New MassBudget report analyzes recent early education and care investments, provides recommendations on the road ahead

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

BOSTON, MA – As Beacon Hill moves the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget one step closer to the Governor’s signature, a new report, Prospects for Investment, Stability, and Growth in Early Care and Education in Massachusetts,​​ from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) explores recent early care and education (ECE) funding and provides recommendations for stabilizing and expanding the sector. The report comes at a time where the Legislature could enact a recent promising comprehensive bill in the coming weeks that makes public support for care for middle class families dependent on whether the federal government takes further steps to expand ECE funding at the national level.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Due to greater state investment and grants provided by federal COVID relief, total funding for early education and care rose to roughly $1.4 billion in FY 2022;
  • Even before the pandemic, the early care and education  field, which is staffed nearly entirely by women and many people of color, faced chronically low pay for educators, high turnover, limited state investment, and scarce affordable options for families; and
  • Ensuring adequate funding now helps set the stage for policies to make affordable, universal, high-quality early education and care available to all children in Massachusetts.

While federal COVID relief funding has kept the field afloat over the past two years, there is still unspent federal money that can help build a stable foundation for program expansion in the coming years. For example, according to the Baker Administration, $196 million in flexible ARPA early education grants remain to be allocated that policy makers could use to support a stable financial footing for early education and care. Building on this foundation, there is now a unique opportunity for new, ongoing and sustainable investment using a variety of financial resources, such as the FY 2023 budget, or other ongoing tax revenue.

“Achieving universal, high-quality, and affordable care is critical for our recovery and a wise choice to build off the one-time federal funds we’ve received,” said Marie-Frances Rivera, MassBudget’s President. “While the challenges of COVID may have set our early education and care sector back, the Act to Expand High-Quality Early Education is an important next step to building an equitable future for our children and families.”

Key staff related to this report are available for comment.

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Contact: Reginauld Williams, Communications Director, 617-426-1228×102

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