traditional hours.
In Jamaica Plain, the Shattuck Child Care Center and Wee Care JP Childcare Center are two grantees receiving funds from the city's Office of Early Childhood totaling $5,600,000 that are part of Boston’s equitable and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19, and 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 via press release. “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.”
Grantees will receive immediate compensation relief to child care workers to provide higher wages, hiring and retention bonuses, and other compensation incentives, according to a press release. Child care centers will also look to address low wages by receiving training and technical assistance to develop a compensation plan for their business that raises teacher pay to a minimum of $22 per hour by 2025.
The 21 grantees represent 55 centers in 14 neighborhoods across Boston, and in total are licensed to serve 4815 children ages newborn to five.
Essential Worker Childcare Funds are also going to three different entities: Building Pathways, Community Labor United, and SEIU Education and Support Fund. The fund was created to reduce the strain the pandemic put on our child care system, both for parents and caregivers who work outside of the traditional 9 to 5 work day who have to find child care for their young children. The three grantees 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, according to a press release.
"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 At-Large City Councilor Julia Mejia via press release. “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."