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Child Care Emergency Order

To slow the spread of coronavirus, Governor Baker has issued an emergency order temporarily closing all early childhood education programs across the State of Massachusetts to suspend providing childcare by 11:59 P.M. on Sunday, March 22, 2020. This will remain in effect until April 6, 2020, and may be extended as needed.

This closure applies to all center-based child care and family child care programs. It does not apply to residential schools, community group homes, temporary shelters, transition-to-independent living facilities, teen parent programs, and DYS secure facilities.

Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs will be the only child care programs that are allowed to operate during this time. This prioritizes public health and safety while maintaining critical service.

Click For a List of Approved Exempt Emergency Child Care programs

Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs

Frequently Asked Parent Questions About EECCPs:

How do I find an Exempt Emergency Child Care Program?

EEC will post a list of approved Exempt Emergency Child Care programs by 12:00 P.M. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. This list will continue to be updated as more programs are approved. Parents will be responsible for reaching out to the programs directly.

Can my child go to an Exempt Emergency Child Care Program?

Emergency drop-in care programs are opening to provide back-up care for vulnerable families and workers who have no other option. If you have alternate child care such as friends or family, you should not contact these EECCPs. Priority will be given to people including but not limited to health care workers, essential state workers, COVID-19 health workers, grocery store employees, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, transportation and infrastructure workers, sanitation workers, DCF-involved families, and families living in shelters.

Will I be required to pay to enroll my child at an Exempt Emergency Program?

No. The Commonwealth will fund the operation of these programs.

Will emergency child care workers get priority testing for COVID-19?

Yes. Department of Public Health Staff will prioritize emergency childcare workers that are exposed or symptomatic for testing of COVID-19.

For people who have to work but aren’t first responders or medical staff, how will they know if their child can attend one of these daycares?

This is not intended to be a replacement for traditional childcare. It is an emergency program. Families will check in with approved programs in their region to see if there is a slot available they could fill. The program will make decisions, in consultation with the EEC regional office, about who qualifies for care.

Are child care programs that close due to COVID-19 allowed to still be collecting tuition and not crediting families for the missed days?

Childcare providers are independent businesses and the Department cannot comment on an individual provider’s payment policies. EEC has encouraged all programs to be flexible with parents during this time. The state is providing financial assistance programs for small businesses, including childcare providers, that may help programs offer that flexibility. Programs that provide subsidized care are continuing to receive full payment from EEC during this time.

For more FAQ, visit the website by clicking here.

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