The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) was established in 2005 with a mission to provide "the foundation that supports all children in their development as lifelong learners and contributing members of the community, and supports families in their essential work as parents and caregivers." The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) is part of the Executive Office of Education, one of eight Executive Offices under Governor Charlie Baker. Education Secretary James A. Peyser oversees the Executive Office of Education and is Governor Baker's top advisor on education. The Commissioner of Early Education and Care, Thomas L. Weber, manages the Department of Early Education and Care. An eleven member Board of Early Education and Care sets policies and regulations related to early education and care programs and services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Board of Early Education and Care is chaired by Nonie Lesaux, Ph.D.
The Department of Early Education and Care serves as the entry point of Massachusetts' birth to 21 education pipeline. "Early education and care" includes formal programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children during out-of-school time; group homes; foster care and adoption placement agencies; and residential schools for children with special needs; as well as programs in informal settings such as home visiting, and community-based family engagement networks that provide literacy and other developmental activities for children and parents in libraries and adult education centers.
The Department of Early Education and Care endeavors to deliver the most effective high-quality, comprehensive early learning and development system in the nation. This requires ensuring that the 9,000 programs we license meet safety and best practice standards through regulatory review, technical assistance, and monitoring, and are supported in advancing to higher levels of quality through a system of standards and support. At the heart of a high-quality and comprehensive early education and care system are its educators, and the Department works to build the knowledge, competencies and career pathways of the 100,000 educators who comprise our workforce and are key to closing the early achievement gap and ensuring that all of our children enter school ready to succeed.
In accordance with M.G.L. c. 15D, §3A there is also an Advisory Council on Early Education and Care that may review and offer comments on any rules or regulations before promulgation by the Board of Early Education and Care, and may, from time to time, make recommendations to the Board that it considers appropriate for changes and improvements in early education and care programs and services.
In 2014, the Board of Early Education and Care set a five year Strategic Plan for the Department that set the vision and priorities for the agency's work.
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.
Thank you for visiting and for your interest in our work on behalf of children and families.