About the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC)

The Department of Early Education and Care is the lead agency for all early education and care services in the Commonwealth.

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. "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. EEC licenses approximately 9,000 child care programs, residential facilities, and foster care/adoption placement agencies that have the capacity to serve an estimated 230,000 children. On a daily basis, EEC supports an average of 55,000 children from low-income or at-risk families to attend a high-quality family or group child care program. EEC also provides technical assistance to licensed programs on complying with safety and best practice standards, and assists programs in advancing to higher levels of quality through a system of standards and support, including professional development for nearly 100,000 early educators in the workforce. 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.


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