Mayor Michelle Wu’s Office of Early Childhood

Mayor Michelle Wu’s Office of Early Childhood

The childcare crisis continues to escalate. With childcare costs 31 percent higher than the average cost of rent in Boston at nearly $21,000 annually per child, many households are unable to seek the support they need to participate in the workforce and financially support their families. Meanwhile, many childcare programs are struggling to remain open and pay their employees livable wages due to severe staff shortages and steep operational expenses.

The massive financial constraints that both families and early education providers are facing have not gone unnoticed. Taking critical steps to alleviate barriers, Mayor Wu recently announced the launch of the Office of Early Childhood, which will prioritize the wellbeing of young children and families by creating more affordable and accessible early education and childcare opportunities.

Considered a first step toward fulfilling Mayor Wu’s campaign promise to offer universal, affordable, high-quality early education for all, the Office of Early Childhood will:

  • Create a one-stop shop for families to find open early education seats among public schools, private centers, and home-based providers.
  • Combine or collaborate with existing programs in different municipal departments, such as Boston Public Schools, Boston Public Library, and Boston Center for Youth Families. It will also provide mom-and-pop daycares an opportunity to register with the city for marketing opportunities.
  • Offer a multilingual website that will be made available and accessible to all residents of Boston who are seeking childcare options.
  • Be led by Director and Senior Advisor Kristin McSwain, who has spent her entire professional career in education and community service. As the Executive Director of the Boston Opportunity Agenda, McSwain promises to bring extensive experience and a depth of knowledge to Wu’s childcare initiatives.

Praised by education advocates, Mayor Wu’s new office provides hope to families within the city who have long struggled to afford care.

Here at IBA, we strongly support Mayor Wu’s strides to make early education and childcare programs more accessible to the people of Boston. Childcare is essential to providing women and families the means to participate in their careers without sacrificing the quality of their children’s education.

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