Paying for Child Care
The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) provides financial assistance to eligible families seeking care at early education and care or out of school time programs. Families must generally meet income and activity requirements to be eligible for EEC financial assistance.
The eligibility requirements can be found at mass.gov.
All parents/guardians in the household also must meet certain activity requirements. They must be working, looking for a job (for up to 8 weeks), or be enrolled in school for at least 20 hours per week.
If the parent/guardian or child has a diagnosed and documented special need, the family may qualify. If the parent/guardian is receiving cash assistance from the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) they may qualify for free or low-cost child care. Contact your DTA case worker to see if you meet the criteria.
If eligible, the DTA case worker will issue a child care referral. The parent then selects a child care provider and makes an appointment to see a family support specialist at the child Care Circuit.
The family support specialist will write the voucher and notify the child care provider that the state will make full or partial tuition payment for the child. In some cases, parents/guardians must pay a parent fee based on income or family size.
A voucher appointment cannot be scheduled until the child care referral is received by the CCR&R and the child care provider is selected by the parent/guardian.
Non DTA families who are income eligible for child care assistance can apply for a voucher directly with the Child Care Circuit. They are placed on a statewide centralized waitlist while waiting for funding. Renewal letters are sent out annually to update the waitlist. If a parent/guardian does not respond, they will be removed and lose their place on the waitlist.