Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3)/ Child Care Stabilization Grants

Child Care Stabilization Grants

The Department of Early Education & Care is providing Child Care Stabilization Grants with the aim of supporting early education and care providers’ day-to-day operational and workforce costs. Grant awards will be calculated using the new Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) formula to distribute the Child Care Stabilization Grants in monthly payments to support operating costs. The C3 formula considers each child care provider’s licensed capacity, workforce investments, and the vulnerability of the community they serve. You can learn more about the formula below. This is a non-competitive grant application available for all eligible EEC-licensed child care providers open and serving families in Massachusetts to apply.

C3 Workforce Bonus Funding

EEC made available an additional $14 Million in one-time workforce bonus funding through the Commonwealth Cares for Children program to EEC-licensed providers to support the state’s early education workforce. This investment was instrumental in addressing the challenges child care programs face in recruiting and retaining a qualified workforce to sustain stable child care services to families.



All EEC-licensed child care providers open to serve children are eligible for this funding. Funded programs approved by EEC and run by private schools that otherwise meet the conditions above will also be eligible for this funding. Residential Programs & Placement Agencies are not eligible to apply for the grants. 

These new funds are in addition to current state funding and do not replace the existing subsidy funding system. All providers that meet the eligibility criteria can receive these funds, regardless of whether or not they serve subsidized children.  Providers will be eligible for operational funding for the months they are open for services to children and families.

Programs will not be penalized for a temporary COVID-related emergency closure that occurs during the grant period.

EEC-licensed providers with more than one site in Massachusetts may apply for each site. Funds will be calculated at the provider site level based on the criteria set forth in the formula. Each provider site must complete an individual application to be considered for funding.

Programs should complete the full application to request funds and then recertify their application information each month (updating it as needed) to continue receiving monthly payments. Programs will receive notifications via email and LEAD reminding them to update their applications each month.

Programs have an opportunity to submit corrections for prepopulated grant information within the grant application itself.

Funding Formula

EEC has developed the Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) formula that will be used to distribute Child Care Stabilization funding, using each provider’s capacity and staffing levels.

Key components of the formula include:

  • Funding amounts are determined based on capacity and staffing costs.
  • The formula also uses an equity adjustment for programs located in historically marginalized communities or providing services to significant numbers of low-income children.

You can watch a recording of a recent C3 Information Session to learn more.


Allowable Expenditures

Per federal regulations, providers may use the grant funds on one or more of the following categories:

  • Personnel costs, benefits, premium pay, and other supports for recruitment and retention
  • Professional development and other investments to support staff in building educator qualifications
  • Other investments to improve program quality such as supplies, curriculum, screening tools, etc.
  • Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance and improvements, or insurance
  • Personal protective equipment, testing supplies, cleaning and sanitation supplies and services, or other COVID-19-related expenses (including past expenses). 



The application for the current round of C3 grant funding re-opened on July 19, 2022.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

EEC disburses grant payments twice a month, once in the middle of the month and once at the end of the month, depending on when programs submit their application or recertification.

Application Process

Accessing the Application:

  • To access the application providers will first need to enter their LEAD username and password and click login.
  • Once logged in, you will land on the homepage​. You should then click on view grants under the “Grants Management” banner.
  • If you have one program site this will take you to the EEC Grants Dashboard. If you have more than one program site, you will need to select each program site separately.
  • Click “Apply Today” to begin your application.

To complete your application, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Information on classrooms, current enrollment, and scholarships
  • Information on educator/ assistant compensation
  • Confirmation of consumer web page rate and hours information (Providers can view and update this information in LEAD).
  • Race/ Ethnicity and Gender of FCC Operator/Center Director
  • Attestations: maintaining salaries and providing tuition relief
  • A budget is NOT required for this application, although grantees should maintain their financial records to track the use of funds.

EEC will require a mid-point and post-grant report to collect information on how the funds were used and submit required state and federal reporting.  Payment disbursement will be based on the date of application approval. Payment schedules will be available within the application.



Child Care Stabilization Grants Help Desk Support:

User Guide - Grant Survey

Frequently Asked Questions

Grant Requirement Supports:
Family Child Care - Training for C3 Operational Grant requirements - YouTube
Center-Based - Training for C3 Operational Grant requirements - YouTube
C3 Office Hours with Spanish Translation - YouTube

Center-Based Provider TA Training Presentation
FCC Provider TA Training Presentation
Excel Grant Expenditure Tracker
Printable Grant Expenditure Tracker
Spending List Template

Application Guidance:
EEC Child Care Stabilization Grant Application User Guide (8/3/21)
EEC Child Care Stabilization Grant Application User Guide - Spanish
EEC Child Care Stabilization Grant Application User Guide - Mandarin
EEC Child Care Stabilization Grant Application User Guide - Portuguese

Video Resource Library:
EEC Child Care Stabilization Grants Video Walk Through: How to Submit an Application

Sample Grant Application:
EEC GSA Child Care Stabilization Grant Application
EEC FCC Child Care Stabilization Grant Application

Visit the C3 Formula Calculator:
This calculator is designed to help programs understand funding they might receive for the Child Care Stabilization Grant. This calculator is designed to help you understand the funding your program might expect from this grant. Please be aware that the award estimate provided by this calculator is only an estimate based on the information provided. Your final award amount will be determined based on your official application.

Additional Resources for