Worcester Comprehensive Education & Care, Inc. (WCEC, Inc.) is a non-profit, 501(C) (3) tax exempt organization under Chapter 40 of the Massachusetts General Laws dedicated to providing low or no-cost, high-quality childcare services in low income neighborhoods. WCEC is an equal opportunity employer. WCEC is licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care and has programs that are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Additional funding is provided by the Department of Children and Families, Department of Education and the Worcester Community Partnership.
WCEC, Inc. is a multi-site child care provider governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. It was created in 1971 by the residents of the Great Brook Valley Housing Project in conjunction with the Worcester Housing Authority and today its staff of 42 and 30 contracted family child care providers deliver care annually for nearly 300 children ranging in age from 4 weeks to 13 years. WCEC has, as its mission, the provision of high quality services for families from diverse economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
WCEC, Inc. has a strong, 46-year-long record of providing a safe, stimulating and supportive care and learning environment to children in the poorest, most ethnically diverse sections of the city. It currently has a facility at the city’s low-income housing project—Great Brook Valley—as well as programs for teen parents at Burncoat High School and South Community High School and a network of home-based “Family Child Care Providers”. 61% of the children enrolled in WCEC’s programs are Latino, 20% Black, 15% Caucasian and 4% from other ethnic backgrounds. Many of the care providers and support staff are bilingual, enabling them to communicate with families, and in many cases, to serve as an advocate and link them with services and programs.
WCEC, Inc. provides its children with a full breakfast, lunch and snack, insuring that 75% of their daily nutritional needs are met before they leave for the day. Through collaborations with other social service agencies such as UMass Early Intervention, Community Health Link and the Bureau of Nutrition, WCEC can provide much-needed services unique to its population.
In addition, it provides the services of a psychotherapist who offers children expanded and diverse therapies and a special needs resource teacher who provides child care staff with support and training in behavior management techniques. WCEC is one of the four Worcester sites participating in the Together for Kids pilot, funded through The Health Foundation of Central Mass. and administered through Community Healthlink. The program has hired trained mental health specialists to work with many of our families.