Early Ed Access
Official Title: Early Ed Access
The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) administers three child care subsidies. All three provide financial support to families who meet financial (income and asset) and other eligibility requirements so that those families may utilize childcare for their children. This subsidy often allows parents to become or remain employed, or continue a qualifying education/training program which would not be possible without this care for their children.
The three subsidies available to families are: 1) TANF Related Child Care for families involved with or transition from transitional aid to families with dependent children (TAFDC); 2) Supportive Child Care which provides child care and transportation services to children with open cases with the Department of Children and Families (DCF); and 3) Income Eligible Child Care (formerly known as Low-Income Child Care) which subsidizes child care for low income parents not receiving child care through TAFDC who are working, disabled, in an education or job training program, or who otherwise meet the activity requirement.
The three programs combined to provide day care subsidies to over 54,000 children a month between April 2011 and March 2012. Income Eligible Child care averaged just below 33,000 child care slots a month during this period. However, even as the waiting list for this subsidy continued to grow, the number of children receiving a slot decreased from 34,943 in April 2011 to 30,592 in March 2012. TANF child care, a time limited entitlement program, provided an average of 16,410 child care slots between April 2011 and March 2012. During the same time period EEC received DCF referrals for an average of just under 5,800 children a month for supportive child care.
The three child care subsidies provide families facing significant challenges with a vital resource allowing parents to concentrate on work, education and training. Research shows that single mothers who receive a child care subsidy are more likely to be employed, to stay employed, to work more hours and earn a higher income that those who do not. Losing a child care subsidy forces a single mother to choose between quitting a job and either leaving children home alone or with someone not properly trained and licensed. Child safety and a parent's ability to support the family become opposing forces.
Three child tax breaks which help to alleviate child related expenses, including child care, on families include: Exemption of Dependent Care Expenses, Deduction for Dependent under 12, Deduction for Business-Related Child Care Expenses.
Early Ed Access includes the following programs:
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- Early Ed & Care
- Early Ed Access
- Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative
- Early Education and Care Provider Rate Increase
- Income Eligible Child Care (Child Care Access)
- Income Eligible Wait List
- Supportive and TANF Childcare
- TANF Related Child Care
- Tax Break for Child and Dependent Care Costs
- Tax Break for Daycare Expenses
- Tax Break for Dependent Under 12
- Early Ed Administration
- Quality & Targeted Programs
- Early Ed Access
- Human Services
- Common Threads