EEC Operations Status Report

On Friday July 24, 2020, Governor Baker signed Chapter 124 of the Acts of 2020 into law, which included a requirement for reports from the Department of Public Health on cases of COVID-19 within child care facilities. This reporting will be found within the COVID-19 Weekly Public Health Report as soon as the data is available.

Chapter 124 of the Acts of 2020 also directs the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) to report on the status of operations for early education and care programs, in particular:

Required Reporting EEC Report
(i) the number and location of those early education and care programs operating as of June 22, 2020

Early education and care programs can be found using EEC’s Licensed Child Care Search tool.

As of June 22, 2020, there were 8,200 programs licensed to operate child care programs in Massachusetts (PDF , Excel).

(ii) the number of early education and care programs that were closed due to COVID-19

To meet this purpose, EEC will report on all permanent closures after the date of March 10, 2020.

EEC did not collect data on the reasons for closures between March 10, 2020 and September 20, 2020; therefore, it is reporting all child care closures for that period. EEC has tracked the following permanent closures during that period:

  • 221 Family Child Care programs
  • 75 Group and School Age programs
  • 59 Funded Programs

From September 20, 2020 through November 9, 2020 the following programs have reported that they have permanently closed due to COVID:

  • 19 Family Child Care programs
  • 9 Group and School Age programs

(iii) any actions taken in response

EEC has worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain resources and support for programs so that early education and care programs are able to sustain through the crisis and return to operations as part of the Commonwealth’s phased recovery. These supports have included:

  • $160M in continued subsidies and parent fees paid by EEC to programs through the closure to mitigate the economic impact
  • Maintaining emergency child care programs, with operational grants and supplies for those programs able to operate during the closure to serve children of emergency workers
  • Working in partnership with business and philanthropy to coordinate technical assistance, supports, and financial mechanisms to increase program sustainability – including funding for technical assistance to programs seeking government supported loans and resources
  • Providing masks, gloves, and sanitizer for programs through the months of reopening
  • Restart Stipends of $2,250 per Family Child Care or classroom grouping, per month, through July and August for subsidized providers and those who operated emergency care to defray operational costs through the months of reopening
  • Subsidy adjustments to be supportive to families and programs through reopening, including ongoing underwriting of parent fees, extended job search periods, and allowances for unlimited absences during illness
  • Technical assistance and custom coaching, small business and technology, and systemic supports for programs to address the challenges they have faced through the reopening and into operations during COVID-19

Reports on COVID-19 in Child Care June 22-August 23, 2020

On August 24, 2020, the Department of Public Health (DPH) launched a reporting system for COVID-19 by EEC licensed child care providers to meet the guidelines outlined by Chapter 124 of the Acts of 2020, signed by Governor Baker on Friday, July 24, 2020. This report will be updated weekly on DPH’s COVID-19 Response Reporting page.

To provide information on COVID-19 cases for the period from June 22 – August 23, the date child care reopened through the date DPH began collecting data, EEC reviewed incident reports of COVID-19 cases reported through its licensing system. There were approximately 8,200 child care programs before COVID-19. By the end of August, approximately 73% had indicated a return to operations. EEC cannot verify the accuracy of this self-reported information (see notes).

Region Program Type Child Cases Family Cases Staff Cases # of Sites Impacted
Metro Boston

Family Child Care

Group and School Age

1

0

5

1

1

7

6

8

Central

Family Child Care

Group and School Age

3

10

6

3

1

9

7

13

Southeast

Family Child Care

Group and School Age

0

4

6

0

0

6

6

9

Western

Family Child Care

Group and School Age

3

0

2

2

0

1

4

3

Northeast

Family Child Care

Group and School Age

3

13

4

5

10

9

13

22

TOTAL 37 34 44 91

Notes:
EEC’s authority: EEC’s authority is to monitor the impact of COVID-19-related incidents to program operations, and compliance with health and safety protocols for child care. EEC is not authorized to collect individual health data for children, families, or educators. Therefore EEC may not engage in contact tracing, nor conduct follow-up to understand the outcomes of individual cases. These activities are conducted by the Local Boards of Health, which has the authority in each municipality.

DPH reporting status: The Department of Public Health is responsible for investigating, tracking, and reporting COVID-19 cases. Beginning August 24, 2020, DPH established a reporting system for positive cases in child care, which will enable DPH to report on this data from this date forward. On September 2, 2020, DPH published its first weekly report, which will be updated every Wednesday.

Data explanations: Cases represent those self-reported by providers via EEC incident reports. This list does not purport to represent all cases, an unduplicated count of cases, or all cases associated with those using child care during this time period.

For tracking purposes, household members of EEC Family Child Care providers are counted as staff members. In addition, families of enrolled children who tested positive for COVID-19 are counted as one family, regardless of how many members may have tested positive for the virus – this is due to limited information on the number of family members who have tested positive, when more than one.

A report of a positive test result should not be presumed to indicate risk or exposure within child care. EEC incident reports included positive test results for individuals that had no confirmed contact within the child care center setting, based on contact tracing by the Local Board of Health.


Additional information by program type