Housing and Schools
Housing is relatively expensive in Boston, roughly equivalent to Seattle, San Diego, Washington DC, Miami and Los Angeles, though less than New York City or cities in the Bay Area in California (see examples). To compensate, the BCRP offers higher than average salaries. In addition, Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center offer a Lease Guarantee program. If a landlord requires advance payment of the last month’s rent and/or a security deposit, Boston Children’s Hospital or Boston Medical Center will guarantee payment to the landlord. Details of the BCH Lease Guarantee Program and other useful housing information is available on the Boston Children’s Hospital Website here and the Boston Medical Center program here. Real estate information is available from a number of sources including the Boston Globe, which also publishes a useful rental search engine. Other good sources for rental housing are Rental Beast, the Harvard Off-Campus Rentals, the Harvard Housing Office, Craig’s List, Zillow, and Zumper.
Boston and Cambridge schools are variable but the schools in Brookline, Newton and many other suburban communities are outstanding. The Greatschools website contains considerable information about individual schools. Data on test scores for children in Massachusetts schools is also available here.
Boston is a great city for kids because there are so many things to see and do in the city and nearby, and because the transportation system is safe and extensive. The Children’s Museum and the Museum of Science are each among the best in the country. The inexpensive Community Boating Program ($1 to $300 per year for kids, depending on family income) is also outstanding and is an incredible bargain for many. It offers sailing, windsurfing and kayaking on the Charles (lessons included). A good list of activities for kids can be found at Alpha Mom, Family Days Out, Mommynearest and at Boston Central. The latter site also contains lots of useful information about Boston suburban communities.
Boston Children’s Hospital has its own Child Care Center (CHCCC) and there is a Bright Horizons Family Center at the nearby Landmark Center that is available to employees of Harvard Medical School and the Longwood Area hospitals. Kathleen Greer Associates (KGA, Inc) is Children’s Employee Assistance and Information Program. They will help residents find childcare services. The Longwood Medical and Academic area Family Childcare Network is a network of licensed family childcare providers who provide childcare in their homes for families who work in the Longwood Medical area. Learn more here.
For those interested in nannies, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Office for Women’s Careers, hosts a Nanny Network list-serve, which offers a forum for faculty and residents to share nanny requests, as well as information on nannies who may be leaving your family once you’ve ‘outgrown them’. To join the list-serve send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “I want to join the Nanny Network” in the subject line. Care.com also offers listings of nannies.
Cultural Care Au Pair (CCAP) is the largest Au Pair company in the world and offers affordable child care option for benefits-eligible Boston Children’s employees.