Newcomers' Guide‎ > ‎Family‎ > ‎

Early Childcare and Preschool

  • On-Campus Resources
  • Off-Campus Resources

This section relates to child care resources such as child care centers, family child care, in-home care, and babysitting services on-campus and off-campus. Also discussed are options for preschool for children 2.5 to 5 years old. 

For your reference, babysitters are paid by the hour and typically work minimal or sporadic hours, while nannies are employed full-time by the families and care for children on a regular basis.
On-Campus Resources


Quality early childhood programs have been a feature of campus life since the 1950s owing to the dedicated efforts of several MIT generations including parents,volunteers and administrators.
Building on this tradition,MIT has expanded and strenghtened childcare services in the recent years.Spearheaded by Center codirector Kathy Luneau Simons,developments include the design and construction of the state-of-the art Stata Center facility and playground;the renovation of the existing campus centers:the piloting of a childcare cooperative at Westgate;the design of an expansive natural playground at MIT's Lexington Center:a partnership with Bright Horizons to manage all MIT childcare centers under the name Technology Children's Centers;  the creation of MIT childcare scholarship programs.
MIT childcare centers are administered through the MIT Work-Life Center which works with parent groups at each other and with the council on Family and Work to provide input from the MIT community on key policy and program matters.

What childcare resources are available to me on-campus?

The MIT Work-Life Center is a part of Human Resources at MIT. They provide services in areas such as parenting, childcare, education, job flexibility, and relocation to MIT. The Center focuses on the needs and interests of both individuals and the MIT community as a whole. Anyone who is a member of the MIT community is welcome, and all consultations, group meetings, seminars, and resource material are free.

Work-Life Resources 24/7

This is a free service provided by Workplace Options through the MIT Work-Life Center. Our professional consultants are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to answer your questions about anything from parenting and elder care to moving to Boston and finding a financial advisor.

You can access Work-Life Resources 24/7 via the website by live chat or email links from the website, or through a toll-free phone number available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-877-847-4523

Work-Life Resources 24/7 also includes a comprehensive website containing work-life resources for the use of MIT employees and their families. 

MIT's Technology Children's Centers (TCC)

TCC is the campus child care network that offers care for approximately 136 children from two months of age to kindergarten entry at three campus locations: Eastgate, Westgate, and the Stata Center. A fourth TCC center is located in Lexington, 1.3 miles from MIT Lincoln Laboratory on the campus of Minuteman Regional High School. TCC Linc offers care for approximately 102 children from two months of age to kindergarten entry.

MIT child care centers are administered through the MIT
Work-Life Center, and managed by Bright Horizons. Bright Horizons is a leading child-care service as well as consultancy.

The wait for care in the on-campus child care centers is very long, but there are other options. The MIT Work-Life Center offers a number of resources to assist MIT community members in finding or using services for children of all ages. 24/7 phone and web assistance and in-person child care and summer camp briefings.
are stable throughout the year.
Tuition Assistance:
Currently there are four sources of assistance:
1.City of Cambridge Scholarship Fund
2.Department of Early Education and subsidies
3.Department of Transitional Assistance Vouchers
4.Childcare Resource Center Scholarship Fund
For information about these scholarships contact CCRC at:
For further assistance call the Enrollment Coordinator at:
Center for Families:
The center for Families' provides support to Cambridge parents and caregivers in raising and nurturing their children.The program offers fun and educational activities and resources for Cambridge families with young children ages 0-6.


MIT FamilyNet

MIT FamilyNet is an online community of MIT parents and caregivers trying to make parenting and family life easier for one another. The goal is to help families connect, share information, and support each other in their parenting, academic, career, and personal goals. FamilyNet members can:
  • Search for other families who live near you, speak your language, share your background or special interests
  • Find families who want to exchange childcare, share nannies, form play groups or start car pools
  • Search for MIT affiliated babysitters
  • Join interest groups (toddler group, grad moms, adoptive families, English study) or start a new group
  • Participate in forums (Pregnancy, Parenting & Family Life; Buy, Sell, Reuse, Services offered/wanted; Newcomers; Stuff to Do) by reading and posting topics.

How can MIT resources help me find childcare?

For regular ongoing full-time or part-time child care at a licensed child care center or family child care home, on or off campus:
  • Use Work/Life Resources 24/7, a round-the-clock support system available to the MIT community
  • Contact the MIT Work-Life Center to attend a group briefing to find out about child care options and get help with your search, or visit the website for child care resources and listings
  • Contact MIT’s child care centers for information on campus programs and availability, or go on-line for information and application materials, bulletin board and email list

For regular ongoing and occasional child care (including babysitting) in your home:
  • Use Work/Life Resources 24/7, a round-the-clock support system available to the MIT community
  • Contact the MIT Work-Life Center for resources on recruitment, screening, and employment
  • Join MIT FamilyNet: search the babysitter listings and network with other parents who want to share nannies or start babysitting co-ops

To exchange free babysitting with other parents or to meet other parents:

What parenting resources/support groups are available to me?

Community Wellness at MIT Medical

MIT Building: E23-205
Phone: 617-253-1316

Community Wellness, located in MIT Medical, offers parenting classes such as prenatal yoga, childbirth preparation classes (for members of the MIT Health Plan) and getting ready for baby classes, as well as an extensive lending library covering topics such as pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting. Community Wellness also sponsored FamilyNet, an online community for MIT families and regular meetings for parents and children..

Off-Campus Resources

Are there public preschools in Cambridge?

There are 3 kinds of preschools: public, private, and co-operative. Public preschools are affiliated with the City and typically offer subsidies or reduced tuition based on your income level. Private preschools can be expensive, but you can usually find one to meet your specific needs. Co-operative, or co-op preschools typically cost less compared to private ones, but a parent is required to “work” there for a certain number of hours.

The MIT Work-Life Center
has an excellent listing of preschools in a very handy layout so you can compare fees, age ranges, and school hours that you can find on the Work/Life Resources 24/7 website. You can consult with them on choosing a preschool, or contact prospective preschools directly for information.

If you wish to enroll your child in a public preschool, contact the 2 departments listed below:

Childcare and Family Support Service Division

51 Inman Street, 3rd floor, Cambridge
Phone: 617-349-6254

These programs are for children aged 2 years 9 months to 5 years and classes are located within the elementary schools. Most programs have long waiting lists. Thus, you are encouraged to apply well in advance of your child's anticipated start date. It is also possible to apply for a scholarship which can save you up to 50% of the tuition costs. For further information please contact the coordinator at the number above. 

CAAS Head Start Program

66-70 Union Square #200, Somerville
Phone: 617-623-7370

The Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS) conducts this preschool program in multiple locations throughout Cambridge and Somerville. A small fee is charged for each child enrolled. Fees are based on the family's income. A copy of your child's birth certificate, proof of residency and income verification is required to process an application.


Quick Reference Guide:
The Cambridge neighbourhood provides many early childhood services.
Full Year Preschools:
1.Peabody Preschool:
Location: 70 Rindge Ave.
Hours:8:00 am-6:00 pm
2.M.L King Preschool:
Location:1 Magee Street
Hours:7:30 am -5:30pm
3.King Open Preschool:
Location:850 Cambridge Street
Hours:8:00 am-6:00 pm
4.Morse at Upton Preschool:
Location:15 Upton Street
Hours:8:00 am-6:00 pm
5.East Cambridge Preschool:
Location:158 Spring Street
Hours:7:30 am-5:30pm
6.Volve TSC Tot Childcare:
Location:55 Broadway,DTS-941
Cambridge MA,02142
The Department of Human Service Programs childcare Division manages Preschool Childcare Programs for children ages 2.9-5 years(not yet in kindergarten).All Preschools are licensed through the Department of Early Education.
Programs are located in elementary schools.Enrollment is on-going.Many programs have waitlists;families are encouraged to seek enrollment well in advance of the anticipated start date.
Tution rates are determined by a family's income.Rates are stable throughout the year.

What off-campus resources can I use to find childcare?

The following is a list of offices and websites that may be helpful in your search.

Child Care Resource Center

130 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge 
Phoone: 617-547-9861 (ext. 72)

The CCRC serves cities and towns west of Boston mainly like Cambridge and Somerville. You can register on their website or call directly. You can also search their online database for babysitters and other childcare providers. It works!

Child Care Choices of Boston

105 Chauncy Street, Boston
Phone: 617-542-KIDS or 542-5437

Child Care Choices of Boston (CCCB) is the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCRA) for Boston, Brookline, Chelsea, Winthrop, and Revere. They offer support, resources, technical assistance, training and child care expertise to families, child care providers, employers and the larger community.

Department of Early Education and Care

EEC (Central Office) 
600 Washington Street, 6th Floor Suite 6100, Boston 
Phone: 617-988-6600 

The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) serves all of Massachusetts. It also maintains a list of childcare providers that you can access online.

Websites to look for childcare 

You may also find these resources useful for finding a babysitter or nanny. However, be aware that they may charge you for their services. - includes tips for finding and hiring a nanny, creating contracts, and more.