Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care
Build Supply of Quality Care
What policies can states use to move toward this recommendation?
To move toward this recommendation, states may use multiple policy levers, starting from different points. Potential state policies include the following:
- Model state licensing standards for infant/toddler care in centers and family child care homes on research-based structural indicators of high-quality care. Provide financial supports for providers to meet and sustain standards.
- Improve accessibility of the child care licensing system for limited English proficient (LEP) providers by translating licensing information, regulations, applications, preparatory materials and classes, and examinations, as well as providing training and technical assistance in languages other than English to LEP providers working towards licensure.
- Train licensors to look for specific indicators of quality interactions between infants and toddlers and their caregivers.
- Expand access to child care settings meeting federal Early Head Start Program Performance Standards for low-income children birth to three by providing stable state funding through grants or contracts linked to the federal standards, facilitating partnerships, and providing technical assistance.
- Provide ongoing funding within the state child care subsidy system for slots tied to high-quality standards (such as those of Early Head Start or national accreditation) directly to providers through grants or contracts, in order to care for eligible infants and toddlers in underserved communities.
- Provide higher subsidy reimbursement rates to providers serving infants and toddlers and meeting higher quality standards.
- Ensure that the standards, design, and incentives of state Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) specifically address and improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers.
- Use state tax policy to offer incentives to providers to improve the quality of care and to offset the costs of improvements.
- Provide refundable tax credits for low-income families who choose higher-quality infant and toddler care.
- Create revolving loan funds underwritten by the state to help providers obtain low- or no-interest loans to make major improvements to or expand high-quality infant and toddler care.
Create new, quality child care slots:
- Give grants to programs in underserved communities to pay for start-up costs for equipment needed to care for infants and toddlers. Provide technical assistance to improve programs to meet high-quality standards, such as those of Early Head Start or national accreditation.
- Use a mix of public and private funding to create and sustain access to high-quality early childhood development program sites-sites that implement research-based care strategies, such as the Educare model-in low-income communities.
- Provide grants and technical assistance to immigrant serving organizations to create new child care slots targeting infants and toddlers from immigrant families.
- Help under-enrolled preschool settings in communities that are fully serving all at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds convert capacity to provide developmentally appropriate infant/toddler child care.
Improve the quality of existing child care slots:
- Create community-based support networks for family, friend, and neighbor caregivers of babies and toddlers that improve quality of care by providing child development information, linking children to health and screening services, and reducing isolation of caregivers. Ensure that information and technical assistance are available in multiple languages.
- Provide grants to child care centers and family child care providers to ensure that they can accommodate infants and toddlers with disabilities and other special needs.
- Create and contract with networks of family child care providers to provide slots for low-income infants and toddlers, and require the providers to meet higher-quality standards. Include additional funding and technical assistance to improve quality.
- Support infant and toddler specialists located within communities to work with licensed providers and family, friend, and neighbor caregivers to provide information and support to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers.
Related Project Recommendations
Visit page: http://www.clasp.org/babiesinchildcare/recommendations?id=0013