SECTION 1. (a) Traditional community development investments create affordable housing, workforce development and an array of services for low income residents of the Commonwealth. It is in the interest of the Commonwealth to expand the community development infrastructure to include facilities for early childhood education and out-of-school time programs. An investment with a focus on the safety, health and education of young children is crucial to development of human capital, an essential component of effective community development.
Without child care, parents cannot work. Without high quality child care, disadvantaged children cannot thrive because deprivation and stress in early childhood interfere with healthy development and learning. Children need high quality education in physical environments that support their wellbeing, and a well-designed, suitably equipped facility is a key element in program quality. Creating space for high quality education and care is critical to the Commonwealth’s ability to expand those interventions that reduce the achievement gap, decrease the need for special education, improve health outcomes, and lead to better lives, lower crime, and reduced social costs.
As used in this chapter the following words shall unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:
“Department” is defined as the Department of Housing and Community Development.
“EEC” is defined as the Department of Early Education and Care.
“Eligible Project” is defined as the acquisition design, construction, repair, renovation, rehab, or other capital improvement or deferred maintenance of an eligible facility.
For each project funded, each project shall meet the following findings:
The project is an eligible project
There is a demonstrated need for the project
The project benefits low income children and the community it serves
There is a financial need for the loan or grant
There is local support
“Eligible Facility” is defined as a building, structure or site that is, or will be, owned, leased, or otherwise used by 1 or more Eligible Organization(s) and licensed by EEC. At least 25% of the slots in the facility shall serve low income families who are eligible for public subsidy. Leased facilities shall have a lease term that is consistent with the scale of the capital investment.
Municipally owned buildings are eligible provided that there is dedicated single purpose space for licensed early education or out of school time programs.
“Eligible Organization” is defined as a non-profit corporation that is exempt from income taxation pursuant to Chapter 180 of the General Laws or organizations in which such nonprofit corporations have a controlling financial or managerial interest,
“Grant” is a direct grant of capital funds to an applicant for payment of the costs of an eligible project.
“Loan” is a direct loan of capital funds to an applicant to finance a portion of the cost of an eligible project.
SECTION 2. There shall be within the department a separate fund to be known as the Early Education and Out of School Time Capital Fund. The department shall administer the fund for the purpose of making grants or loans for the development of Eligible Facilities for licensed early care and education and out of school time programs; provided, that the grant or loan program shall be administered by the department through contracts with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation established in Chapter 40H of the General Laws, provided further that the agency may develop or finance Eligible Facilities, or may enter into subcontracts with nonprofit organizations established pursuant to Chapter 180 of the General Laws , or organizations in which such nonprofit corporations have a controlling financial or managerial interest; provided further that the department shall:
(1) consider a balanced geographic plan for such Eligible Facilities when issuing the funding commitments; (2) that the department shall consider funding large group and school age child care centers as defined by the department of early education and care ; (3) that the services made available pursuant to such loans or grants shall not be construed as a right or entitlement for any individual or class of persons to the benefits financing; provided further that no expenditure shall be made from this item without the prior approval of the secretary for administration and finance; provided further that eligibility shall be established by regulations promulgated by the department; pursuant to chapter 30A for the General Laws for the implementation , administration and enforcement of this item………………………………………………………………………………………………..………$45,000,000.
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