MA Department of Early Education and Care

The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care is a state level agency responsible for oversight of early education and care as well as after-school services for families. It was created with the knowledge that access to high-quality early education and care matters -- and that high-quality early learning experiences can have life-long impact.



(excerpt from the EEC STRATEGIC PLAN 2014-2019)

Mission: Defines the purpose of the agency, who it serves and what it does

The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) provides the foundation that supports all children and their development as lifelong learners and contributing members of the community, and supports families in their essential work as parents and caregivers.


EEC: Short History and Overview

(excerpted from Department of Early Education and Care Strategic Plan: Putting Children and Families First, February 2009)

In 2005, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to create one agency to oversee early education and care and after-school services for families. The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) was created by consolidating the former Office of Childcare Services with the Early Learning Services Unit of the Department of Education. The primary impetus was to create a single, unified, more efficient system of early education and care. Massachusetts did not just consolidate existing programs, merge departments or simplify organizational charts. EEC was born of a revolutionary, top-to-bottom rethinking of how to orient state resources to support families in a way that is responsive to their needs. The scope is broad and presents an opportunity for sweeping statewide impact, dramatically improving the quality and affordability of programs, and expanding access to hundreds of thousands of children and their families. EEC was created within the context of increasingly accepted evidence from childhood brain development research showing long-term impact of high-quality early education and its potential return on investment. We know that access to early education and care is crucial, and we know that the quality of that care matters- a lot. EEC has been balancing these two priorities since its inception.