Emergency Child Care for Massachusetts Families & Essential Workers

In partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), we are helping to connect families of essential workers who need care with Massachusetts educators. Participating families of essential workers and educators will receive 3 months of Premium access to Care.com.


As a result of Executive Orders issued by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, all child care programs in the Commonwealth are currently closed, until May 4, 2020, in order to prevent further spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The only child care programs permitted to operate are those emergency programs approved by EEC.

Public health experts strongly recommend that all families keep their children out of group child care settings to the greatest extent possible during this global pandemic. However, child care remains a critical need for vulnerable children and the children of families who are required to work to maintain the health, safety and welfare of all Commonwealth citizens during this crisis.

The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) has done the following to attempt to meet this critical need while also maintaining public health and safety:

  • Partnered with Care.com to launch this platform and enable essential workers and vulnerable families to connect directly with early educators who work in child care programs that are currently closed.
  • Massachusetts also has a limited number of group care facilities available for emergency back up care.
    Please visit EEC Child Care Emergency Procedure.

FAQ
Provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care

For Educators Providing Services through Care.com

Can I receive unemployment benefits and still participate?

You must report all wages earned while claiming unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

Note: The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act may change eligibility requirements.

In general, individuals who are employed/getting paid for full-time employment are not eligible for UI.

In general, Massachusetts law says that individuals who are employed/getting paid for full-time employment are not eligible for UI. There are some cases where someone who is working part-time may be eligible to collect UI if gross wages are less than the weekly benefit amount - more info here.

Please visit here for more information regarding unemployment benefits.

Will I be taxed on any income earned through this program?

Your earnings may be taxable, and depending on your circumstances, you may be subject to withholding or other requirements. For more information provided by Care.Com, please see 4 things temporary caregivers need to know about taxes and 7 steps for filing taxes as a nanny or caregiver.

If I do not have an approved EEC Background Record Check can I still participate?

No, you must have an approved Background Record Check from the Department of Early Education and Care to participate. EEC will verify the suitability status of the Background Record Check for candidates who apply.

Will I be paid for these services? By whom?

At this time, the family of the essential worker hiring the educator will pay the educator for their services. You may choose to volunteer your time, but if you negotiate a paid arrangement, the family for whom you provide care is responsible for paying you for your services.

Who determines the compensation amount? What pay rate should I expect? How often will I be paid?

At this time, the compensation amount is negotiated between the family of the essential worker and the educator. You may choose to volunteer your time, but if you negotiate a paid arrangement, the family for whom you provide care is responsible for paying you for your services.

Can I provide care for multiple children?

This resource should be used to connect with families who need care for children in their own home, which does not require a child care license under EEC regulations.

Can I volunteer my services?

Yes, you may choose to volunteer your services to families of essential workers during this time of need.

Can I work for an individual family and maintain employment at a center based program or family child care home?

As a reminder, only programs identified as an approved emergency child care program may remain open. You should contact your employer regarding your ability to engage in other employment while still employed with them.

Must I notify my employer that I am signing up for this service?

It is at your discretion to notify your current employer that you are engaging in this service.

What health information do I need to disclose?

Essential worker families may choose to ask you to disclose some health information. The information you chose to disclose is at your discretion. Care.com does not collect health information.

What happens if I am exposed to COVID-19?

You must contact your local Board of Health, the family you provide care for, and follow the CDC Guidance.

What information do I need to provide to sign up to participate?

You must complete a basic profile including contact information, the kinds of services you offer, and your availability.

What liability do I take on, i.e. does Care.com provide any sole proprietor coverage or should I seek a policy on my own?

Care.com does not employ any care provider or care seeker nor is it responsible for the conduct of any care provider or care seeker. Care.com provides information and tools to help care seekers and care providers connect and make informed decisions. However, each individual is solely responsible for selecting an appropriate care provider or care seeker for themselves or their families and for complying with all applicable laws in connection with any employment relationship they establish. The information contained in member profiles, job posts and applications are supplied by care providers and care seekers themselves and is not information generated or verified by Care.com. Care.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment or engage in any conduct that requires a professional license.

What if I have other questions?

For more information from Care.com about providing services, visit the FAQs for Caregivers. You can also read more from Care.com about caregiving during COVID-19 at the COVID-19 resource center.

For Families of Essential Workers

Is EEC endorsing these workers?

EEC is only verifying that these workers worked at a group or family child care prior to this pandemic and have passed a EEC Background Record Check as of the date of the inquiry and are therefore eligible to work in EEC-licensed child care facilities. EEC is not endorsing the educator's competencies for employment as a caregiver in your family's home.

Who constitutes an essential worker?

Those working in healthcare, public health, human services, law enforcement, public safety and first responder fields or other professions included in the Commonwealth's definition of Essential Business. For further information visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-essential-services

Do these educators work for EEC?

No, educators appearing on the Massachusetts Care.com portal are not employees of EEC. By establishing the partnership with Care.com to facilitate the matching of educators with families of essential workers, EEC is not validating the educator for employment in your home. Each educator and family must establish their own relationship and families should thoroughly vet educators. Families should not rely solely on the profile on Care.com to determine whether to use an educator. Hiring decisions are made by the eligible family and EEC is not a part to any agreement between the educator and the eligible families. EEC cannot confirm the qualifications of the individuals listed on Care.com site, and cannot vouch for the employment history of the individuals.

Will all educators or individuals who are available to provide a service be vetted by a state agency?

This service is only available to educators or individuals who prior to the pandemic were employed at an EEC licensed group or family child care and who have passed a EEC background records check.

What health information do I need to disclose?

Any health information you choose to disclose is at your discretion.

What happens if a member of my family is exposed to COVID-19?

You must contact your local Board of Health, the educator providing care, and follow the CDC Guidance.

Will I need to withhold taxes for anyone I hire?

The educator's earnings may be taxable, and depending on your circumstances, you may be subject to withholding or other requirements. For more information from Care.com, please visit Payroll for temp or short-term household employees: What you need to know and Nanny Taxes: A Complete Guide.

Who is responsible for compensation of the educator?

At this time, the family of the essential worker will pay the educator for their services.

How long can I expect to receive this service?

This is a temporary service that is available during the State of Emergency and the temporary closure of child care services.

What if I have more questions?

Please visit Care.com Frequently Asked Questions for Families or EEC Child Care Emergency Procedure for more information.