Log in links for this page
- This page, Apply for funds to help pay for child care, is offered by
- Department of Early Education and Care
Apply for funds to help pay for child care
Department of Early Education and Care
The Details of Apply for funds to help pay for child care
Overview for Apply for funds to help pay for child care
The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) helps Massachusetts families pay for child care and out-of-school time programs through federal and state programs. Out-of-school time programs include programs available before and after school. EEC partners with family access administrators to help families apply for and receive CCFA. These family access administrators include Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&R), contracted child care programs and Mass 211. They also provide resource and referral services for families exploring child care options.
These programs pay your child’s child care and/or out-of-school time programs directly each month. You may have a “parent fee” depending on your family size and income. Many families have no fee.
Mass 211 has interpreters in over 100 languages to help you over the phone. If you are working with a CCR&R or contracted child care program, you can also request translation services.
Eligibility for Apply for funds to help pay for child care
CCFA eligibility is based on who is in your family, income, and certain expenses. “Eligibility” means who can and can’t get the benefit. If you aren’t sure if you are eligible, family access administrators can help you find out.
Getting CCFA will not hurt your immigration status. Applying for or receiving child care financial assistance will not put you at risk of being considered a public charge. All information given to EEC is confidential and is not shared with immigration officials.
Child care financial assistance is considered a benefit for children, not adults. Even if you, as a parent or caregiver, are not a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant, it is safe for you to apply for and receive child care financial assistance for an eligible child. Parents do not have to provide proof of citizenship status for themselves as part of the application process.
EEC provides financial assistance if a parent has a recognized reason for needing child care. We call this “service need.” You may be eligible if parents or caregivers in your household are:
- Looking for work or working part or full-time;
- Attending school, participating in job or educational training;
- Experiencing or have experienced domestic violence;
- Are a young parent (under age 24);
- Are retired and older than 65;
- Have a DTA or DCF child care referral;
- Have a documented disability; OR
- Are participating in a substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation program.
Please note: If you do not have one of these reasons for needing child care, you may be able to get temporary approval for 12 weeks. Talk to your family access administrator to see if you may be eligible for this.
Getting TAFDC/SNAP? If you receive TAFDC cash benefits or SNAP benefits, talk to DTA about receiving a child care referral. If you get TAFDC, you need to also be seeking employment, working or enrolled in a training or education program. If getting SNAP, you need to also be participating in a SNAP Path to Work program. If approved by DTA, DTA will send the referral to the family access administrator for you. Families with DTA referrals do not have to be on the waitlist for financial assistance.
Have an open case with DCF? If your child has an active case with DCF, talk to your social worker about receiving a child care referral. If approved by DCF, DCF will send the referral to the family access administrator for you. Families with DCF referrals do not have to be on the waitlist for financial assistance.
Working in an education & care program? If you work at a licensed or funded early education or school aged program and meet the income eligibility, you may be eligible to get financial assistance right away.
What about if my family is experiencing homelessness? If your family is experiencing homelessness, you may be eligible to get financial assistance right away. Call Mass 211 to talk about getting access right away.
What about if my family is experiencing domestic violence? If your family is experiencing domestic violence, you may be eligible to get financial assistance right away. Call Mass 211 to talk about getting safe access. If experiencing an emergency, call 911. Find domestic violence resources.
- What counts as income? EEC counts parent(s)’s or caregiver income from most sources, such as wages. EEC does not count rental assistance, SSI/SSDI, child support, TAFDC cash benefits, and certain other sources of income. Your family access administrator will tell you what information they need from you. *Note: depending on your “service need,” your family may not have to meet the income amounts below (example: if you have a DTA or DCF referral).
Child Care Financial Assistance Eligibility Chart
Maximum Monthly Income
Maximum Monthly Income
if your child has a disability
If you aren’t sure if you are eligible, family access administrators can help you find out.
How to apply Apply for funds to help pay for child care
Visit your local CCR&R
Next steps for Apply for funds to help pay for child care
Once you talk with a family access administrator, they will tell you if you are likely eligible for financial assistance. You can then join the waitlist if funding is not available. You will get a Waitlist Confirmation Notice in the mail to confirm your information.
Your family may get priority access to CCFA if you:
- Are experiencing homelessness or need assistance due to domestic violence;
- Have a referral from DTA or DCF;
- Are a parent younger than 24 years old; OR
- Are working in an early education and care program.
If you give us a cell phone number that can get text messages and/or email address, you will get messages from EEC about your application and child care status.
Once funding is available, you will get a text/email from EEC and a notice in the mail, phone call or email. You will now complete an application.
Here is a list of documents you may need to provide to process your application. They will let you know if they need more information.
You will get a letter in the mail telling you if you qualify. If family access administrator approves your application, they will tell you how much you have to pay for child care, known as the parent fee. Learn about the parent fee. You will need to sign a Financial Assistance and Fee Agreement.
If they deny your application, they will tell you why. You can ask EEC to review the decision. Your letter tells you how you can file a review.
You can use EEC’s search tool, call Mass 211 or work with your local CCR&R to find child care that best meets the needs of your family.
Contact for Apply for funds to help pay for child care
Address50 Milk St., 14th Floor, Boston, MA 02109-5002
Help Us Improve Mass.gov with your feedback