November 21, 2022 

Mayor Michelle Wu today announced the recipients of grants totaling $7,000,000 from Growing the Workforce Fund, designed to address early childhood workforce challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Joined by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and Representative Katherine Clark, Mayor Wu announced the investment of American Rescue Plan Act Funds at an event at Horizons for Homeless Children.  

Unlike some sectors which have begun to recover, child care providers in Boston continue to struggle to find staff qualified to fill the vacant positions.  

“Investing in early education is an investment in our shared future,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Strengthening the critical infrastructure of care work means building up the workforce and turning longstanding gaps into economic opportunities right in our communities.”  

The fund addresses early education and child care staffing shortages in the City of Boston caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by recruiting new educators and upskilling the current workforce. Together, the grantees – Bunker Hill Community CollegeUrban CollegeUniversity of Massachusetts Boston and Neighborhood Villages – will support almost 800 degrees or certifications at no cost to the participants.  

Building on Mayor Wu’s commitment to universal, affordable, high-quality early education and care for all children under five, this grant prepares educators by providing coursework and degrees recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) free of debt.  

“Building more affordable pathways for people to become educators and those already in the field to access higher level training all debt free will help the sector recover and improve the quality of the educational experiences for children. If combined with higher pay for educators, it will be a true home run for the sector,” said Horizons for Homeless Children’s CEO, Kate Barrand. 

Read about the announcement in the news.