Our mission in reopening child care is to increase access to child and youth serving programs while continuing to protect children and staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the Department of Public Health (DPH) are working closely with the CDC, stakeholders, and experts in the field of epidemiology and pediatrics to develop solutions that balance the needs of children and families with public health and safety.

On June 6, 2020, Governor Baker announced that Phase 2 of the Commonwealth’s Reopening Plan would begin on Monday, June 8, 2020. Child care began the process of opening in Phase 2 and programs began to serve children and families on June 22. The goal of EEC is to ensure programs have the information they need to prepare for reopening, and can take the necessary steps to begin this process. All programs may choose when to reopen. It will remain up to individual programs to assess their readiness to implement the reopening requirements.


EEC has worked in partnership with the Department for Public Health (DPH), the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), the Department for Children and Families (DCF), and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) with consultation provided by third-party experts in pediatrics and epidemiology to develop health and safety requirements for child and youth serving programs.

The health and safety requirements apply to all child and youth serving programs, including home-based child care, and center-based child care. EEC intends to work with providers and take a supportive and collaborative approach, helping programs balance health with operational and child development priorities.

EEC anticipates that the Minimum Requirements for Health and Safety will be in effect through the end of the pandemic, but elements may change as new research emerges and indicates a need. Additional modifications will be made in conjunction with the evolving public health landscape.

Click here to view the feedback received through the EEC field survey and engagement in April 2020.