Press Release

Press Release  Massachusetts to Boost Reimbursement Rates for Child Care Providers

Board of Early Education Approves Healey-Driscoll Administration’s Transformative Proposal, 6th State in the Nation Federally Approved to Use Cost of Care Data
For immediate release:
  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll
  • Executive Office of Education
  • Department of Early Education and Care

Media Contact   for Massachusetts to Boost Reimbursement Rates for Child Care Providers

Karissa Hand, Press Secretary

Worcester — Today the Board of Early Education and Care unanimously approved the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s transformative changes to how the state reimburses early education and care providers who accept state child care financial assistance, known as rates. Child care providers across Massachusetts will start to receive at least a 5.5 percent increase to their daily per child reimbursement rate beginning in February 2024, an increase of over $2,000 a year on average per child. They will also soon receive a one-time retroactive payment to account for the increased rates back to July 1, 2023. 

The approved rates make significant progress on addressing long-standing inequities in rate amounts by geographic region and age group of children served. Massachusetts will be using the cost of providing care as a metric for setting rates for the first time, investing $65 million from the state’s fiscal year 2024 budget to raise regions with similar economic indicators to the same rate amount. Providers will also start to receive higher reimbursements for infant and toddler care to better cover the true cost of providing care to these age groups. 

“I thank the Board of Early Education and Care for their support in approving our transformational rate proposal, setting Massachusetts up to be a national leader in using the cost of care to more accurately and equitably determine reimbursements for our child care providers. These deserved increases will help providers to recruit and retain a high-quality workforce and reduce costs for families,” said Governor Maura Healey. “I also thank the Legislature for their partnership in making historic investments in early education and care this fiscal year. Team Massachusetts is continuing to prioritize making child care more affordable and accessible.” 

“We have heard from child care providers that some regions in the state have disproportionately lower rates, and that infant and toddler rates have been too low for too long. Under our administration, and in partnership with the Board and Legislature, today’s approved rates are a big step forward in addressing these past inequities and in our work to expand access and affordability for families across Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll

Rates provide direct needs-based financial assistance to increase low-income families’ purchasing power in the market and help pay for the cost of care. Under this approved rate proposal, Massachusetts is one of the first states in the country to use the cost of care as an additional metric when setting rates. There is growing recognition nationally that a market rate survey alone is not the best metric to use and that the cost of care should also be included, as the price of care is often more reflective of how much parents are able to pay for care and the local market for tuition versus the cost of providing high quality care. Federal rules require states to use a market rate survey or alternative methodology to set rates. Massachusetts is one of the first six states in the country federally approved to move forward with an alternative methodology when setting rates for child care financial assistance. 

“Here in Massachusetts, we don’t just want to get ‘back’ to how things were before the pandemic – we are focused on transforming our early education and care system forward towards access and equity for all families,” said Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler. “Today’s approved rate changes continue our efforts to transform our state’s child care financial assistance system to be what all our children, families and early education and care providers deserve.”  

“Our child care financial assistance programs are a critical tool to expanding access and affordability for families. Today’s approval of our transformational rate increase, in addition to the significant reforms we rolled out in the fall to that make it easier for providers to administer these programs, aim to attract more providers to participate in the state’s system,” said Early Education and Care Commissioner Amy Kershaw. “I want to thank our EEC staff, the Board, and our providers for your partnership in this vital work.”  

Examples of rate increases by region and age group of children served in center-based settings include: 



Per Day/ Per Child 

Current Rate 

New Rate 

Current Rate 

New Rate 




(34% increase) 

$66.36 ​ 


​(14% increase) 




(28% increase) 



​(10% increase) 




(14% increase) 



​(8% increase) 




(8% increase) 



(8% increase) 




(34% increase) 


$75.48 ​ 

(11% increase) 

Metro Boston 



(14% increase) 

$93.20 ​ 

$108.46 ​ 

(16% increase) 

“Today’s vote by the Board of Early Education and Care reflects our ongoing efforts to work on equitably supporting families to afford and access high-quality early education and care across the Commonwealth and supporting providers in that pursuit. I am grateful to the Board and the Healey-Driscoll Administration for the thoughtful, data driven approach to the rate proposal. As a Commonwealth, we continue to take steps to in the right direction to address the needs of children, families, and providers,” said Paul Belsito, Chair of the Board of Early Education and Care. 

Statements of Support: 

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): 

“Child care providers are struggling to keep their doors open nationwide, and this financial boost will help keep centers in Massachusetts up and running. I’m grateful for Governor Healey’s leadership to support child care and I’ll keep fighting at the federal level for long term support so families everywhere have access to affordable, quality child care.” 

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05): 

“I congratulate Massachusetts on taking this important step in our work to improve child care access and affordability. For too long, we’ve failed to invest in America’s child care system — undermining the financial stability of families and the success of our entire economy. With this boost to reimbursement rates, the Commonwealth is better reflecting the reality faced by providers and, as a result, helping to contain costs for parents and get more kids in classrooms. I am grateful that Massachusetts is tackling this urgent challenge as I continue to lead the fight in Washington for a system that truly works for all working families.” 

Congressman Richard Neal (MA-01): 

“Child care, and the child care workforce for that matter, play an essential role in the Commonwealth’s economy, providing thousands of parents with the ability to go to work each day. Today’s announcement is not only about improving and expanding economic opportunity, but more importantly, investing in our students’ futures. As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, I was proud to enact the first permanent increase in child care funding since 2006 through the American Rescue Plan. Massachusetts is committed to providing high-quality, affordable and accessible child care for every family, and this announcement is a critical step towards transforming our state’s early education and child care system.” 

Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03): 

“Our child care system has been pushed to the brink, and hardworking families simply trying to make ends meet are the ones who ultimately pay the price when a daycare has to scale back capacity or close altogether. As a mom, I couldn’t be more grateful to Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll for tackling this crisis head on. Ensuring that child care providers get the reimbursement they need to keep their facilities open, staffed, and ready to help our children is essential to making the Commonwealth a more affordable place to live, work, and raise a family.” 

Congressman Seth Moulton (MA-06): 

“Every child in the Commonwealth deserves to be set up for success from day one — regardless of zip code or family income. I’m proud that the Healey-Driscoll Administration not only recognizes this, but is taking bold, data-driven, action to fix inequities in our current system so that we can better support families and providers. Massachusetts again sets the standard, and I hope others will follow suit” 

Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland): 

“Early educators are a vital cornerstone of our economic vitality and students’ future success, and giving them the support they deserve is imperative to creating a more affordable, competitive, and equitable Commonwealth.That is why the Legislature invested significantly through the annual budget to bolster compensation for early education professionals and providers to reflect their enormous contributions to our society. I’m grateful to the Board of Early Education and Care for approving these significant increases today, and I look forward to seeing providers, parents, and our children feel the impacts of these added funds, as we make crucial progress toward compensating providers for the true cost of providing early education and care.” 

House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy): 

"The House has long championed child care rate increases and I’m proud of the historical investments the Legislature has made, with support from the Healey-Driscoll Administration, so vital reforms like these can thrive. I applaud Commissioner Kershaw and her team as these efforts are in keeping with the Legislature’s 2022 Early Education and Care Economic Review Commission's recommendations, aiming to provide more affordable and equitable access to early education and care across the Commonwealth.” 

Senator Jason Lewis, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education (D-Winchester): 

“I'm very pleased that the legislature and the administration are continuing to prioritize increasing subsidy reimbursement rates for early education and care providers across the Commonwealth. Increasing these rates closer to the actual cost of providing care is critical to achieving the goal of expanding access to high-quality, affordable early education and child care for all families who need it.” 

Representative Denise C. Garlick, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education (D-Needham): 

“These rate increases are vitally important to recruit and retain quality early educators,. The early educator workforce is integral to the development of our youngest, most vulnerable learners and helps to stabilize the ability of many families to work in Massachusetts’ economy.” 

Amy O’Leary, Executive Director at Strategies for Children: 

“There has never been more momentum, cooperation and determination in Massachusetts to find effective solutions to systemic challenges. Under the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s child care financial assistance rate changes, the Commonwealth is becoming one of the first states to use the cost of care when setting rates, leading to more equitable and accurate rates that better reflect the true cost of providing infant and toddler care and address past geographic inequities across Massachusetts.These approved changes will greatly improve access and affordability for low-income families, and support more providers to participate in the state’s child care financial assistance programs.” 

Denise Graham-Reardon, Executive Director of Children & Family Services at the YMCA Cape Cod: 

“An increase to the State's level of reimbursement will have a profound effect here on the Cape. In a time when the rising cost of living is pushing young early educators out of the field, this increase will help us retain the next generation of great teachers. Access to quality early education should be available to everyone, and as a community organization we are proud to enroll families who utilize state funding. This increase is a helpful solution for families, teachers, and providers”   

Dawn DiStefano, President of Square One: 

"As a large provider of early education and care in western Massachusetts, Square One is celebrating the acknowledgement and execution of the critical need for rate reimbursements that move toward a more accurate reflection of the true cost of providing education and care to our community. Although we continue to advocate for further attention to the additional resources required for our most vulnerable children, this is an enormous step in the right direction for our field and region. We look forward to maintaining the level of collaboration and partnership the Administration has demonstrated to date. Today is a great day!” 

Executive Director of Cape Cod Children’s Place Cindy Horgan: 

“Cape Cod Children’s Place is excited and grateful for the action of increasing the rates of the vouchers throughout the state. It is important to note in addition to the statewide increase the recognition that the Cape and region 5 have historically been reimbursed at a lower level than other parts of the state. The cost of living is much higher on the Cape and Islands, so this step helps us to achieve more equity throughout the Commonwealth. We are grateful for this investment in the field of Early Education and Care and recognizing that all children deserve high quality education and care. These increases will be helpful in supporting the field of EEC as we continue to advocate for both families and providers.” 

Community Action Pioneer Valley Executive Director Clare Higgins: 

"I am grateful that Commissioner Kershaw, the EEC staff, and the Board have created a rate structure that goes a long way to closing the historic inequities that have existed for decades in the Commonwealth.” 


Media Contact   for Massachusetts to Boost Reimbursement Rates for Child Care Providers

  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll 

    Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll are committed to bringing people together and making Massachusetts a place where every worker, business and family can succeed.
  • Executive Office of Education 

    From pre-school to post-secondary education, the Executive Office of Education works to connect all Massachusetts residents with an education that creates opportunities.

    While Massachusetts' students rank first in the nation on many educational measures, the Executive Office of Education strives to strengthen the foundations of education reform, empower schools and educators, and develop pathways to college and careers so all students in the Commonwealth can succeed, regardless of their zip code.
  • Department of Early Education and Care 

    The Department of Early Education and Care's mission is to support the healthy growth and development of all children by providing high quality programs and resources for families and communities.
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