Teen Parent Child Care Subsidy

Massachusetts residents are eligible for Teen Parent Child Care services provided they meet applicable income, service need and age requirements. Income eligible teens and teens receiving TAFDC may enroll directly in contracted TPCC slots as funding permits.

Teens are enrolled for TPCC child care slots on a priority basis (See Policy P-EEC-TPCC-06, Child Care Enrollment Priorities . For teen parents beginning school, a new job or a training activity, the child care subsidy may be authorized for one week prior to the start date of the activity.


To be eligible for Teen Parent Child Care services, the income of the teen parent's family must be at or below 50% of the State Median Income at the time of enrollment in the program. Teen parents will remain eligible until their family income exceeds 85% of State Median Income. Families that have a child with special needs or an incapacitated parent are eligible if their income is at or below 85% of the State Median Income at enrollment, and remain eligible until the family income exceeds 100% of the State Median Income.

Families who re-enroll in Teen Parent Child Care services within three months of a temporary break in service due to a child's or teen parent's illness, accident, extended vacation leave, or interruption in parent's service need may return to TPCC services if their family income at that time is at or below 85% of the State Median Income, or at or below 100% of the State Median Income when a family has a child or parent with an incapacity. (See Policy P-EEC-TPCC-06, Child Care Enrollment Priorities).

The only income to be considered in determining financial eligibility is the income of the teen and her child, and the income of the father of the child or the teen's husband, if he lives with the teen. ( See Policy P-EEC-TPCC -02, Definition of Family).

Service Need

To be eligible for Teen Parent Child Care services, teen parents must be participating in a full time high school program or a high school equivalency (GED) program, or must have received a GED or high school diploma and be participating in an approved higher education, training, and/or work activity. 1 The teen must spend at least twenty hours per week in such activities.

Teen parents who have open cases with the Department of Social Services for protective needs are eligible to receive teen parent child care services if they also meet TPCC income, service need and age requirements.

Teen parents who have been receiving Teen Parent Child Care services while working and lose their job, or graduate from high school/GED are eligible to continue child care during an eight-week job search. At the end of the academic year, teens who will be continuing in school the following September are eligible to receive a two week job search. It is anticipated that teens in this category will initiate job search prior to the close of the academic year.

In addition, although a goal of the TPCC program is to prevent repeat pregnancies, a currently enrolled teen is considered to have a continuing service need while on maternity leave for a maximum of eight weeks, provided s/he returns to the same job or to school.

Service Needs for Voucher Child Care Eligibility for TPCC

Teens in the following categories may receive a voucher issued by the appropriate Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R) to enroll in the TPCC program when the provider's TPCC contract is full, as long as the provider does not exceed their EEC licensed capacity:

  • A teen parent under age 18 who is enrolled in fulltime high school or GED;
  • A teen parent age 18 or 19 who is enrolled in full time high school;
  • A teen parent who receives TAFDC and obtains a Child Care Referral from the Department of Transitional Assistance;
  • A pregnant teen under age 18 enrolled in high school or a GED program, or a pregnant teen age 18 or 19 enrolled in high school. A pregnant teen in one of these categories may obtain a voucher from the appropriate CCR&R to receive support services from the TPCC program during their last trimester of her pregnancy. ( See Policies P-EEC-TPCC-05, Services to Pregnant Teens, and P-EEC-TPCC-17, Reimbursement).

A teen parent enrolled in a TPCC program through a voucher must be moved into a TPCC contracted slot as soon as one becomes available. 2

A teen parent who is eligible to obtain a voucher for TPCC services may also be issued a voucher by the CCR&R for Income Eligible Child Care in the event that the TPCC provider is at licensed capacity, the program cannot meet the needs of the teen parent, or there are no Teen Parent Child Care programs within a reasonable geographic proximity.


The primary age groups of children served through the Teen Parent Child Care program are infants and toddlers. However, children of teen parents are eligible from birth through age twelve, depending upon the provider's specific contract.

Parents under the age of 20 may enroll in Teen Parent Child Care programs when they meet income and service need requirements, subject to available funding. Young parents age 20 or above who have a documented special need and are attending high school may also be enrolled.

Teens who turn 20 while participating in the Teen Parent Child Care program may continue to receive TPCC services, as funding permits, until the end of the month during which they turn 20 (if working or in a GED program); the end of the academic semester (if in college or a training program); or September 1st following their 20th birthday (if in high school). However, young parents age 20 and above with a documented
special need who remain in high school may continue to receive TPCC services through age 21.

Teens who turn 20 may transition to Income Eligible Child Care with priority status if they meet service need and eligibility requirements (See Policy P-EEC-IE-04, Enrollment Priorities).

1 Teen fathers living with teen mothers receiving TPCC services are exempt from service need requirements until they reach age 20.

2A pregnant teen will continue to receive a voucher throughout the last trimester of pregnancy, even when a contracted TPCC slot becomes available.

Information provided by the Department of Early Education and Care . Created: March 18, 2003 Last Reviewed: February 13, 2004