Child Care Resources
For Parents and Families
Ensuring Access to High Quality Child Care Options
Child Care Resources (CCR) receives funding from the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) to make it possible for families to have access to high-quality information, resources, and referrals to meet their child care needs. CCR educates families on the cost, quality, and availability of early education and out-of-school-time care, and provides eligible families with access to subsidized Child Care Vouchers. CCR employs experienced and highly trained staff who are able to provide services to families in English and Spanish. Please contact staff at the Worcester, Milford, or Fitchburg locations for more information about Child Care Resources and Information and Referrals.
Child Care Information & Referral for Parents and Families
Child Care Resources provides families with childcare referral services at no cost to them. Child Care Resources does not recommend or endorse any particular provider or agency. Referrals are given at the request of the client/ consumer. The selections made should be of the client's/consumer's personal preference. CCR shall not be held liable for any direct, incidental, consequential, indirect, or punitive claims. The final decision of any referral is directly and exclusively the responsibility of the client/consumer. All information collected will be held in strict confidence and will not be discussed or otherwise shared with persons who do not have a legitimate need to know about such information.
Login to access free child care provider information for cities/towns in Central Massachusetts.
If questions arise, please contact an Information and Referral (I & R) Counselor at 508.796.1836 for the Greater Worcester area, or 978.602.8651 for the Greater Fitchburg area. Please note, this online search tool is best used with Internet Explorer.
Download the map of the service area for the cities and towns served by the Fitchburg, Milford, and Worcester locations. To speak directly with a member of our Child Care Referral Staff, call: 978.602.8650 or 508.796.1838. You can also email our Referral Staff: Marlyn Costa at email@example.com or Marybeth Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read The Word Gap: The Early Years Make the Difference, an article about the development of vocabulary in young children.
Video Series: "The Magic of Everyday Moments" Each video shows in a clear and compelling way how parents can nurture key skills and attributes children need to be eager, competent learners and to form strong, healthy connections with others as they grow—all through everyday interactions and routines!
Steps for Using Consequences to Stop Misbehavior: Learn tips and tools for parents in the use of discipline and consequences. Link will redirect to cdc.gov.
Enhanced Referral Services for Children with Disabilities
Parents of children with special needs have the option to choose an enhanced referral at no additional charge. This option allows the Information & Referral Counselor (I & R) to take some extra time exploring the needs of the child and family. Enhanced Referral requires parental permission to share the specifics of the search criteria with the potential child care providers. The counselor personally speaks with each potential program that meets the parent’s needs and to confirm availability. These referrals are given to the parent to contact and visit. The counselor periodically “checks in” with the parent to assist with the search, until a caregiver is selected. Parents are not required to participate in the Enhanced Referral option, and can choose to accept the basic referral service at any time. Please email Marlyn Costa to learn more.
For more information regarding Child Care Resources and Information and Referrals, please download the Parent’s Guide by clicking the link below:
Child Care Vouchers
Child Care Resources assists eligible families in their search for subsidized child care. Families are determined eligible through the DTA (Department of Transitional Assistance) office if currently receiving TAFDC or have received TAFDC in the last year. Income-eligible child care assistance is also available for non-TAFDC families. The Department of Early Education and Care maintains a waitlist for all families who are income-eligible for a state subsidy. In order to qualify for a state subsidy, you must meet financial guidelines as well as service need guidelines.
- You can check your financial eligibility by viewing the state sliding fee scale.
- You can find more information on service needs by looking at the EEC Financial Assistance Policy Guide.
- To be placed on the waitlist, please contact CCR at 978.602.8650 or 508.796.1838.
"How do I schedule an appointment?"
- If this is your first time receiving voucher assistance—contact the CCR office servicing your town or call Kayla Hickey at 978.602.8656.
- If you received an Available Funding letter from CCR—contact the counselor listed on your letter.
- Please note: you must have child care arranged before scheduling any appointments.
"Can I schedule an appointment online?"
- Yes—if you are renewing a current voucher.
- Yes—if you are currently receiving TAFDC or have in the past year and have a DTA Child Care Authorization.
- Yes—if you are a DTA client and have a new DTA Child Care Authorization.
- Yes—if you have reviewed the list of required documents below.
"How do I fill out the online scheduling form?"
- Click the button below: "Click Here to Schedule an Appointment"
- Register with a login name and password.
- Select location:
—If you live in surrounding areas of Worcester, select Child Care Resources, Southbridge DTA, or Worcester DTA.
—If you live in Metro West area, please select Milford Seven Hills or Suburban (Framingham)
—If you live in the surrounding areas of Fitchburg or Northern Middlesex County, select CAFS, Clinton, or Fitchburg DTA.
- Under "clinician", select “no preference.”
- Select service—Your service code is found on your current voucher in the upper right hand corner, or if you are a DTA client and have received a child care authorization, you will find your service code on the 2nd page of your child care authorization under "child care service reason."
- Choose the day you would like to schedule the appointment by clicking in the white space next to the time you wish to book.
- Please complete all required fields especially email address, if applicable.
- Clients will receive an email reminder of their appointment time.
- Appointments are scheduled in 45-minute increments.
- Clients may change their appointment times by logging in and cancelling their appointment and rescheduling.
- List of required documentation for your appointment. Please review the list of required documentation before scheduling an appointment to be sure you have everything you will need. If you have any questions regarding acceptable documentation, please call one of our offices and someone will be happy to assist you.
- Download Parent Change of Status form (needed if you are already receiving voucher assistance and there are ANY changes in your household including size, income, address, phone number, etc.)
Parent and Family Resources
This is a sign of future prosperity for everyone in Massachusetts. Whenever you see children interacting and learning in enriching environments, what you’re really seeing is Brain Building in Progress. The latest science shows that these early experiences actually build the architecture of the developing brain, and provide the foundation for a lifetime of learning, success and productive, responsible citizenship. Brain building is an investment in the economic prosperity of everyone in Massachusetts. EEC and the United Way have launched a joint initiative to provide more information on the science of brain building and why our future depends on it. View the public service announcement below, and visit Brain Building in Progress to learn more.
Babble.com: Car seat law changes
Battered Woman Programs: These programs provide assistance to victims of domestic violence.
HelpGuide.org: a trusted non-profit resource that helps you resolve health challenges.
Boston Bar Association Guide: 3rd edition of the Parents’ How-To Guide to Children’s Mental Health Services in Massachusetts (PDF).
CareNet: CareNet is a pregnancy resource center located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
Centro Las Americas: Centro Las Americas is a non-profit organization that provides high-quality social services to the Hispanic population in the Worcester community.
Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agencies: These agencies provide a number of different services to parents and providers. Referrals are given to parents who are looking for quality child care in their area. Education is given to consumers regarding child care licensing guidelines, types of child care, and information about choosing child care. The CCR&Rs also provide subsidized child care to families of low to moderate incomes.
Children with Special Needs:
- Autism Resource Center of Central MA
- Early Intervention in Massachusetts Search for EI Services by city/town
- Federation for Children with Special Needs
- Nurturing Parents & Teachers
- SPED Child and Teen Disability Events
- Special Needs Flexible Funding Request and Termination Form (PDF)
- Cerebral Palsy Guide provides free educational information, financial options and emotional support for parents and children affected by cerebral palsy.
- Cerebral Palsy Guidance offers reliable and comprehensive information on this complex condition for parents of a child with CP.
- Massachusetts Act Early Educational guide about healthy childhood development
Children’s Trust Fund: The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) leads statewide efforts to keep children safe from abuse and neglect by strengthening & supporting families. CTF ensures that parents and caregivers have the skills and knowledge necessary to raise safe and healthy children.
Community Health Connections: The mission of Community Health Connections is to provide high quality, comprehensive medical and behavioral health care, preventative and restorative dental care, and pharmacy services to all residents of North Central Massachusetts.
Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA): DTA assists low-income individuals and families to meet basic needs, increase their income, and improve their quality of life. Helpful links on the DTA website:
- Department of Revenue (DOR):
- Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC):
- Early Intervention (EI):
- Search for EI Services by city/town
Early Childhood Central: Early Childhood Central is a directory that provides comprehensive and useful information to members of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Families First: Parenting programs that build positive relationships between parents and their children by educating the families and professionals that serve them through inspiring, hands-on workshops.
Family Services of Central Massachusetts: Provides support, guidance and counseling to individuals and families in need, regardless of their ability to pay.
Family TIES: Provides parent-to-parent support, information and referral services, and workshops to ensure that parents are confident in caring for their children with special needs.
Health Care for All Helpline: A free resource to help answer questions regarding health insurance coverage in Massachusetts.
Healthy Children: A parenting website that is backed by 60,000 pediatricians that are committed to achieving optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being of children from infants to young adults. This website contains information regarding the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Resources and Services Guide: This guide provides basic information on infant and early childhood mental health and includes descriptions of services and supports for families with young children.
Kids.gov: The official kid’s portal for the US Government. There are links to over 2,000 web pages from government agencies, schools, and educational organizations.
Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC): Information and resources on child care providers, options for financial assistance, grants for individuals and organizations, professional development, special education, family support, regulations and policies. Helpful links on the EEC website:
- Family, Group and School Age Child Care Regulations and Policies
- Eligibility for Financial Assistance
- EEC Income Eligible Forms (Find your voucher forms here)
- Financial Assistance Policy Guide (PDF)
- EMB Policy Documents
- Confirmation of Provider
Massachusetts Head Start: A program for children and families to promote school readiness by providing comprehensive services to support healthy child development.
MassHealth: A program that provides broad health insurance coverage to help the financially needy obtain high-quality health care that is affordable, promotes independence, and provides customer satisfaction.
Massachusetts 2-1-1: A program funded through the United Way that gives information and referral to health and human services throughout Massachusetts. The website can be used, but also 211 is dialed from any phone to receive assistance.
Mom’s and Dad’s Guide: A resource for parents to find activities and events for children and families within the areas of Metro West, Metro South and South Shore.
Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network (MIHN): A coalition of congregations that provide temporary shelter and transitional housing to families in crisis.
Montachusett Opportunity Council (MOC): MOC develops collaborative opportunities and empowers low income individuals and families in the Montachusett region to achieve self sufficiency.
New England Farm Workers’ Council (NEFWC): Provides the fuel assistance program to the Fitchburg area.
Nurturing Parents and Teachers: A consulting and education service created and run by Jill Vetstein, LICSW. Jill provides workshops, training, consults, counseling, infant massage instruction, and parent/baby/child classes to parents, teachers, and caregivers of children ages birth to five years old.
Parents Helping Parents: A nonprofit organization dedication to child abuse prevention. The organization provides two free parent services: a 24-hour parent helpline and parent support groups that meet throughout Massachusetts.
Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL): An organization that promotes a strong voice for families of children and adolescents with mental health needs. PPAL advocates for supports, treatment, and policies that enable families to live in their communities in an environment of stability and respect.
Product Recalls: This website is regulated by the US Government to better alert Americans about unsafe, hazardous, or defective products.
Project Bread: Dedicated to alleviating, preventing, and ultimately ending hunger in Massachusetts. The agency provides a statewide resource and referral service for people facing hunger.
Resources for Early Learning: Provides exciting, engaging media-rich learning opportunities for educators, parents, and caregivers of children.
Seven Hills Family Support Centers (FSCs): Seven Hills Family Support Centers provide a variety of support to families of individuals with disabilities that allow them to networks with other families, have access to information and other resources, and feel supported while navigating the community and social service system. The three FSCs are located in Worcester, Fitchburg, and Sturbridge.
Spanish American Center: An affiliate of MOC. Their mission is to serve the Hispanic population of Leominster, Massachusetts, who are economically, culturally, and linguistically disadvantaged.
United Way of Central Massachusetts: The United Way invests in educational opportunities, supporting strong families, and building healthy communities.
US Department of Education: The mission of the US Department of Education is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.
Worcester Resources: Provides detailed information regarding the many types of assistance available to those living in Worcester and the surrounding area. The information includes housing, food, health care, and other basic services.
Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC): The mission of WCAC is to stimulate change in the fundamental causes of poverty, and to create and provide opportunities for economic self-sufficiency through services, partnerships, and advocacy.
YWCA of Central Massachusetts: The YWCA offers a variety of programs and services that strengthen women and girls helping them to realize their full potential.