Today I joined House Speaker Ron Mariano, Ways & Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz and several of my colleagues at the Ellis Early Learning in the South End for a special announcement on new early childcare & workforce funding. The lack of adequate and affordable childcare has had a ripple affect across all sectors of our economy and clearly been a drag on the Commonwealth’s full recovery. The House proposes to make additional direct investments into early education to begin to offer immediate relief.
These investments include:
• $60M for a rate reserve to increase salaries for early education and care providers • $10M for grants to early education providers to defray the costs of childcare for their own staff • $16.5M for Grants to Head Start programs across the Commonwealth • $15M for Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies • $5M for higher education opportunities for providers • $5M for additional navigation support and outreach for families • Requiring that subsidy rates be based on enrollment, rather than attendance
The House Ways and Means budget, which will be formally rolled out on Wednesday, also includes major investments in workforce training and youth engagement programs, including:
• $60M for adult education to support English-language learners and adults working towards their GED • $28.5M for the YouthWorks jobs program to fund over 6,000 summer and year-round jobs for youth in low-wage-earning and fixed-income families • $20M investment in a new loan forgiveness program within the Department of Mental Health to support their workforce • $20.4M for Career Technical Institutes to train workers and allow them to close skills gaps and meet the needs of businesses across the Commonwealth • $15M to support teachers of color through scholarship and loan forgiveness programs • $15M for one-stop career centers to connect individuals with training and employers • $10M for loan repayment and bonuses for the homeless shelter workforce that continue to provide critical services to the most vulnerable populations
Thank you to to Lauren Cook, CEO of Ellis Early Learning, and her staff for hosting us today along with a friendly and inquisitive group of kids!