Finding Your Way: Children's Needs

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Framingham Public Schools
School Choice
Free and Reduced Lunch and Breakfast Program
Other Schools
Child Care

Private Child Care

Services for Children

Schools in the United States are operated by individual towns and communities and regulated by the state, not the federal government. All public schools are free for all children for the full 13 years: kindergarten through grade 12. After completing high school (grades 9–12), a student receives a high school diploma and may then apply to college. 

Framingham Public Schools
The Framingham School District has many elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school. For a complete list, see the district profile page of the school district website:

All children who do not speak English as their first language must take an English proficiency exam when they enroll in school. For more information call the Framingham Public School’s Bilingual Office at 508-626-9171.

School Choice
The Framingham Public School District offers “Controlled School Choice” to families whose children are entering kindergarten or are new to Framingham’s elementary schools. Students entering middle school are assigned to Walsh, Fuller, or Cameron middle schools by residential address. All high-school students attend Framingham High School.

Students new to the community may be registered at any time. Students will be assigned according to available space and racial balance guidelines if the registration period has been closed. Students who require Bilingual or Special Education services will be assigned to an elementary school in accordance with their needs. For further information about registration and school choice programs, contact the Parent Information Center at 508-424-3420.

Framingham Public Schools provide free transportation for all kindergarten students and they are picked up at their home. All other students who live beyond reasonable walking distance (as specified below) go to bus stops. There is a charge for the bus passes needed for middle or high school riders. There is just a small fee for those on free or reduced lunch. 

All K students are bused for free. Students in Grades 1-5 are bused to elementary school for free if they live beyond one mile from their school. Students in Grade 6 are bused free to their middle school if they live beyond 1.5 miles. Students in Grades 7 & 8 are bused (fee based) if they live more than 1.5 miles from middle school. Students in Grades 9-12 are bused (fee based) if they live more than 2.0 miles from high school.

If there are seats left over in any bus once the routes are established for the year, parents who have children who qualify as ‘walkers’ can request and pay (full fee) for those extra seats.

Free and Reduced Lunch and Breakfast Program
The Framingham Public Schools (and other area school districts) provide an opportunity for parents to apply for free or reduced price school meals for their children. Applications for free and reduced meals are usually sent home the first week of each school year; however, applications (in Spanish and Portuguese) are available in the office all year. Eligibility is based on family income guidelines.

Other Schools
In other towns, look in the telephone book and call the number listed for the main office or superintendent. Most towns have some type of English as a Second Language classes for new arrivals. Look for the name of your town, i.e., “Town of . . . School Department.”

There is also a parallel system for elementary and secondary private schools. These schools usually fall into two categories – secular and parochial or religious. These schools charge tuition and often have entrance requirements. They frequently require students to wear uniforms. Information about these schools can be found in the library or in the yellow pages of the phone book.


Child Care
Many agencies in the area which provide child care; others which can assist in finding care for children. Each provider has its own requirements and fees. The following are listed as a starting place. Some centers have a waiting list, so call early to have your name placed on the waiting list.

Child Care Search
Concord Office Center, 2352 Main Street, Suite 102, Concord, MA 01742
Telephone: 1-800-455-8326 (Automated)
This state-funded agency is a child-care information and referral service. It can provide a free list of state licensed centers and providers. It co-ordinates the Commonwealth of Massachusetts child care voucher system for families who are income eligible and those who are already receiving benefits.

Blocks Preschool, King Administration Building
454 Water St., Framingham, MA 01701 
Telephone: 508-788-2380 
A preschool program that accepts referrals through the Framingham School 
Department for 4-year-olds. Integrated programs with bilingual, ESL, and special needs components. Fee by sliding scale. Scholarships available. 

Marlborough Child Care Center, SMOC 
133 East Main Street, Marlborough, MA 01752 
Telephone: 508-820-8380 / 800-779-4853
Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:00 am-6:00 pm 
A daycare and after school program for children ages 3 through school age. Vouchers and subsidies accepted. For additional information about other SMOC daycare sites, call the above numbers. 

SMOC Head Start
300 Howard St., Framingham, MA 01702 
Telephone: 508-620-2300
Preschool Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am-2:00 pm 
Provides a multi-service preschool program for eligible children and their families. Accepts vouchers. Serves Ashland, Bellingham, Framingham, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Milford, Natick, and Northbridge. 
Transportation is provided (free). Spanish-speaking staff available. Volunteer 
opportunities available. 

SMOC Daycare Programs
300 Howard St., Framingham, MA 01702 
Telephone: 508-820-8380 
Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:00 am-6:00 pm 
A preschool and after school program providing subsidized child care for children ages 3 through school age. 

South Side Community Day Care Center
Sons of Mary, 565 Salem End Road, Framingham, MA 01702 
Telephone: 508-879-6459 
Daycare center and preschool for children ages 2 years and 9 months to 5 years. Sliding fee scale available. Spanish and Portuguese speaking staff.

Private Child Care
There are many private child-care centers and in-home family child-care providers. Look in the Yellow Pages of the telephone book under “Child Care Centers” or “Day Care-Child” for a list of telephone numbers for child-care centers. Child Care Search can send a list of family child-care providers and child-care centers in your area as well as a brochure with suggested guidelines for evaluating child care providers. Visit several child-care facilities before you choose one. Check licenses and references.


Services for Children
Criterion - Middlesex Early Intervention Program
651 Franklin Street, Framingham, MA 01701 
Telephone: 508-620-1442
This Early Intervention (EI) program serves environmentally at-risk children, birth to three years old, and their families. It provides home, center, and community based treatment to enhance the child’s cognitive and social development, while imparting knowledge to the family. Services are available in English and Spanish. Call and speak to an intake worker for further information. Accepts Medicaid. Serves Framingham, Natick, Wayland, Sudbury, Ashland, Hopkinton, Holliston, Sherborn, and Dover.

Department of Early Education and Care (EED)
10 Austin St., Suite 400, Worcester, MA 01609
Telephone: 508-798-5180
This state agency is primarily a licensing and subsidizing agency. It has trained staff who review and monitor children’s programs (both daycare and residential facilities). Serves Framingham and the surrounding area. 

Department of Social Services (DSS)
63 Fountain Street, Framingham, MA 01702 
Telephone: 508-424-0100 
24-hour hotline: 1-800-792-5200 
The Department of Social Services is the state’s child and family protection agency. Its role is to protect children from abuse and neglect while strengthening family unity. It receives and responds to reports of child neglect and abuse - physical (beating, slapping, punching), emotional (constant criticism, threats of harm, etc.), and sexual (unwanted touching, rape). The report can come from any person and that person can remain anonymous. It is also considered child abuse if a child is a witness to domestic violence. DSS investigates all reports and can remove children from their homes if the report is determined to be true. DSS also administers several social service programs to help abused and neglected children and their families. These include counseling, referral, daycare, emergency shelter, family planning, foster care, and adoption. DSS also recruits, trains, and financially supports foster families.

Department of Youth Services (DYS)
360 Merrimack St., Building 9, Lawrence, MA 01843 
Telephone: 978-686-4014 x400
The Department of Youth Services is the state’s juvenile corrections agency responsible for providing services to delinquent children and young adults (age 7 to 21) committed to the department by the court. It also provides pre-trial detention for youths awaiting court action. DYS treatment services address psychological, substance abuse, educational, vocational and delinquency prevention needs, in order to provide juvenile offenders with a smooth transition back into the community.


August 2008



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