COVID Testing for the Early Childhood Community
Strategic Priority Alignment
The goal of the COVID-19 testing sites is to help "stop the spread" in Massachusetts among the families of young children in child care and their early care and education providers by providing on-demand access to PCR testing.
Rationale for Action
In August 2020, Strategies for Children conducted a parent survey that indiciated that parents were reluctant to send their children to their care settings for fear of COVID-19 exposure. With child care providers paid based on attendance rather than enrollment, any absences increased providers' already mounting losses. Any potential exposure risked programs closing for upwards of two weeks. To ensure the continuity of care, and mitigate any negative effects on children's growth and development, the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) explored the option of dedicated early childhood COVID-19 testing sites.
With BayCoast Bank, the MA ECFC was able to provide catalytic start-up funding to EEC to launch a two month pilot with of 9 drive-through testing sites across Massachusetts.
Project was launched in January 2021. Funding was shifted to a state contract in March 2021. The last drive-through testing site closed in June 2022. Nearly 3,000 tests were administered through this program.
The last testing site closed in June 2022.