The Boston Foundation awards nearly $600,000 to innovative early childhood-focused partnerships

Early education grants highlight innovative cross-sector approaches to supporting pregnant mothers and families with young children

July 26, 2018

Boston - The Boston Foundation is pleased to announce that nine partnerships are sharing in just under $600,000 in grants as part of the expansion of the Boston Foundation’s early childhood strategy portfolio. The Foundation announced its new early childhood strategy in late 2017 and issued a request for proposals this spring. The grantees were chosen for their efforts to seed or expand innovative partnerships among family-serving organizations from different sectors, and were selected by a panel of Foundation staff, donors, researchers, parents and other early childhood stakeholders.

“The Boston Foundation launched its early childhood strategy to address the clear need for an increased investment in early childhood programs that have an impact on children’s later success,” said Paul S. Grogan, President of the Boston Foundation. “What this first grants process has shown us is the breadth of diverse and innovative approaches to serving young children and their families that need support and opportunity to succeed. We are proud to be able to recognize and support them.”

The grantee partnerships serve pregnant mothers and families with young children across the city from Charlestown to Hyde Park, with a number of efforts focused in the Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan neighborhoods. They represent a number of unique approaches to tackle issues and work to improve the overall quality and coordination of care for young children, by increasing and aligning services for children and families, enhancing resources to ensure healthy child development, and strengthening the child care workforce.

These grantees join a growing group of organizations that the Foundation is supporting through its early childhood strategy, including the UMass Boston Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation, the Boston Basics, New Profit’s Early Childhood Support Organization Initiative, and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. Simultaneous to this grant announcement, the Foundation is awarding a $50,000 general operating support grant to The Basics, Inc., to support its ongoing work to highlight best practices in parenting and caregiving for young children.

A full list of the winning partnerships is below.

Expanding Innovative Partnerships
Four grants, totaling $350,000, are awarded to partnerships seeking to expand their work.

Developing and Piloting a System to Prioritize Mental Health Services for DCF-involved Infants, Young Children and Families: $100,000
Lead partner: Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to

This grant will allow MSPCC to develop and pilot a system to prioritize mental health services for DCF-involved infants, young children, and families.
Partners include: Massachusetts Association for Infant Mental Health, Massachusetts Head Start Association, Massachusetts Alliance for Families, and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families

Family Strength and wellness Initiative: $100,000
Lead partner: Smart from the Start

This grant supports Smart from the Start’s Family Strength and Wellness initiative that seeks to expand trauma-focused work with families in Boston Housing Authority public housing.
Partners include: Brazelton Touchpoints Center, and Boston Housing Authority

Expanded Partnership for Allston-Brighton Family Support and Engagement: $100,000
Lead partner: Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts, Inc.

This grant supports expanding partnerships focused on Allston-Brighton family support and engagement through locally recruited Parent Partner Liaisons.
Partners include: Charles River Community Health Center, Jamaica Plain Brighton WIC, and The Basics, Inc

Strengthening Social-Emotional Development: $50,000
Lead partner: Horizons for Homeless Children

This grant supports expanding a partnership that seeks to strengthen the social-emotional development of children through expanded trauma-informed care and parental involvement.
Partners include: Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Young Audiences of Massachusetts, and Brazelton Touchpoints Center

Seeding Innovative Partnerhsips
Five more grants, totaling $249,451, have been awarded to partnerships seeking to launch new early childhood-focused initiatives:

Strengthening Supports for Spanish- and Chinese-Language Family Care Providers: $50,000
Lead Partner: Urban College of Boston

This grant funds efforts to strengthening supports for Spanish- and Chinese-language family child care providers.
Partners include: BMC Vital Village Network, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Asian American Civic Association, and ABCD Child Choices of Boston and Head Start

It Takes a Village: Forging New Pathways to High-Quality Early Childhood Services for East Boston’s Highest-Risk Young Families: $50,000
Lead partner: Roca, Inc.

This grant supports the development of new pathways to high-quality early childhood services for East Boston’s highest-risk young families, especially immigrant mothers ages 15 to 24.
Partners include: Department of Transitional Assistance, Department of Children and Families, North Suffolk Mental Health Association, East Boston Social Centers, and East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

Economic Mobility for Pregnant and New Mothers: $50,000
Lead partner: Boston Medical Center

This grant supports embedding economic mobility mentoring for pregnant and new mothers in health service delivery settings.
Partners include: Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath), and BMC Vital Villages Network

Shared Services in Massachusetts: Boston Pilot: $49,982
Lead partner: United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley

This grant supports the Boston pilot project of the United Way’s Shared Services initiative.
Partners include: UMass Boston’s Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation, Tech Goes Home, Bunker Hill Community College, the City of Boston, and multiple center-based and family child care providers

Dimock/Urban Edge Collaborative for Innovative Partnerships: $49,469
Lead partner: The Dimock Center

This grant provides funds for the Dimock/Urban Edge Collaborative, for forming a partnership to provide stronger wrap-around supports and streamline early child care services for families in Urban Edge housing.
Partners include: Urban Edge