Universal, Affordable Early Education Advocates Tout A Day Without Child Care in Jamaica Plain

In observance of national A Day Without Child Care, early educators, families, and advocates gathered at the Green Street MBTA station and the Johnson Playground across the street on May 9. As part of the day, hundreds of people across Massachusetts and the nation took action to demand change in the child care and early education sector. 
Neighborhood Villages Action Fund was on the ground supporting early education and care providers across the state as they, in solidarity with families and advocates, called for child care reform. 
In JP, the Action Fund engaged parents and child care providers in their I’m a Child Care Voter initiative, which encourages people to demonstrate their support for legislative change with elected leaders in the statehouse, in Congress, and in their communities. 
“Too many families struggle through days without child care and too many underpaid early educators struggle to balance their passion for education with maintaining financial security,” said Latoya Gayle, senior director of advocacy at the Neighborhood Villages Action Fund. “We were pleased to see an incredible outpouring of support from early educators, families, and advocates who joined us on Monday to advocate for child care reform. We will continue to fight every day to push for an overhaul of our child care system so it works better for everyone.”
Neighborhood Villages Action Fund is a Boston-based organization that is dedicated to fighting for state and federal legislation to create an equitable and affordable early education and care system that works for families, providers, and educators. The Action Fund works in partnership with the Common Start Coalition, which is backing the Common Start legislation in Massachusetts.


DCR Playgrounds, Spray Decks and Fitness Areas Now Open to Public

Summer weather is here and now we can all go to Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) spray decks, playgrounds, and fitness areas, after the agency announced they're all open for public use. The reopening is part of Phase II of the state's reopening plan. According to a press release, DCR will conduct "periodic cleanings of spray decks, playgrounds and fitness areas." Signage has also been posted to provide guidance to visitors on proper use. There are nine DCR-run playgrounds/spray decks/fitness areas in Jamaica Plain:

Amory Playground (Amory Street)
Anson Spalding Street Playground (Spalding Street)
Boynton Hall Street Playground (Hall Street)
Corporal Joseph E. Johnson Playground and Spray Deck (Green Street)
Everett Street Playground (Everett Street)
Lorber Family Playground (Jackson Square)
Mission Hill Deck Playground (Tremont Street)
New Minton Street Playground (New Minton Street)
Stony Brook Playground and Spray Deck (Lamartine Street)

The Johnson Spray Deck also recently got a facelift with picnic benches and soft padding replaced the hard concrete by the spray fountains.


Ways to Stay Cool and Beat the Heat in Jamaica Plain

Not everyone has their own backyard pool, kiddie pool or air conditioning to beat this August heat. And because the city declared a heat emergency through Saturday, it's important to know how and where you can cool off in Jamaica Plain. As part of the heat emergency, all Boston Centers for Youth & Families are open as cooling centers for anyone to visit. Click here for a full list of all BCYF centers in Boston. One of the best options to cool off and get wet is the Johnson Playground on Green Street, seen below.