Last year, civic partners broke ground on Springfield’s Educare Center.
Now, as construction is winding down, the Educare Center is growing into a state-of-the art facility that will serve 141 children, as a BusinessWest.com article reports.
Nikki Burnett, the executive director of Educare Springfield, tells BusinessWest.com that the neighborhood deserves the $14 million, 27,000-square-foot facility, which is part of a national network of high-quality early education and care programs. There are 24 Educare centers around the country, but this is the first one in Massachusetts.
“We have to celebrate those things, and we have to model those things for our children so they can see that they have greatness in them,” Burnett says in the article. “One of the very important things about Educare is that it aligns potential with opportunity. I believe all children are born with immense potential, but many do not have the same opportunity to realize that, so Educare will give them that push — it will help readjust their trajectory.”
Mary Walachy, executive director of the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, “which spearheaded efforts to bring the Educare facility to fruition,” adds:
“The message being sent here is that it costs money to do this work well,” she said. “It costs money to fund quality at the level that children in this community and others deserve, and we can’t expect outcomes that we want from children if the investment is not there at the front end.”
The facility will open later this year, “supported by the Buffett Early Childhood Fund” and operated “in partnership with Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start.”
The program will incorporate “everything science says young children need to flourish. This includes data utilization, high-quality teaching practices (three teachers to a classroom instead of the traditional two), embedded professional development, and intensive family engagement.”
To learn more, check out the article. And stay tuned for more news. We’ll blog about the Educare Center again when it opens.