All early education centers and daycares in Massachusetts will close starting Monday, March 23. The state will set up a program to provide childcare for healthcare, first responders, and other critical employees who have to go to work. The Department of Early Education and Care says it will continue to pay subsidized rates regardless of whether or not a center is open – parents will not lose their subsidy. You may read the Executive Order by clicking here.

Schools and Non-Emergency Child Care Programs. Governor Baker has extended the closure of all public and private schools through the end of the school year, and the closure of all non-emergency child care programs until June 29, 2020. This does not apply to the emergency child care programs that serve the families of first responders, medical personnel, and essential workers.

Higher Education. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Department of Higher Education have recommended that colleges and universities, both public and private, continue to pursue strategies to reduce the need for students to be on campus, including suspending in-person classes and implementing institution-wide programs to shift to remote learning, technology enabled solutions, and other learning modalities to allow students to successfully complete course and degree requirements. Institutions should also pursue strategies to reduce the need for faculty and staff to be on campus by maximizing remote work opportunities, while maintaining essential on-campus services, especially for residential students who cannot safely return home. Higher education institutions in Massachusetts The New England Board of Higher Education has put together a web page which provides details about college closings throughout New England. You can view the data and get detailed information about any college or university in our area by clicking here. For the text of the guidance issued to higher education institutions by the DPH and DHE , click here.

No-Interest Student Loan Program. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) is deferring scheduled repayments for its No-Interest Loan Program for a duration of four months to support relief efforts during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The deferment will not count towards the borrowers permissible 36 months of deferment. Individuals are allowed to continue monthly payments if they wish to do so, and they will not receive any late fees until July 31, 2020. For eligibility and additional information, please click here.