Family-Based Child Care

Family-Based Child Care is a community-based network of educators who offer early education and care to children in a home setting. Educators are licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care, and offer early care and education for children from infancy to school age.

Family-Based Child Care is currently available in Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield, West Springfield, Westfield, Agawam, Feeding Hills, South Hadley and Wilbraham.

Along with meeting a service need, family income can’t be more than 50% of State Median Income in order to qualify for tuition assistance.

Transportation may be available to participants who: 

  • Live more than one-half (1/2) mile from the program
  • Do not have access to a vehicle
  • Do not have access to public transportation
  • Have a verified and documented disability/special need that prevents them from transporting their child(ren)
  • Have a work schedule that prevents them from transporting their child(ren) to or from care

Eligibility:

In order to be eligible for Family-Based Child Care tuition assistance, parents must be:  

  • Working 30 + hours
  • Going to school full-time (12 credits)
  • Attending school part-time (6 credits) and working part-time (hours must add up to at least 25 hours)
  • Enrolled in a full-time training program
  • The parent of a child with a documented special need
  • A parent who is incapacitated
  • A grandparent or guardian
  • New England Farm Workers’ Council vouchers and DCF referrals accepted
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Contact:

(413) 552-1559
35 Mt. Carmel Avenue, 3rd Floor
Chicopee, MA 01013

How to Receive Financial Assistance
Required Documents for Financial Assistance

Click on the program name below to learn more about the other child care services we offer:

Congratulations to our 12 incredible educators who have worked with us for 12-18 years! 

Keila Chavez has been an educator for Valley Opportunity Council since 2005. She has completed many early childhood education courses as well as The Child Development Associate credential (CDA) and has been granted a level 2 for the QRIS.  Keila strives to provide the best quality care to all the children on her home. Her passion for working with Special needs children is inspiring.  Keila works really closely with the families offering support and understanding and building the partnership to build family strengths.

Shawnna Desjeans has been a Family Childcare Educator with Valley Opportunity Council since 2002. For the last 17 years she has dedicated her work to caring for young children and their families. Shawnna prides herself on her curriculum, helping to ensure that her children are prepared for kindergarten when they leave her care. Shawnna’s certified assistant Jessica, incorporates in her teaching strategy emphasis on developmental milestones among additional attention on things like nutrition and dental health. Sunshine Friends Daycare is currently a level 2 on the QRIS.

Margaret Drobiak has been an educator with VOC since 2004. Margaret enjoys working with children, especially preschool age children. While at Margaret’s children enjoy a range of activities, including fine motor, gross motor, and social emotional play. Margaret’s cool and calm energy makes children gravitate towards her. On many occasions, she is found on the floor with her kids enjoying the activities and time they are spending together. Margaret’s space helps the parents and children she cares for feel comfortable in her care. Margaret maintains her CDA and is a level 2 on the QRIS.

Iris Feliciano is licensed by EEC to work with children 0 to 5 years old. Iris has been an educator for Valley Opportunity Council since 2004. Throughout the years she has completed the Child Development Associate credentials (CDA), lead teacher certification and is also a level 2 of the QRIS. Iris works with American Red Cross as an instructor training on CPR and First Aid. Her program demonstrates a quality educational curriculum for young children. Her enthusiasm for working with kids and families is recognized at her daycare.

Zulma Fermaintt has been an educator for Valley Opportunity Council since 2001. She has completed her associate degree in Early Childhood Education. She has also been granted Level 2 QRIS.  Zulma enjoys working with children and has a unique environment that allows children to explore and discover through play.  She continues gaining knowledge and experiences by attending professional development training and incorporating them into practice in her daily routine.

Zoraida Guzman has been an educator with Valley Opportunity Council since September 17, 2007. She received her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education in June of 2007. She has also been granted Level 2 on the QRIS. Zoraida plans multiple activities so the children are able to choose which area they would like to participate in.  She is currently pursuing a sign language course to incorporate in her daily curriculum. Zoraida and her assistants work together to promote kindergarten readiness. Zoraida promote family engagement within her program by offering social gatherings for all her families.

Debra Mitchell (Deb) has been part of Valley Opportunity Council since November 11. 2006. Deb is a certified instructor for CPR and First Aid through National CPR foundation. She strives to work with all families and children to meet their needs. She has her The Child Development Associate credential (CDA) and is a Level 2 on the QRIS. She is currently working on moving up to level 3.  Deb enjoys s participating in trainings that help her incorporate opportunities for growth within her program.  Deb demonstrates her leadership skills by serving as an ambassador in the early education field.

Marysol Ortiz has been a Family Educator with VOC since 2001. Children in Marysol’s care learn to love learning. Her daily activities include, but are not limited to, learning about the calendar, the weather, shapes, colors, letters and numbers. She enjoys keeping in good contact with parents in order to better care for their children. Marysol’s parents feel comfortable talking to her and asking for advice because of her sweet tone and nonjudgmental demeanor. Marysol thoroughly enjoys her time spent helping children and forms genuine bonds with her children. She is currently a level 2 on the QRIS and maintains her CDA.

Ernestina Parada (Tina) has been an Educator with Valley Opportunity since September 22, 2003. Ernestina has The Child Development Associate credential (CDA).  She continues to is always willing to enhance her education by taking any courses to help the children in her care. She takes pride in the quality of care she has provided for so many families. Tina enjoys working strictly with VOC children and families.  She enjoys the support she has received from working with our agency.  She is a level 2 on the QRIS and is looking forward to moving up to a level 3. Her foundations consist of constant routines, which meet the needs of each individual child that attends her daycare. Ernestina goes the extra mile and works with the Kids Net and provides weekend care at least once a month. She shows empathy and understating towards her children and families and will do anything to help them.

Carmen Rosa is licensed by EEC to work with children 0 to 5 years old. Carmen has been an educator for Valley Opportunity Council since 2003. She has completed many early childhood education courses as well as The Child Development Associate credential (CDA) and has been granted a QRIS Level 2. Carmen maintains positive relationships with the children and families that she serves. She recognizes the importance of discoveries through play and individual problem solving.  Most of the children that attend her care often stay until they are ready to attend kindergarten.

Jen Roy has been a Family Educator with Valley Opportunity Council since 2004. Children in Jen’s care enjoy lots of outside time, going for walks to the Local Park and library weekly. Jen has been called “the baby whisperer” by staff at VOC because she has been known to calm babies suffering from colic. Jen makes her home very welcoming and when the children are in her care, they feel at home. Her children learn manners and sharing and enjoy helping Jen care for the younger children in her care. Children leave Jens house ready for school, and are equipped with necessary life skills. Jen maintains her CDA and is a level 2 on the QRIS.

Veronica Velez has been a Family Childcare Educator with Valley Opportunity Council since 2002. She enjoys working with infants and was awarded a QRIS grant to improve her space for infants and toddlers. Veronica’s daughter has been her assistant in the past, helping her care for her children. She is Lead teacher certified, maintains her CDA and is a Level 2 on the QRIS.