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How do you get child care? How should you choose a child care provider?

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Produced by Deborah Harris, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2017

To get child care based on current or former receipt of TAFDC, you must

  • get a child care authorization from DTA,
  • find a child care provider who will accept a voucher,
  • get a voucher from the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency,

You can also get names of local child care providers at the Department of Early Education and Care. You can try to get help finding a provider from your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&RA). Your DTA worker can give you the contact information for your local CCR&RA You can also get a list at www.eec.state.ma.us/ChildCareSearch/CCRR.aspx. The CCR&RA will decide if you need to meet with a CCR&RA worker (at the CCR&RA or at DTA) or if the voucher may be authorized by telephone or fax. DTA Field Operations Memo 2007-17 (Mar. 26, 2007).

How to choose a child care provider

  • Visit the program. Go in the morning when children are most active. If the provider is very busy but you like what you see, go back when there is time to talk.
  • Look for the license.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • And always ask questions.
  • The Department of Early Education and Care says you should take care to make sure your child is safe and happy. The child care provider should have experience and education working with young children. The facility should be safe and clean. The program should offer educational and fun activities, have plenty of safe toys and learning materials, encourage creative play, and plan quiet time both indoors and out. For more information on what to look for, see Tips on Choosing Child Care at the MassLegalServices website.

Advocacy Reminder:

  • If you are not fluent in English, the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency has a duty to speak with you and provide you with materials in your language or provide an interpreter who speaks your language.

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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