Early Ed & Care

The Early Education and Care section includes programs and services funded by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). EEC programs and services support child development while helping families balance their dual role of caregiver and provider. Services are designed for the entire family and aim to inform and empower families to support their children as they prepare for success in school.

Early Education and Care contains three parts: Early Education Administration, Quality and Targeted Programs and Early Education Access.

Early Education Administration: Administrative funding supports operations at EEC, the Children's Trust Fund (CTF) and Child Care Research and Referral (CCR&R) agencies.

Quality and Targeted Programs: Programs in this category provide quality early education programming to children as well as targeted services to families. Educational programs provide access to and financial support for Head Start, Universal Pre-Kindergarten and Reach Out and Read, an early literacy program partnering with doctors to give out free books and encourage families to read together. Targeted services support young first time families and families whose children are facing developmental difficulties which can affect children's success in school. Funds also support professional development opportunities for professionals and organizational improvement for providers. Programs include Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Services, Healthy Families Home Visiting Program (administered by CTF), and Family Support and Engagement.

Early Education Access: Massachusetts funds child care subsidies which aim to increase access to child care for three different types of families. 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. 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 Low-Income Child Care) which subsidizes child care for low income-eligible non-TAFDC families who are working, disabled, in an education or job training program, or who otherwise meet the activity requirement. 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.

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