Education & Childcare

Education Headline:

Schools have started in all districts in Rhode Island. Happy Back to School season!

Last-reviewed: 12pm, Sept. 7, 2023

Key Resource:


The Basics

  • RIDE has posted a recommended school calendar for 2023-24; check with individual districts for specific calendars.
  • Federal student loan repayment will begin again shortly. Everyone with a student loan can check here to see if they are eligible for a better repayment plan, including the income-based repayment plans recently announced
  • The Village for Foster & Adoptive Families, through a grant from the Office of Healthy Aging, can assist people over 55 who are caring for children under the age of 18. Some services include support groups and help navigating childcare. More information here.

The Breakdown

Elementary and Secondary Schools:
  • The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) has released accountability data, which can be seen as part of district and individual school report card data on RIDE’s website.
  • To be eligible for school-based nutrition programs, like free or reduced school lunch, some families will have to complete applications to enroll their children. RIDE has this outreach toolkit that explains program types, eligibility requirements, and outreach strategies.
    • National School Lunch program information here.
Resources for Students and Parents:
  • Families with income under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level are eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program. Enrolled families are eligible until they meet 300% of the Guidelines. Read more here.
  • RI implemented increased reimbursement rates for childcare center providers. More information here.
  • Child-care assistance program and Head Start information.
University and Federal Student Loans:
  • Rhode Island guarantees in-state tuition for all Rhode Islanders regardless of immigration status. Conditions apply. More information here
  • Federal student loan repayments are paused. Interest will begin accruing in September and payments will restart in October.  Everyone with a student loan can check to see if they are eligible for a better repayment plan, including the income-based repayment plans recently announced. More information here.
  • Here is more information for people with student loans about loan repayment including loan forgiveness programs. 

The Bottom Line

  • Care teams can help patients who are immigrants learn about in-state tuition at CCRI, RIC and URI, and can provide information about loan repayment to patients who have student loans.
  • Care teams can help people think about income maximization by providing information about new loan repayment and loan forgiveness programs for people with student loans.

Spotlight on non-discrimination:

  • Care teams working with children, youths and their families can help uplift key anti-discrimination rights to help protect against discrimination in publicly funded schools.
  • Under federal law, discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, color and national origin, sex, disability, or age. RI also prohibits discrimination based on a student’s (perceived or actual) sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Schools are required to maintain anti-discrimination polices that set out procedures to report discrimination.
  • You can help a student who believes they’ve been discriminated against in their school by:
    • Helping a student to access their school’s anti-discrimination policy by doing an internet search for: [town name] schools non-discrimination policy.