In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, early education and care programs are getting crucial philanthropic support.
This includes $5 million in grant funding from Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Eastern Bank.
The grants will help “organizations focused on the most vulnerable populations,” including families with young children, emergency child care centers, family child care centers, and child care professionals.
“It takes a community of public and private partners working together to stave off the devastating and long-lasting impacts of this disease, and this philanthropic investment is intended to make a meaningful contribution to this effort,” Bob Rivers, the chair and CEO of Eastern Bank says in a press release.
Nancy Huntington Stager, president and CEO of Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, adds in the release, “Evidence of the impact of this virus outbreak on our neighbors, families, and small businesses is everywhere. And we also see the resiliency, sheer will, and hope of people across our region as they band together to help one another. The need for assistance continues to grow, and we will continue to do whatever we can to give back as well as encourage those who are able to do so to join us.”
The $5 million donation is in addition to the $3 million in relief funds announced by the foundation in March, bringing its “total COVID-19 philanthropic financial support in the community to $8 million.”
Specifically, the new round of grants will help organizations that focus on:
• equipping emergency child care programs with cleaning and protective supplies to ensure healthy and successful operations
• providing financial assistance to impacted early childhood development workers, and
• supporting technical assistance to early childhood providers to help sustain their businesses
Some of the funds will also be invested in ongoing support for The Basics, a nonprofit organization that provides parents and caregivers with resources to help them engage more effectively with children. These practices can support “children’s development during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.”
The donation will also help families who are homeless, grappling with domestic violence, or in need of food or other basic supplies.
JD Chesloff, the executive director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, sums up the importance of the donation, saying:
“Child care isn’t ancillary to re-opening the economy; it is essential to enable all Massachusetts communities and businesses to emerge quickly and thrive. The early education and care system will require new health and safety protocols and creative approaches to meet the needs of workers and employers. Eastern Bank’s philanthropy is a powerful example of the important role that public-private partnerships will play in helping to meet the moment for children and families.”