Publication Date: January 2004
Publisher: National Economic Development and Law Center (U.S.)
Author(s): Saskia Traill; Jen Wohl
Research Area: Social conditions
The child care and early education industry in Massachusetts encompasses a range of programs designed to nurture, support, enrich, and educate children from birth through age 14 outside of traditional K-12 education. Licensed center-based care, family child care homes, nursery schools, before-and after-school programs for children ages 5 through 14, public or private pre-schools, and Head Start child development centers are all considered a part of the child care and early education industry. In addition to the inherent social benefits it provides children, the industry has two main functions, both of which have changed significantly over time, and both of which link the industry to the economy. One main function is that the child care and early education industry enables parents to work. Another main function is that the child care and early education industry provides learning opportunities for children. As a result of the shifts in these two main functions, the industry and its role in the economy have also been transformed. The industry is one of the drivers of the economy, providing financial benefits in three main ways.