Welcome to the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC)
Welcome to the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care’s (EEC) website. Whether you are a parent, family member, provider, educator or community leader, this website will provide you with information and resources to help support the Commonwealth’s youngest citizens.
EEC’s mission is to support all children in their development as lifelong learners and contributing members of the community, and to support families in their essential work as parents and caregivers. We are responsible for the licensing and regulation of approximately 11,000 family, group and school-age child care providers, as well as nearly 700 residential care programs and adoption/foster care placement agencies. We also administer financial assistance for over 50,000 children to access high-quality early education and out-of-school time programs that support their developmental success, provide additional parenting resources and services for families, and support the professional development of educators in the early education and care field.
Access to high-quality early education and care is a top priority of the Patrick-Murray Administration. Our young children are our future. Their success as individuals is critical to our success as a Commonwealth.
Thank you for visiting and for your interest in our work on behalf of children and families.
For more information sign up for email updates.
Please be advised that the New Background Record Checks, which became effective on an emergency basis on December 10, 2013, have been translated into Spanish , Portuguese , Chinese and Haitian Creole .
In addition, please be reminded that you have until close of business on Friday January 17, 2014 to submit public comment on these regulations.
At its December 10, 2013 meeting, the Board of Early Education and Care adopted amendments to the Department of Early Education and Care's (EEC) Criminal Offender and Other Background Record Checks regulations, 606 CMR 14.00. These amendments broaden the scope of the existing regulations by adding new requirements for fingerprint-based checks of national and state criminal history databases and Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) checks from the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB).
EEC will now require Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) checks and fingerprint-based national and state criminal history background checks -- in addition to the current Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Department of Children and Families (DCF) checks. These new requirements will impact EEC’s licensed and funded programs such as family child care, small/large group and school-age child care programs, residential and placement programs, adoptive and foster parents and EEC-funded caregivers. SORI and fingerprint-based checks immediately apply to all new applications filed on or after September 1, 2013. All individuals licensed or employed prior to September 1, 2013 will be required to undergo SORI and fingerprint-based checks before September 1, 2016.
Supports in Response to Traumatic Community Events
The Department of Early Education and Care is deeply saddened by the traumatic events that occurred at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Your children, students, relatives, or other members of your community may understandably have questions or concerns in response to this tragedy. There are several resources available that are designed to offer social and emotional support to those who need assistance with processing, understanding, or coping with tragedies or grief. We hope that these materials may be of some assistance to you or someone you know who is affected by this tragedy. Our thoughts and concern are with everyone affected during this very difficult time.
The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) has revised the Procedures for the Drop-Off and Pick-Up of Children by Transportation Providers, and Parent/Program Notification - 6.06 CMR 7.13 which went into effect December 12, 2011. Please be advised that the revised policy will become effective October 1, 2012.
This is a sign of future prosperity for everyone in MassachusettsWhenever you see children interacting and learning in enriching environments, what you're really seeing is brain building in progress. The latest science shows that these early experiences actually build the architecture of the developing brain, and provide the foundation for a lifetime of learning, success and productive, responsible citizenship. Brain building is an investment in the economic prosperity of everyone in Massachusetts. EEC and the United Way have launched a joint initiative to provide more information on the science of brain building and why our future depends on it. View the public service announcement below, and visit www.brainbuildinginprogress.org to learn more.
Watch the Public Service Announcement