Mayor Menino Launches Fund to Improve Early Education Facilities

October 4, 2013

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, in partnership with United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and Thrive in 5, launched a fund to enhance early care and education facilities for Boston children.

Licensed family child care providers and centers are both eligible to apply and may use the funds for a range of items that contribute to the health and well-being of the children in their care. Depending on the number of children being served, programs can apply for anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

The “Capital Resources for Early Educators Fund” fulfills a goal Mayor Menino outlined in his 2013 State of the City address to expand investment in safe, quality early education and care for our youngest children.

“Early education has proven to be one of the greatest returns on investment we can make in a child’s life and in our city’s future,” Mayor Menino said. “Children in high-quality settings as infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers begin school more prepared and perform better academically both upon school entry and over time. Too often, our neighborhood-based providers, especially smaller programs, have limited access to financial resources that create the best environments, for childhood development. This new fund will help fill that gap.”

Managed by United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, the fund reflects the priorities of Boston’s citywide Thrive in 5 school readiness movement, spearheaded by United Way and Mayor Menino.  The fund will focus on four areas: health and nutrition, play and storage, safety and capital improvements, covering items such as safety gates, cribs, playground equipment, window guards, classroom equipment and more.

Funded programs will be required to attend an orientation session to learn from one another and to learn about services for child health, wellness and development from the Boston Public Health Commission and other City government and community agencies. Programs can apply through October 24 and will receive the funds beginning in December. Applications are online at

Applicants with questions about the process can contact United Way via email at or by calling 617-624-8203.

Applicants with questions about the process can contact United Way via email at or by calling 617-624-8203.  Interested applicants can also attend information sessions offered by United Way where volunteers will be available to help providers apply for a grant on the spot.

Information sessions will be held on:

October 8th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, 504 Dudley St., Roxbury, MA 02119

October 9th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Codman Square Health Center, 450 Washington Street, Dorchester MA 02124

October 11th, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, 504 Dudley St., Roxbury, MA 02119

October 16th, 3:30pm- 5:30pm, Mattapan Library Branch, 1350 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan, MA 02126

October 17th; 10:00am – 12:00pm, East Boston Social Center, 68 Central Square, East Boston, MA 02128

Please check for the most current information.

To reach as many early education programs as possible, Mayor Menino mailed a postcard this week to every licensed childcare provider in Boston, and partner organizations across the city are posting and emailing the information.  Thrive in 5’s neighborhood hubs will outreach to those early educators – including family child care providers – who have never before applied for such quality improvement funds.