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Guidance on estimating and reporting the costs of child care

Each state is required to widely distribute a detailed report of the results of its market rate survey or alternative methodology. The CCDF Lead Agency's detailed report must include the estimated cost of care, including any relevant variations by geographic location, type of provider, or age of child, to support the implementation of health, safety, quality, and staffing requirements. It also must include the estimated cost necessary to support higher quality child care at each level of quality, as defined by the Lead Agency's quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) or other system of quality indicators. This guidance aims to support Lead Agencies and their partners as they create cost estimates, prepare detailed reports, and use cost estimates to inform their rate setting. Specifically, this guidance outlines (1) factors that influence the cost of care, (2) sources of information that can inform cost estimates, and (3) methods of calculating costs. In addition, this guidance provides considerations for Lead Agencies as they set their goals, share their data, and make improvements to payment rates and policies. (author abstract)
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