Child Care Resource and Referral Centers (Access Management)

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

The Access Management or Child Care Resource and Referral Centers line item funds child care resources and referral agencies (CCR&R) that help families with a subsidy find child care. Resource centers are funded by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).

CCR&R centers are regional agencies that assist families through the process of applying for a child care subsidy (also called voucher management). The process, which can take a long period of time especially due to wait lists, begins when a parent contacts a CCR&R, or calls Mass211 to inquire about a child care subsidy and have their child added to a centralized wait list. Parents receive renewal letters every six months. When a spot opens up, the family can begin looking for a child care program that meets their needs.

A CCR&R agency can provide information for parents about child care programs if needed. Once the parents choose a program, they contact the CCR&R agency to receive counseling on eligibility requirements, and resource and referral information. Parents then meet with the CCR&R agency to receive and sign all of the required documentation. Initial vouchers, which can be written by CCR&Rs or the contract provider, last up to one year. CCR&R agencies and contract providers continue to work with the family and help navigate the process of reapplying for a voucher after the initial period.

EEC identifies three main levels of services integral to access management. 1) voucher management administration which is the core service outlined above – supporting families, assessing eligibility, and then re-assessing when a voucher expires or a change in family status, including a change in income, affects eligibility. Besides support, agencies aim to keep access equitable so that families are served near their home or work. 2) Information and referral services providing information about other programs and referrals when appropriate. This service is offered in multiple ways (internet, phone, brochures, flyers at state agencies) and in various languages. 3) Consumer education which is dependent on an educated workforce receiving the proper trainings so that providers can support and assess family needs and locate the ideal resources available for each family.

CCR&Rs help families navigate the child care voucher process. The service can be especially helpful to parents from different cultures and those who do not speak or read English. These services have been cut severely over the last few years. From FY 2009 to FY 2016 funding was cut over 75%.

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