In early 2011 the Joint Committee on the Status of Women at Harvard Medical School, held a childcare summit focused on the needs of the community. One of the outcomes centered on the need for an easily accessible home-based childcare setting to augment the traditional center based programs already offered.
Nina Dickerman, formerly the work-life manager at HMS and now the program director for the LMA Family Childcare Network (LMA FCCN) worked closely with MASCO’s President and CEO Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd, MASCO’s Director of Collaborative Services, Susan Chase, and MASCO CFO Holli Roth, to establish a working committee to explore the possibility of a family childcare network option for the LMA.
“I’m very appreciative of the long hours and dedicated work accomplished by the committee,” said Swartz-Lloyd. “It was a thorough, exhaustive process, and a wonderful show of community and collaboration.”
The working committee was comprised of representatives from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Colleges of the Fenway, MASCO and Harvard Medical School.
“After assembling a team of employer representatives and childcare experts, the committee conducted a yearlong research and planning phase,” said Dickerman. “Based on the committee’s findings and a proposed plan for implementation of the project, an RFP was distributed to organizations with in-depth experience in organizing and vetting quality educators,” she added.
The well-respected Associated Early Care and Education (AECE) was selected to operate the network, and the program launched in September 2013.
Carla Mason, an administrative assistant at Brigham and Women’s was quick to investigate the new child care option for her one-year old daughter.
“I was really impressed with the ratio of caregiver to children,” she explained. “And when I met with (provider) Johany, I was struck by how gently and genuinely she interacted with my daughter. I felt an immediate sense of comfort leaving my child in her care,” she added.
Johany Bobadilla has been a child care provider for 10 years, and is now a LMA FCCN system provider for AECE. “I find great joy in helping children and observing them grow cognitively, socially emotionally and physically.” She said. “I was quite excited to join the AECE system, and duly impressed by their rigorous application process.”
In addition to the stringent Massachusetts requirements for in-home child care, MASCO’s committee augmented the requirements with additional specifications including unscheduled in-home inspections, additional insurance requirements and mandatory professional training.
For over 130 years, AECE has provided the highest quality early care and education programs for the communities of Greater Boston. AECE serves over 1,500 children in need, from birth to age five, through its programs and services.
To learn more about the LMA FCCN Childcare Network and other childcare services in the LMA, click here.