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  • Student and Family Support (SFS)

    Early Learning Information for Families

    Early Education Opportunities (Birth to age 5)

    Licensed Childcare Search (both birth-age 5 and school aged programs)

    The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) publishes a geographically-searchable online directory of licensed child care programs across the state. If a program you are researching does not appear in your search results, you may call the EEC regional licensing office for your area to confirm whether the program is licensed by EEC. EEC can provide information about restrictions on a license, non-compliance citations, and sanctions.

    Coordinated Family and Community Engagement (CFCE) Network

    CFCE programs are locally-based programs in your community that provide child development services and resources to families with young children.


    Compulsory School Attendance

    Kindergarten enrollment is encouraged but not required in Massachusetts. All school districts are required to provide free half day kindergarten to families but many provide a full day option (either free or tuition based). Families are not required to send their children to kindergarten because state law requires students to enter school in September of the calendar year they turn 6. Families should contact their local school district if they are considering not enrolling in kindergarten to discuss how this may impact which grade the student starts in when they do enroll and other aspects that may be helpful to consider.

    Kindergarten Entry Age

    Minimum kindergarten entry age is determined by each school district.

    Kindergarten — 3rd grade

    Afterschool and other Out-of-School Time Care

    Families can use the Department of Early Education and Care's Licensed Childcare search tool (the same one from near the top of the page) to find child care for school-aged children.

    Recreational Camps

    Recreational camps are licensed by a city's or town's local board of health. For more information about recreational camps in Massachusetts, please see this resource: Information about Recreational Camps in Massachusetts: Questions and Answers for Parents.

    Last Updated: August 25, 2020

    Contact Us

    Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
    75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

    Voice: (781) 338-3000
    TTY: (800) 439-2370


    Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.