Assistance with Child Care Expenses

If you are a UMass student caring for a dependent child and need help with expenses for paid child care (including daycare, before/after school, school vacation care, summer care, and informal child care) you should consider applying for a child care subsidy. All undergraduate and graduate student parents can apply for a child care subsidy through the Student Parent Programs application links below. Graduate student employees may also apply to the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) for child care subsidies. See here for more information about benefits for GEO eligible graduate student employee benefits.

Student Parent Programs child care subsidies:

Student Parent Programs (SPP) offers child care subsidies to income-eligible undergraduate and graduate students through funding from the Dean of Student Office, Graduate Student Senate and a Department of Education CCAMPIS grant - one application regardless of funding source. 

To qualify for any of our child care subsidies, student parents must be actively enrolled at UMass Amherst as an undergraduate or graduate student on a part-time or full-time basis and must meet the income eligibility criteria for program participants - similar to Pell grant income qualifications, determined through Financial Aid Services.. 

CCAMPIS @ UMass:

  • Do you currently have child care expenses and meet income eligibility for a Pell grant? Then you might be eligible to have up to 75% of your child care costs paid for by our new CCAMPIS grant!
  • Do you need child care but do not currently use paid child care because the cost is too high? You may be eligible to have up to 75% of the fees paid directly to the child care provider!

CCAMPIS (Child Care Access Means Parents in School) is a Department of Education funded program intended to help student parents stay on track in earning their degree. CCAMPIS @ UMass can pay up to 75% of participants' child care expenses directly to the student's eligible child care provider. Eligible CCAMPIS child care providers include MA licensed and accredited providers. CCAMPIS offers participants access to other support and resources to help students stay focused on their educational goals. Applying for CCAMPIS is easy and follows the same application process as our other child care subsidies. See below for application details.

Eligible child care expenses for Student Parent Programs child care subsidies:

  • state-licensed and accredited (or equivalent) infant, toddler, or preschool care in center-based and home-based settings
  • before and after school care
  • licensed summer programs and school vacation care
  • organizational/center based extracurricular activities (during school breaks and summer vacation)
  • Family, Friends, and Neighbor informal care or babysitting when needed by the family due to health concerns, temporary loss of licensed child care, or when work or academic schedules that don't align with licensed child care options (i.e. night classes and labs, etc). (not eligible for CCAMPIS funding)

Please note that subsidies for babysitting and FFN care are for temporary or emergency coverage. The majority of SPP funding for child care subsidies is restricted to care provided by licensed and accredited providers as per federal funding guidelines.

Applications for child care subsidies for the 2023-2024 academic year are now open.  Submit your application by 3/28/24  to be considered for Spring 2024 funding. Students who submitted an application between August 2023 and January 2024 do not need to submit a new application for this academic year.

Subsidy Application Step 1: complete the general scholarship application through Academic Works: https://umass.academicworks.com/

Subsidy Application Step 2: UNDERGRADUATE students, please click this link.   GRADUATE students, please click this link.

NOTE: As of 2023, Graduate Student Senate child care subsidy allocations will be distributed through Student Parent Programs. Graduate students must complete a Student Parent Programs child care subsidy application (link above) to be eligible for GSS child care funding.  


Other child care subsidies for graduate student parents:

Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) Health and Welfare Trust

The Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) child care subsidy program provides subsidies for school-age dependent care to income eligible UMass graduate student employees working in a GEO-eligible position. The GEO Health and Welfare Trust child care subsidy is administered by the UAW/UMass Health & Welfare Trust Fund. For the most up to date information and to answer any questions please contact geo@external.umass.edu.

Information about non-university based sources of funding for child care

MA Income Eligible Child Care Voucher 

The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) provides child care financial assistance for families in need. In order to be eligible for funding, you and your family must meet certain requirements. You may be placed on waiting list if funding is not immediately available.

If you are interested in applying for financial assistance, call Mass 211 or contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency. If funding is available, you will receive a notice in the mail that asks you to schedule an appointment with your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency.  At this appointment you will complete an application and provide documents that verify your eligibility for child care financial assistance.  

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 independent scholarships, 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 scholarships, financial aid, or other funding to help pay for the care.

Head Start Programs - see here for more information about MA Head Start

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. 

Resources for students seeking other financial assistance

Student Parent Programs Family Grant

UMass student parents may apply for a Family Grant for non-child care related unexpected expenses that would negatively impact academic progress. SPP Family Grants are provided in the form of a scholarship and dispersed via student bursar accounts. Family Grants are awarded per household, up to $1000 per academic year (max. $500 per semester.) See here for more information about and to apply for a Student Parent Programs Family Grant.

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 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 

The Dean of Students Office manages the Student Care Supply Closets which provide free toiletries and household items to students who are facing economic insecurity and/or an unexpected financial emergency.