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. 

 

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