Rate Reform and Quality

Five children of different genders and ethnicities are laying on their stomachs smiling at the camera.

California is changing how it pays for child care!

To increase positive outcomes for children, families, and the early care and education workforce, California will be setting child care subsidy payment rates informed by the cost of care, moving away from market rates. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is working with national experts, Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies (P5), to design and implement an alternative methodology process.

California’s alternative methodology process will help the State:

  • Understand how much it costs early care and education providers and programs to provide care and education services.
  • Develop a tool that will help estimate the cost of care based on the information collected from providers and other sources. This tool will estimate the cost of care for different types of programs using variables such as program size, geographic locations, and ages of children served.

If you have any questions about this study and want to connect with a member of the P5 Fiscal Strategies team, please either email P5 or call 217-469-5250.

Five Phases of the Alternative Methodology Process

  1. Engage with diverse families, providers, and communities.
  2. Collect information through surveys, input sessions, & other sources
  3. Develop a tool that uses that information to estimate the cost of care.
  4. Analyze the findings to understand variations in the cost of care.
  5. Inform how the state sets rates and policies.

CDSS Alternative Methodology Approval Request

Rate & Quality Advisory Panel Meetings

The California Department of Social Services has convened a Rate and Quality Advisory Panel to support the alternative methodology process and provide input into the cost study and development of the cost estimation model that will inform rate reform. The panel meets every other month and meetings are open to the public.

Archived Rate & Quality Stakeholder Workgroup Meetings

Contact Us

CDSS Child Care and Development Division
744 P Street M.S. 9-8-360
Sacramento, CA 95814

Child Care and Development Division Contacts

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