Springfield will be host to the 24th Educare early education school to be built in the United States, and the only one in Massachusetts, with today’s groundbreaking at 100 Hickory Street, adjacent to Brookings School, on land provided by Springfield College.
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito was joined by Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno; Educare officials; Janis Santos, Executive Director of Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start; other representatives of the Commonwealth; local leaders in philanthropy and project funders; representatives of Springfield College and Old Hill Neighborhood Council; elected officials; and other community members for the official groundbreaking of the nearly $14 million early education school that serves as a center for best practice in early education.
Construction has begun on the center, scheduled to open in late 2019.
Educare offers an early education model designed to help narrow the achievement gap for children living in poverty and represents a national collaboration between the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Ounce of Prevention Fund and hundreds of other public-private partners across America. Currently, there are 23 Educare schools located in 15 states across the country and the District of Columbia, including urban and suburban communities.
Funding for the project comes from a variety of local, state and national sources including The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation; the Gage Olmstead Fund and Albert Steiger Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; the MassMutual Foundation; Berkshire Bank; MassDevelopment; MassWorks Infrastructure Program at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development; the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Grant Fund through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care in collaboration with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) and their affiliate, the Children’s Investment Fund; the George Kaiser Family Foundation; Florence Bank; Capital One Commercial Banking; and anonymous donors.
The Educare model incorporates embedded and ongoing professional development of teachers, intensive family engagement, and high-quality teaching practices and utilizes data to advance outcomes for students in the program.
Educare Springfield will offer a full-day, full-year program for up to 141 children from birth to age five and their families each year, under licensure by the Department of Early Education and Care. Educare Springfield will also serve as a resource in the early education community for training and providing professional development for future teachers, social workers, evaluation and research.
Educare Springfield will pursue opportunities for local partnerships and collaborations.
O’Connell Development Group is providing project management and Western Builders is responsible for construction. The building was designed by RDg Planning & Design. Educare started with one school in Chicago and has evolved into a national learning network of schools serving thousands of children across the country.
More about Educare Springfield: https://www.educareschools.org/schools/educare-springfield/