Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies
August 29, 2013 | Stephanie Schmit and Hannah Matthews
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Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies, presents data from a recent state survey of child care subsidy, licensing, and quality enhancement policies. It provides a national picture of infant-toddler child care.
CLASP's study shows where state policy stands in relation to a set of key research-based policies on child care subsidy, licensing and quality improvement that support children's healthy development.
Key findings include:
- In most states, child-to-provider ratios and group sizes exceed national expert recommendations. Further, a handful of states do not regulate group size at all.
- While more than half of states (30) reported having specific infant-toddler training for providers, most state requirements for the number of hours of training are minimal, and the content of training curricula related to infants and toddlers is limited.
- Twenty-one states report licensing standards that require a consistent primary caregiver for infants and toddlers. A few additional states encourage continuity of care through other means, including regulations, policies, or waivers.
- Most state standard subsidy reimbursement rates for infants in center-based care fail to meet federally recommended levels.
- Twenty-two states report offering rate differentials or higher payment rates for infant-toddler care. Higher payment rates for infant-toddler care can offset higher costs and support quality enhancements.
- Forty-one states report subsidy policies that pay child care providers for days when a child is absent, a policy particularly important for infants and toddlers who have more frequent illnesses and require more frequent doctor visits than older children.
- Fourteen states reported using direct contracts with child care providers in their subsidy system to increase the supply or improve the quality of subsidized infant-toddler care.
In Focus Series
This series details the findings from CLASP's publication,Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies.
- It's Time to Do Better for Our Babies: CLASP Releases Study of Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies
- Better for Babies: Healthy and Safe Environments in Which to Explore and Learn
- Better for Babies: Infants and Toddlers Need Nurturing, Responsive Providers They Can Trust to Care for Them as They Grow and Learn
- Better for Babies: Helping Low-Income Families Access Quality Child Care Options