Make Child Care More Stable: Pay by Enrollment

New America | Abbie Lieberman, Aaron Loewenberg, & Cara Sklar

While paying providers in advance based on enrollment would be a substantial improvement… it is important to acknowledge the fact that reimbursement rates are too low. Increasing reimbursement rates so that they adequately cover the full cost of providing quality care, including raising teacher compensation, is crucial.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many federal and state- and county-level subsidy programs (such as the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program, CCCAP) switched to enrollment-based payment in support of struggling child care providers. This brief from New America explores the benefits of keeping this model long-term, rather than reverting to attendance-based payments.

In 2019, Early Milestones led a pilot program in Arapahoe, Denver, and Gunnison counties that demonstrated far-reaching benefits to using a contracted slots model.

Read the New America brief.