Community Partners

Community Partner Preschool Programs 

Through the Somerville Early Education and Care Department’s mixed delivery system, Somerville Partnership for Young Children (SPYC) leads a network of early education and care providers to expand access to high-quality preschool and childcare for children in Somerville birth through age 5.

The goal of SPYC is to expand early childhood program access and align and improve the quality of its local early childhood education system through strategic partnerships between Somerville Public School district and participating early childhood centers in Somerville licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). The SPYC network supports Somerville’s continuing work toward Universal Kindergarten Readiness through access, quality, and wraparound initiatives. Our current SPYC Community Partners include Bigelow, Dandelion Montessori, Elizabeth Peabody House, Head Start, Mystic Early Learning Center, Open Center for Children, Pooh & Friends, Tree House Academy, and YMCA Preschool.

To enroll in a Partner Program and find information about tuition assistance, visit our Somerville Partnership for Young Children website.

Questions about child care options in Somerville, please contact the Director of Early Education and Care Kathleen Bailer 617-625-6600 x3656


Understanding the complexities of how families make choices about and access early education and care settings can be elusive. Knowledge about early education and child care choices can inform a community's ability to adequately provide resources and meet the needs of families so that children enter kindergarten with prior learning experiences in group settings. Somerville Early Education Department conducted a study from June 2020 through September 2021 with funding support from the Education Research Service Projects Program of the American Educational Research Association. This research study sheds light on why families made the choices they did and the barriers and ease of access points for them. Because the study sample included a representation of racial, language, and economic characteristics, the study paints a picture of the climate of early education and child care choice across the city.

Findings: The study found that the most common factors that influence family decisions about the types of early education and care they chose were:

Opportunities for social interactions for their child (71%), 

That the location was close to home (67%), 

Cost (63%)

The study revealed the complexities of families’ early education and childcare arrangements prompting us to think about how to streamline choice-making and options so that families do not have to piece together the patchwork quilt of care. Summary of the Findings.

In addition to addressing the specific examples to increase access to information provided by Somerville residents in the study, the First Five Somerville Steering Committee recently hosted a virtual workshop for all Somerville families with young children on choosing childcare in the city. View the Workshop Slides.