Education & Childcare

Headline:

Families that receive SNAP can now get 12 months of free child care when parents participate in a SNAP Path to Work program.

Last-reviewed: 9am, June 23, 2022

Key Resources:

Education

The Basics

  • Families that receive SNAP can now get 12 months of free child care. Find more information here.
  • EEC allows in-person childcare. Programs must follow COVID protocols.

The Breakdown

  • 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 the family begins working during that time. Find out more here.
  • SNAP recipients are now categorically eligible for Head Start early childhood programs, without having to meet separate criteria. Read the FAQs here.
  • The Baker-Polito Administration has committed $60 million to school districts and community organizations to offer summer educational and recreational programs for children across the Commonwealth. Read the press release here.
  • Masks are no longer required in most K-12 schools. Masks are required in limited circumstances where students and staff are recovering from COVID-19 or were recently exposed to COVID-19. Read the full guidance (available in 6 languages).
  • For information about masking policies in a specific school, check the District website.
  • DESE is tracking positive COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools. Read the weekly data reports.
  • MA requires Districts to provide transportation to K-6 students based on their distance from the school, as well as all K-12 students who attend regional school districts. Many students with disabilities are also entitled to specialized transportation.
  • If a K-12 student is having 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 who are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch and had qualifying COVID-related absences during the 2021-2022 academic year should have received retroactive P-EBT payments on May 25, 2022. Eligible families will also receive a monthly payment on June 25, 2022. For additional information, visit MA P-EBT.
  • Families can check their P-EBT Card balance and request a replacement P-EBT Card through the DTA portal.
  • The USDA extended universal free school lunch to the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Districts may still require families to complete an application. If a family is denied, they should contact DESE’s Office for Food & Nutrition Programs at nutrition@doe.mass.edu.
  • If Congress does not act to renew free school lunch funding for the 2022-2023 school year, applications for free and reduced-price meals should be available on school district websites beginning July 1, 2022. Income Eligibility Guidelines are available here.
  • Students with Long COVID may qualify for additional services under IDEA or Section 504. See this ED Long COVID Guide for additional information.
  • People with certain federal student loans will be excused from making payments until September 1, 2022. During this time, the loans will have a 0% interest rate. This does not apply to private loans. Visit studentaid.gov for additional information.

The Bottom Line

  • Parents or caregivers can contact their local school district for information about a child’s individual school operations.
  • Parents who participate in a SNAP Path to Work program may receive free child care for any eligible child under age 13.