There are a number of different program types of child care available through various programs in Massachusetts. The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) coordinates these programs, but some are administered by other agencies. Each is briefly described below, and links to additional information are provided.
Families are eligible for subsidized child care if they meet EEC income eligibility requirements and have a reason for needing child care. This reason is called a service need. The service need is defined as the amount of time (during which subsidized child care is available) that neither parent is available to care for the child because they are:
∑ beginning or continuing paid employment; or
∑ seeking paid employment; or
∑ participating in education or training (not including graduate school); or
∑ are incapacitated.
In addition, a child with a disability also meets the service need criteria for full-time care, whether or not the parents are available to provide care.
The Income Eligible Child Care Subsidy - Massachusetts topic contains comprehensive additional information.
Parents who are participating in the Employment Services Program of the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) may receive an Authorization for Child Care from DTA. The Authorization specifies the parents' level of service need. Parents will receive part time child care for approved activities of at least 20 hours per week, and will receive full time care for approved activities of 30 hours per week or more. Parents who are in their transitional year following their TAFDC case closure must work at least 20 hours per week or be involved in job search to continue receiving their child care subsidy. More information is available in the Employment Services Child Care Program - Massachusetts topic.
The Department of Early Education and Care, in conjunction with the Department of Social Services (DSS), procures high quality, comprehensive Supportive Child Care services for families and children who have open cases with DSS. The services are designed to meet the needs of families that are experiencing a high degree of stress and disorganization. Supportive Child Care is provided on a closed referral basis. Only the Department of Social Services or its designee (a Family Based Services Lead Agency) may refer children to care. Supportive Child Care is used in a transitional, time-limited manner in order to stabilize the family and ensure the safety and well being of the child, consistent with DSSís mandate to provide protective services. For additional information, see the Supportive Child Care - Massachusetts topic.
Teen Parent Child Care services are designed to provide educational and developmental activities for children, facilitate development of the teen parentís parenting and career skills, and promote the teenís successful completion of high school, or high school equivalency programs. Programs also provide child care and support services to teen parents who have completed high school or high school equivalency programs and are participating in higher education, job /career training programs or employment. Pregnant teens may also apply to receive support services based on funding availability. Additional information may be found in the Teen Parent Child Care Services - Massachusetts topic.
Children whose parents have occasional business with the trial court are eligible for short term care on a first come, first served basis. See the Trial Court Child Care - Massachusetts topic for more information.
Families with special needs may be eligible for assistance in receiving child care and other supportive services through EEC's Specialized Child Care Services programs, in accordance with EEC policies. Children with a disability meet the service need criteria for full-time care, whether or not their parents are available to provide care. For additional information, see the Child Care for Special Populations - Massachusetts topic.
Child Care - Overview - Massachusetts
Child Care - Frequently Asked Questions - Massachusetts
Child Care - Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Definitions - Massachusetts
102 CMR 10.00: Department of Early Education and Care, from PDF document (requires Adobe Acrobat) at:
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