Through a March 2021 ballot measure, Rhode Island voters approved the Early Childhood Care and Education Capital Fund, which dedicated over $13 million in one-time grant funding for physical improvements to existing child care spaces and for the development of new licensed early childhood care and education facilities. Grant funds can be used for costs associated with the design, construction, repair, renovation, rehabilitation, or other capital improvement or deferred maintenance of an eligible facility. The approved applicants include five expansion projects totaling more than $7.8 million and creating nearly 500 slots, plus 10 capital improvement projects totaling $700,000 and improving more than 700 childcare seats. Awards will be made until the fund is fully allocated.
State of Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee. (2022). Governor McKee Announces $8.5 Million in First Round Awardees from Early Childhood Care and Education Capital Fund.
LISC. (n.d.). Early childhood care and education capital fund.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:
Learn More About ELS@H Findings
High-quality, affordable early education and care supports children’s healthy development and allows families to work, engage in their own educational pursuits, and/or participate in other aspects of community life. To support children and families in these instrumental ways, research suggests there is a need to expand the availability of early education opportunities across the mixed-delivery system.
Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:
- Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
- But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.