The Center for Early Education and Care (CEEC) has provided quality child care services to the University community for almost 40 years. CEEC offers full day and flexible schedule early education and care services for toddlers and preschool aged children (ages 15 months through five years) throughout the year. Subsidized care is available based on income eligibility. The center is open from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and serves undergraduate and graduate student families, staff and faculty families, and families of the local community.
For more information or to request an enrollment application call the CEEC office at (413) 545-1566.
Early education and childcare for children, ages 0-5, in Head Start and Early Head Start programs, center-based classrooms, family child care homes, and home visiting programs for income-eligible families. Through a flexible mix of affordable options, Community Action offers families earning lower-incomes the security of knowing that their children are learning and playing in a safe, supportive environment. The centralized online application for their childcare programs can be found here, more information can be found on their website, and you can always call their friendly staff to learn more: 413-387-1250.
Community Action offers two free home visiting programs for pregnant women and children up to 5 years, featuring individualized in-home learning experiences, socialization sessions with other families, support, referrals, and more. For information about their Healthy Families program, which serves parents age 20 and under, see their website. If you are a parent over 20, call to find out more information about the home visiting program: 413-387-1250.
NEFWC has an easy-to-use, free, searchable childcare database of over 1,500 EEC Licensed programs in MA, including child care centers, family child care, and school-age programs. You can use their comprehensive database to filter results by age, location, facility type, pick-up and drop off times, and more criteria. You may need to experiment with the criteria you enter in order to broaden or narrow your search results into a helpful list. NEFWC is the designated Child Care Resource and Referral Agency for Hampshire and Franklin Counties and the North Quabbin Regions. NEFWC provides childcare vouchers for eligible families in Western Massachusetts and offers the database service to any parent regardless of whether they have a voucher or not.
The official state agency for providers of childcare, the MA department's website contains a comprehensive state-wide listing of infant, toddler, preschool and K-6 after school care programs. However, it does not filter results beyond the criteria for location, making it more difficult to navigate than the NEFWC database (above).
Any family looking for local babysitting services may advertise with the UMass Student Employment Office for free. Families can also advertise at employment offices of other local colleges and high schools. Many libraries and YMCAs also offer babysitter training programs and they, too, can be contacted for assistance.
Before leaving your child in the care of someone else, it is important to have a clear idea of your family’s care needs, as well as clear expectations for your care provider. There are many online sources that can provide you with sitter guidelines, such as this fact sheet prepared by the University of Michigan. Families desiring more thorough background checks on potential adult babysitters may choose to request that the sitter provide results of a criminal background check through the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system.
University of Massachusetts has contracted for a wide range of employee assistance services through ComPsych. Services include, but are not limited to: work-life specialists who will research solutions for you regarding child and elder care, including finding a caregiver for when a child or adult is ill, or overnight during a business trip, moving/relocation, home repair, college planning, pet care, legal support and resources, and financial information and resources.