Early Ed Access

The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) administers two primary child care subsidies. Both provide financial support to families who meet financial (income and asset) and other eligibility requirements so that those families may gain access to care for their children. Subsidies often allow parents to become or remain employed, or continue a qualifying education/training program which would not be possible without care for their children.

The two main subsidies available to families are:

1) Supportive and TANF Child Care, which provides early education and some other support services for families involved with Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) or with open cases with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

2) Income Eligible Child Care, which subsidizes child care for low-income parents not receiving child care services through DCF or TAFDC who are working, disabled (or caring for a disabled child), in an education or job training program, or who otherwise meet the activity requirement.

The two programs provide day care subsidies to over 55,000 children a month according to the most recent data available for FY 2017. Income Eligible Child Care averaged above 34,600 and Supportive and TANF Child Care served an average of nearly 20,600 children. There have been steady waiting lists for these services with over 23,700 kids on waitlists for early education and care according to the most recent data from FY 2017.

The two main child care subsidies provide families facing significant challenges with a vital resource allowing parents to concentrate on work, education, and training. Research shows that child care subsidies are positively associated with greater employment and earnings for parents. Losing a child care subsidy can force parents to choose between quitting a job or leaving children home alone or with someone not properly trained and licensed.

Three tax breaks that help families offset child-related costs are: Exemption of Dependent Care Expenses, Deduction for Dependent under 12, and Deduction for Business-Related Child Care Expenses.

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