ABCD opens new childcare center for South End and Chinatown families

May 5, 2017

As reported by Sara Brown, Sampan:

Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) celebrated the opening of its new Head Start center serving Boston’s Chinatown and South End on May 1.

The state-of-the-art early learning center at 595 Harrison Avenue, Boston, will serve 194 low-income children and their families from birth to five-years-old, including 35 infants, toddlers and pregnant mothers in Early Head Start.

Despite the chilly day, people came out with smiles on their faces to celebrate the accomplishment.

“Children make up 25 percent of our population but 100 percent of our future,” Sen. Ed Markey said.

Markey said Massachusetts leads the nation in many areas when it comes to education and said Head Start programs were part of that successful formula.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley blessed the new building and said he was happy to see it was being used to educate children.

Mayor Martin Walsh said he was excited for the future of the Head Start program.

“Programs like these help children grow into successful adults that contribute to society,” Walsh said.

Walsh thanked Markey for fighting to fund early education programs and opposing proposed cuts from the Trump administration in Washington.

ABCD Head Start will also open a new center in Malden on June 9, enhancing the life-changing benefits of the national early learning program for low-income residents within the Mystic Valley area, while providing expansion of the Early Head Start program and its critically needed services for infants, toddlers and pregnant mothers.

A 2016 study by Nobel Laureate economist James Heckman, “The Lifestyle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program,” found that for every $1 invested in Head Start, there is a 13 percent return ($6.30) on investment to society.

“ABCD Head Start has supported my children’s education, health and growth,” said Mimi Tovar, Boston Head Start parent and chair of the Head Start Parent Policy Council. “It’s open Monday through Friday at sites in Boston, Malden and Everett, serving 2,300 children. Many Head Start programs run full day, full year to meet the needs of working parents. It gives parents like me opportunities to be all we can be, to learn important parenting skills.”

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