Education & Childcare


Regulations and policies for the Child Care Financial Assistance programs have been updated to help families. MA families can apply to the programs to help pay for child care and out-of-school time programs.

Last-reviewed: 3pm, Nov. 21, 2023

Key Resources:


The Basics

  • Parents and caregivers who receive SNAP and participate in a SNAP Path to Work program can get 12 months of free child care. Find more information here.
  • Federal student loan interest resumed on September 1, 2023 and payments began in October 2023. For more information, visit

The Breakdown

Childcare and Early Education

  • The Child Care Financial Assistance Program updated and improved its regulations and policies to make the application process easier for parents, including but not limited to, making policies more accessible, requiring less paperwork, waiving fees for homeless families, updating definitions and language to be more clear and inclusive.
  • Parents who participate in a SNAP Path to Work program, DTA’s Employment and Training programs for SNAP households, can now get a child care voucher for eligible kids under age 13. The voucher lasts 12 months even if parents begin working during that time. Find out more here.
  • The EEC provides child care financial assistance to families that meet income-based and activity requirements. If you are on the waitlist for child care financial assistance, be on the lookout for emails from EEC to ensure your information is updated. Call Mass 211 or your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency for more information.
  • SNAP recipients are now categorically eligible for Head Start early childhood programs, without having to meet separate criteria. Read the FAQs here. Visit this Head Start/Early Head Start page for more information about the federal programs.

Elementary and Secondary Schools

  • If a K-12 student has difficulty getting to and from school, they can contact their District. If their District does not fix the issue, they can file a complaint with DESE online or by calling 781-338-3700. Students with disabilities also have a right to adequate transportation to and from school.
  • All MA school children whose schools participate in the National School Lunch Program will get free school meals during the school year, starting with the 2023-2024 school year. Even though meals will be free for all such students, it is important for families to complete the household Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals. Learn more here.

University and Federal Loans

  • Federal student loan interest resumed in September 2023 and repayments began in October 2023. To learn about repayment plans and options, visit
  • Massachusetts residents who are 25 or older and have been a permanent resident of MA for at least one year can enroll in the MassReconnect program to qualify for free community college education. More information here.
  • For more information, visit the MLPB Federal Digital Digest.

The Bottom Line

  • Care teams can empower parents to advocate for their child(ren) by taking advantage of available benefits and resources for their family’s needs.