The 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. Due to limited funding, eligible families may be placed on the EEC waiting list for financial assistance until funding becomes available.
Am I eligible to receive EEC financial assistance for child care?
In order to be eligible for EEC Financial Assistance, all parents/guardians in your household must meet both an income and an activity requirement.
1. Income Requirement
Use the income eligibility table to see if your income meets the criteria for assistance.
2. Activity Requirement
If you meet the income requirement above, all parents/guardians in the household must also be participating in one of the following activities:
- Working, seeking employment, or enrolled in an education or training program (not including graduate, law, or medical school) for at least 20 hours per week for part-time care, and at least 30 hours per week for full-time care;
- Retired (if older than 65 years only); or
- You or your child has a diagnosed and documented disability or special need.
How do I apply?
Interested families should contact their local Child Care Resource and Referral agency for financial assistance inquiries and access to the waiting list.
The Massachusetts 2-1-1 system is an additional resource of information for families looking for child care.
How long will I have to wait for assistance?
Even if your family is eligible, you may have to wait a long while due to limited funding. Some families may get prioritized, depending on their circumstances.
What happens while I wait?
If you do not validate your information within a 12 month period, then you will receive a “renewal” letter from EEC. You must respond to this letter in order to stay on the wait list. The EEC Self Service Application may be used to verify and update your application. Click here for the self service application.
What should I do if my information changes?
Contact your Local CCRRA, MASS 211 or the program that placed you on the wait list to tell them your new address, income, family size, or name. You can also use the self-service application to update your information at anytime. Ask your Waitlist Agent for your User Name and Password. Click here for the self service application.
What happens when financial assistance is available?
You will get a letter from a Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R), EEC contracted provider, or Head Start Program when EEC financial assistance becomes available. You must call within 15 days to schedule an appointment or let them know if you are not interested.
It is important to call quickly, as the space may be filled by another child on the wait list. Be sure to tell them if you have another child that needs care, as they may also be eligible for financial assistance at that time.
Reporting Life Changes
Provides families with information about how a life change could affect eligibility for assistance with paying for child care.
Will I have to pay for my child care?
In general, most families pay a co-payment based on a sliding fee scale according to their income and family size.
The Parent Co-Payment Schedule is used to determine the parent's co-payment once the family is determined to be eligible and is being enrolled in an early education and care program.
Managing Financial Assistance
Find out about this nationally funded program that promotes school readiness through quality early educational experiences and services. Services are free for all families who meet federal low-income guidelines.
Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs)
EEC Management Bulletins (EMB)
Information provided by the Department of Early Education and Care. Updated: July 1, 2013