The assessment of the Massachusetts subsidized child care system was a two-year study, mandated by the state legislature. The goal of the assessment was to identify ways to improve the regional and statewide efficiency of the distribution of state-supported child care, analyze the child care needs of eligible families regarding child care subsidies across the state, and evaluate the balance of providing quality early childhood education with providing workforce support for guardians. To achieve these goals, the research team conducted five cross-cutting studies using several methods to explore multiple aspects of the subsidized system administered by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). The five interrelated components were
- a review of EEC budgetary policies and practices,
- a review of EEC subsidy eligibility policies and practices,
- an assessment of business-process redesign of the EEC’s central office operations,
- a review of child care needs of eligible families across the state, and
- an assessment of the subsidy system’s balance between providing quality early education with providing workforce support for guardians.
The culminating products provide an in-depth and multifaceted look into how the Massachusetts subsidized child care system functions, ways that it is succeeding in meeting its goals, and areas where it could further improve policies, distribution of subsidies, budgeting and forecasting, and service delivery.