Assistance with Child Care Expenses

The University offers several child care subsidy programs to eligible students. We can help you navigate which subsidy or subsidies to apply for.

SPP child care subsidies:

Student Parent Programs awards funding for child care expenses through our Undergraduate Student Child-Care Subsidy (USCS) and our Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS) Program. Both subsidies provide financial support to student parents to help defray the cost of child care expenses. Eligibility for both awards is limited to student parents with documented financial need (as determined by Financial Aid Services.) Child care expenses for both subsidies can include daycare, pre-k, and before and after school programs through eligible providers. 

The USCS subsidy is awarded to undergraduate students only. The subsidy is awarded directly to a student's bursar account as a reimbursement for documented eligible expenses. This subsidy is not available to UWW students. 

The CCAMPIS subsidy provides funding for eligible child care expenses to undergraduate (including UWW students) and graduate students and provides targeted resources and advisement to participants while they complete their degrees. Funding through CCAMPIS is paid directly to child care providers and may continue with students as they progress in their degree(s).

To qualify for the SPP child care subsidies, student parents must meet three basic criteria:

1.    Be actively enrolled at UMass Amherst on a part-time or full-time basis
2.    Meet the income eligibility criteria for program participants – similar to Pell grant income eligibility, determined by Financial Aid Services
3.    Utilize a child care provider or facility that is licensed and nationally accredited or one that is actively pursuing this accreditation


To apply for SPP child care subsidies, first complete the general scholarship application through Academic Works here: https://umass.academicworks.com/

Once you complete the general application, you can complete our child care subsidy application:

If you are a graduate student: https://umass.academicworks.com/opportunities/4849

If you are an undergraduate student: https://umass.academicworks.com/opportunities/6757


Other child care subsidies for graduate student parents:

Graduate Student Senate (GSS) Childcare Tuition Assistance  

919 Campus Center                                           
413-545-2897

Graduate Student Senate (GSS) provides Child Care Assistance to help parents pay for the cost of childcare through a voucher program. If you are a graduate student with one or more children of up to 12 years of age, you are eligible to apply to the GSS Child Care Assistance Program. Please contact GSS with any questions gss-vice@grad.umass.edu. If you are a GEO member, you may apply for funding from both GSS and GEO. For the most up to date information please contact GSS directly.

Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) 

Only graduate students who are GEO members are eligible. If you are a GEO member, you may apply for funds from both GEO and GSS. When you visit the Enrollment Portal, there will be an option to sign up for "Childcare Reimbursement." Then, you submit documentation at the end of each semester and receive compensation depending on the level of need. Eligible childcare receipts must be for state-licensed (or equivalent) infant, toddler or preschool care, or after-school care and summer camp care for a school-aged dependent. For the most up to date information and to answer any questions please contact geo@external.umass.edu.

Resources for students seeking other financial assistance

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office connects UMass students to the support, resources, and referrals they need to be successful, acts as a single point of contact for families in crisis, and advocates on behalf of students. Visit the single stop resource page for assistance with housing, food insecurity, finances, legal questions, employment, and more. They also offer a Short Term Loan Program and an Undergraduate Student Emergency Grant Fund intended to assist students in unexpected, emergency situations. Their friendly staff are available to help answer questions at (413) 545-2684.

Student Care Supply Closets 

Student Care Supply Closets are located at several offices on campus (Off Campus Student Center, CMASS, Dean of Students Office, or Student Veterans Resource Center). They provide toiletries and household items for students facing food and financial insecurity. Stop by a location today and take home the toiletries and household items you need this month to help meet your basic needs. Ask for diaper-related supplies and formula at the Student Care Supply Closet in the Off Campus Student Center.

UMASS Student Food Pantry 

The UMass Student Food Pantry is student run and open and available to all undergraduate and graduate students..The mission of the Student Food Pantry is to reduce food insecurity in the UMass Amherst community by providing free, nonperishable items to those in need. They are open to all, five days a week (Mon-Thurs, 4-7pm and Friday, 10-2pm) and offer graduate student only hours on Fridays from 4-7pm.

Information about non-university based sources of funding for child care[1]:

Statewide Income Eligible Voucher Wait List
 

In order to receive child care subsidies you must place your name on the statewide "Income Eligible Voucher Wait List". NEFWC manages the wait list and provides vouchers for child care for income eligible parents throughout Western Massachusetts.

To find out if you qualify for a voucher, or to be placed on the Income Eligible Voucher Wait List,  click here to fill in and email, fax or mail us the form.  If you are placed on the wait list, you will receive a letter of confirmation in the mail; and you will receive a renewal letter once a year to determine if you still qualify and would like to remain on the wait list.  You must notify them if your address or phone number changes.  When a slot becomes available, you will be notified.

Springfield (Hampden County) area phone number:  413.272.2207
Pittsfield (Berkshire County) area phone number:  413.236.5890
Greenfield (Hampshire/Franklin Counties) area phone number:  413.475.3656

Group Child Care Centers & Out of School Time Programs

Many group child care centers and out of school time programs receive Department of Early Education and Care funding to help parents with the cost of child care for eligible families. Some may also have United Way funding or discounts for Military Families.  As you call the programs to ask if they have an opening for your child, also ask if they have funding to help pay for the care.

Head Start Programs

Head start is a federally funded program with full and/or part time hours that serve preschool-age children and their families.  Many Head Start programs also provide Early Head Start, which serves infants, toddlers, pregnant women and their families who have incomes below the federal poverty level.  Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, which include health, nutrition, social services and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments.  See the list below for contact information in your area.

 

Berkshire County Head Start

1 Meadow Lane, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Part time programs throughout the Berkshires 413.499.0137

Full time programs - Pittsfield 413.445.4153

Full time programs - North Adams 413.664.7932

 

Community Action - Parent Child Development Center

393 Main Street, Greenfield, MA 01301

All of Hampshire County 413.387.1234

All of Franklin County 413.376.1117

Hampden County 413.654.1772

(Westfield, W. Springfield, Agawam only)

 

Holyoke/Chicopee/Springfield Head Start, Inc

Holyoke, Chicopee, Ludlow areas:

662 High Street, Holyoke 01040

413.536.0363

Springfield, Palmer areas:

30 Madison Avenue, Springfield 01105

 

MOC Head Start Services

133 Prichard Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420

Worcester County 978.343.0185 (Athol area only)

 

[1] Source: Partners for Community