Yesterday, Governor Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll kicked off the Massachusetts budget season by releasing their $55.5 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2024, which includes good news for early education and care.

“Our FY24 budget is what Massachusetts needs to meet this moment and build a strong economy, livable communities and a sustainable future,” Governor Healey said in a statement. “Combined with our tax relief proposal, we will set Massachusetts up for success by lowering costs, growing our competitiveness, and delivering on the promise of our people.” Earlier this week we highlighted the Child and Family Tax Credit in Healey’s proposal, which would provide $600 per eligible dependent.

For early education and care, the Healey-Driscoll budget proposal includes:

• $475 million to continue the state’s C3 operational grants

• $25 million for financial assistance for low-income families

• $30 million for Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative

• $20 million for child care resource and referral services

• $20 million in rate increases for subsidized child care providers

• $5 million for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Services, and

• $5 million for comprehensive strategic analysis to build on the work completed through the Special Legislative Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission

The budget’s line-item summary for the Department of Early Education and Care is posted here.

To learn more, check out Strategies for Children’s state budget webpage

For further analysis, register to join a Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation webinar – “Special Briefing: Governor Healey’s FY 2024 Budget – Early Education and Care” — on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at 10 a.m.

To learn more about the rest of Healey’s budget proposals, check out this Boston Globe article, which explains that Healey’s spending plan “reflects some of her early pledges, including one to provide $7,000 to households in need of emergency rental assistance. She proposed increasing spending on colleges and universities by nearly 25 percent by locking in tuition prices for students in the state university system while boosting financial aid, and helping to pay for community college for students 25 years or older.”

Now that Healey’s budget is out, the House and the Senate will release their budget proposals in April and May. Check SFC’s website for future updates and be sure you’re signed up for our email alerts and advocacy opportunities.

Your advocacy will help ensure that Massachusetts makes sound investments that help build a stronger early childhood system.