AG Healey Awards Over $500K in Grants to Improve Care for At-Risk Children

Martha's Vineyard Community Services receives funds...
Attorney General Maura Healey

BOSTON – A new grant program through Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office will provide more than $500,000 to support early education and childcare providers across the state in their work to address the needs of young children experiencing trauma.

The AG’s Trauma-Informed Care for Young Children Grant Program will fund training and expand programming at eight organizations in Massachusetts. The grant program aims to assist children who have experienced childhood trauma stemming from violence, from separation from parents and caregivers, and stress due to poverty or related to the opioid crisis. Supporting these providers will result a higher quality of care for vulnerable children and in more effective classroom environments.

“Young children who have experienced trauma need special support from childcare and early education providers,” said AG Healey. “We are pleased to help meet the growing need for training to support trauma-informed care for our youngest learners.” 

The funded partnerships are:

  • Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., Boston: This grant will allow ABCD to provide a specialized five-day training and follow-up coaching to their education supervisors, coaches, coordinators, and support staff working in classrooms to better respond to children who have experienced trauma and incorporate a responsive environment into their programs.
  • Boston Medical Center, Boston: BMC’s Project STRIVE (Support Trauma Interventions for Educators) will provide training and consultation to early childhood providers in all 14 counties across Massachusetts. The trainings, targeted for early childhood providers and administrators, will build capacity to foster resiliency and address children’s needs. BMC will also partner with Ellis Memorial, a South End-based early education program, to develop an intensive learning community.
  • Child Care of the Berkshires, North Adams: This grant was submitted in coordination with North Adams’ Public Schools and will provide pre-school teachers with a series of training opportunities by experts in the field. These training sessions will be specifically focused on understanding trauma that young children have experienced and how to create an environment that supports children’s learning and social and emotional development.
  • Clarendon Early Education Services, Inc., Lawrence: This organization will partner with the Life is Good Kids Foundation to offer comprehensive training and follow-up support on the “Playmaker” approach to responding to early childhood trauma. This training will consist of an initial two-hour presentation to Clarendon staff members, including home monitors, social workers, professional development staff and the leadership team; a five-hour training session for educators and staff in four regions across the state; and an advanced full-day training for a subset of educators and staff who can then provide continued to support to other educators and colleagues.
  • Heywood Hospital and Mt. Wachusett Community College, Gardner: These organizations will launch their “Handle With Care” Program, which will work with over 30 childcare providers and community organizations in Worcester County to improve knowledge of trauma-informed care through in-person training and follow-up web-based modules and workshops. They will also host a regional conference for 100 early childcare providers in 2020 to educate and develop ties between trauma-informed care providers in the area.
  • Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, Inc., Vineyard Haven: This organization will implement an evidence-based behavioral support model to help early educators build skills for providing nurturing and responsive caregiving, creating high-quality learning environments, developing social-emotional skills, and supporting children with challenging behavior. All Early Childhood Program staff will attend a four-day training session.
  • South Shore YMCA: This organization will partner with Aspire Health Alliance to provide trauma-informed training for teachers at the State Street and North Quincy Early Learning Centers and offer onsite consultations on a variety of topics that will facilitate trauma healing. In addition, Aspire will provide formal training sessions for parents and will offer classroom consultations for parents on an individual basis. This grant will support six teacher trainings and eight parent trainings and will help in the redesign of classrooms to be more trauma-sensitive.
  • Valley Opportunity Council, Chicopee: This organization will partner with the Life is Good Kids Foundation to develop a sustainable model for providing trauma-informed care to the children they serve from infants through five years. They will utilize their “Playmaker” approach to develop actionable plans to respond to early childhood trauma and develop strategies to reduce anxiety and provide emotional relief to children.

Today’s grant announcement is funded by the proceeds of a previous settlement with Care.com in 2018, which resolved allegations that the company misled Massachusetts families about the comprehensiveness of its background check products through a payment to the state and by providing restitution to consumers.

This grant program is managed by Director of Grants Management Helen Wang, Assistant Attorney General Angela Brooks of AG Healey’s Child and Youth Protection Unit, and Assistant Attorney General Abigail Taylor, Chief of AG Healey’s Civil Rights Division.


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