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Finding Child Care

Tufts offers guidance and resources for finding child care as well as contract and affiliate relationships with child care providers.

Planning for Child Care

When to Start

Start your search several months to a year before you need the care. Some providers will put you on a wait list and contact you as the date of desired care approaches. Other providers will put you on a waitlist once they reach capacity and call you when they have an opening. When you contact a provider and discuss a waitlist, be sure you know which of these two types of lists you are dealing with.

Determine the Kind of Care You Need

You can choose in-home care with a nanny or babysitter, family day care, or a center-based program, or even backup care. To learn more about these options and what to consider when making a choice, check out the resources on or review the helpful Choosing Child Care tip sheet from the EEC.

Search for Childcare in Your Area

Start with the searchable directory on the EEC website. In Massachusetts, EEC is the licensing agency for family day care and center-based programs. You can search its website for care that is close to home, work, or along your commuting route. EEC licenses the family day care providers on its site. You can find more information about any provider's history with regulation compliance by contacting EEC and asking for this information.

Comparing Your Options includes articles on how to select childcare candidates, interview questions, how to decide which programs to visit, what to look for during visits, checking background and references, and how to make a decision.

You can also request and pay for background checks on the providers who are posted on the site. Whether you use this feature or not, be sure to review the information on Background Checks on

Plan Your Child's Transition can help with information and tips to help your child and family transition to the new program.

Financing Childcare

There are a variety of ways to finance the care you want for your child:

  1. Dependent care flexible spending account — If you are benefit-eligible, you can set aside up to $5000 on a pre-tax basis each year to cover eligible childcare expenses.
  2. Child and dependent care credit — When you file your taxes, use the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Form.
  3. Financial support — The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) provides assistance to eligible families so their children can attend high-quality early education programs.

Tufts-Contracted or Tufts-Affiliated Options

Tufts University has contracted with Nurtury and with Bright Horizons to provide some priority access for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.  An option for preschool through second grade is the Eliot-Pearson Children's School, located on the Tufts University Medford/Somerville campus. In addition, Tufts has contracted with to help you find reliable care providers for your child—or any member of your family. They also provide last-minute backup care.


Nurtury is New England’s first and largest early education and childcare agency supporting Greater Boston’s working families and children through center-based and family childcare programs. We have priority access for some preschool slots and can also enroll infants and toddlers. The $100 registration fee will be waived for newly enrolling Tufts families. Their six centers are in Boston, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Cambridge. For more information, contact Michele Whalen, Manager of Admissions, at or 617-603-4633.

Bright Horizons Child Care

Bright Horizons provides some priority access at select Bright Horizons centers in Somerville and Cambridge. For information about availability and tuition, call Bright Horizons (877-624-4532). Be sure to tell them you are affiliated with Tufts University.

Priority Access Locations:

Bright Horizons at Davis Square
99A Dover St., Somerville, MA 02144

Bright Horizons at Mass. Ave.
2465 Mass Ave., Cambridge, MA 02140

Bright Horizons at University Park
129 Franklin St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Bright Horizons at One Kendall
One Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139

Bright Horizons at Teele Square
Tufts employees receive a 5% discount in tuition at this location.
In the Tufts Administration Building (TAB)
165 Holland St., Somerville, MA 02144

Tufts provides a benefit to help you find a caregiver for any member of your family – from infants to adults to pets. has two primary ways to find caregivers: