A statewide study is currently underway to examine the true cost of providing child care in Pennsylvania. Family, group, and center-based licensed providers have an opportunity to support this important project, led by the University of Pennsylvania’s Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) in partnership with Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). Through this project, Pennsylvania seeks to improve policies, standards, and public funding for providers that care for young children.
The True Cost of Quality is Part II of the project. Part I of this project, CHILD CARE FUNDING & FINANCE IN PENNSYLVANIA: Budgeting for Survival or Paying for the True Cost of Quality? conducted by Research for Action found that:
  • Infant and toddler care is more expensive than pre-K or school age care.
  • Current revenue streams and reimbursement rates are inadequate to cover the cost of infant and toddler care and, as a result, child care providers opt to serve more preschoolers and fewer infants and toddlers.
  • Low compensation in child care programs leads to significant staff turnover and hiring of less-qualified staff.
Part II builds upon the previous work conducted in Part I, using a more robust data set to estimate the true cost of high-quality child care, as compared to child care that meets only regulatory standards, and how those costs vary across regions in the commonwealth.
The research team invites child care providers to participate in an extended interview at their facility. The interview is designed to collect basic information about the many resources that are needed to deliver care. Participation is voluntary and confidential. CPRE is offering a $300 prepaid Visa gift card following the on-site interview with one of the Cost of Care research team members. The interview will NOT include review of financial receipts or accounting records. Participation is limited. Those who are interested in participating or would like to learn more about this study, should contact Greg Collins at 610.657.4337 or by email at gse-costofcare@gse.upenn.edu.