BOSTON – The Massachusetts Early Childhood Funder Collaborative (MA ECFC) announces that members of the Collaborative will provide financial support for a dedicated, statewide COVID-19 testing pilot to support the early childhood community. This pilot will allow for any individual employed by the childcare sector in Massachusetts, as well as children who attend their programs and their families, to receive free, on-demand, priority PCR testing across the Commonwealth.
“Members of the Funder Collaborative wanted to reward the leadership that the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care has taken to respond to an urgent need and to rapidly expand the scale at which we can care for children, families and early childhood professionals. Philanthropy has a unique role to play in providing the catalytic resources needed to create new solutions that will support the early childhood field through the COVID pandemic, and that will ensure the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of the sector,” said Turahn Dorsey, co-chair of the MA ECFC.
“By now, we are all well aware that the early childhood sector underpins the economy. The Massachusetts early childhood community, including both the children and the essential workers who care for them, need a dedicated lane for COVID-19 testing,” stated Brian Gold, MA ECFC Director. “This is especially important as transmission rates across Massachusetts continue to rise. Mobile COVID testing will support the strengthening of our Commonwealth’s economy, mitigating the impact of program closures on both our early childhood staff and families. We are proud to be partnering with EEC to support this innovative testing program that directly responds to needs identified by the early childhood provider community. We know that these committed providers want to continue to provide this essential service while doing everything they can to keep themselves, their employees, and families safe.”
“Our most vulnerable communities need access to reliable, high-quality early education, which is core to supporting the healthy development of young children while giving caregivers flexibility to work and pursue career development,” said Karley Ausiello, co-chair of the MA ECFC and Senior Vice President for Community Impact at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “Testing access, availability and turnaround times are critical to the ability of childcare providers to remain open, families to work and for children to attend care and lay a solid foundation for their education.”
The MA ECFC is a new partnership effort among the Commonwealth’s leading foundations, nonprofit organizations, corporations, and individuals working to ensure that all young children in Massachusetts have the opportunities and supports they need to thrive. This group of public and private foundations and individual funders has come together with the intention of serving as a vehicle to strengthen the community of early childhood funders and to drive policy and systems change by catalyzing a unified early childhood strategy.
For more details, including dates, times, and locations, visit the COVID Testing for Child Care webpage.