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This year, the Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) Capital Fund is focusing on helping EEOST programs cope with the demands of keeping children healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Created in 2013, the fund distributes grants to “finance new construction and renovation” projects that can include classrooms, restrooms, buildings, and outdoor spacesThe fund is administered by the Children’s Investment Fund, an affiliate of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), and by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).

Now, the fund, “will award grants between $100,000 and $250,000… for capital improvements related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.” The grants are smaller than usual so that more programs will benefit.

“We know that child care providers are facing tremendous strain because of the COVID pandemic. Many are modifying their spaces to continue to provide early education services to families safely,” the fund says in a blog post. “Being able to have the flexibility to use the resources available through the EEOST Capital Fund to meet their needs and strengthen the Commonwealth’s childcare infrastructure is important, as many families rely on child care to return to work.”

Early education programs that receive grants will be able “to make improvements and emergency repairs that address health and safety issues.”

As an information sheet explains, these projects could include repairing or replacing HVAC systems, adding hands-free controls to bathrooms, and replacing windows to ensure that they can be opened to let in fresh air.

This funding goes to programs that serve publicly subsidized families who “have demonstrated financial need, and have secured additional funding to pay for a portion of their project costs. All of the grantees are tax-exempt non-profit corporations or organizations in which a non-profit corporation has a controlling interest.”

To learn more, check out these information sessions:

Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Today.)

Monday, November 16, 2020, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Or sign up for the COVID-19-Era Design Considerations Webinar on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

To apply, fill out an Interest to Apply survey by Friday, November 13, 2020.

The final application is due on Thursday, December 10, 2020.

Have questions? Contact Denise Karlin ( EEC’s assistant general counsel. Or email the Children’s Investment Fund team at