Challenges states face in meeting the federal benchmark of equal access to child care: Evidence from a Colorado market price survey

Erika Moldow, Elizabeth E. Davis, Barbara Lepidus Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Federal funding from the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) enables states to offset the cost of child care for eligible low-income families to support parental employment and promote healthy child development. The federal government sets a benchmark for provider payment rates in order to ensure that low-income families have access to child care settings comparable to those available to non-CCDF families. In order to meet this “equal access” objective, states need reliable information and valid methods to estimate benchmark prices in local child care markets. Although all 50 states face the challenge of meeting the federal benchmark, limited research on best practices is available to guide them. This case study of Colorado's child care market prices highlights key challenges to states in using survey data to set provider payment rates, offering policy and practice implications for sampling, collecting price data, and estimating valid child care benchmark prices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104482
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume108
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2020

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