California is changing how it pays for child care!

Make your voice heard by participating in a Virtual Input Session and by completing the CA Cost of Child Care Survey

Building on the 2022 Cost of Quality Study, the California Department of Social Services is working with Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies to design and implement an alternative methodology process to:

  1. Better understand how much it costs providers to deliver high-quality early care and education and stay in business.
  2. Develop a tool to help estimate the true cost of care based on variables such as program size, geographic location, and ages of children served that can be used to inform rate setting.

They need to hear from you! Make your voice heard by participating in a Virtual Input Session and by completing the CA Cost of Child Care Survey. This is your opportunity to share what it truly costs to provide quality child care – not just what families can afford to pay.

The survey and input sessions will allow early care and education providers, including child care and development centers, family child care homes, tribal programs, and license-exempt family, friend, or neighbor care providers to share information on current expenses and the true cost of care. The survey is available in multiple languages. Input Sessions will be held in English and Spanish (and other languages as requested, if possible).  If you participated in the 2022 Cost of Quality Study and your data is complete, we will be following up with you directly.

CA Cost of Child Care Survey Questions

To help you prepare for the survey, gather your expense statements and/or budget (if you have one) to help answer the questions (for example, it may be helpful to have your Schedule C IRS tax form nearby for reference). For those who are not licensed and provide care to family members, friends, and/or neighbors, do your best to estimate any costs you are asked to provide. 

  • If you would like to review the survey questions before submitting your responses, you can view a copy of the survey by clicking on this link
  • To complete and submit the survey in English, click HERE

The survey allows you to save your responses and come back to them later. If you have any questions about this survey or need any additional support, do not hesitate to reach out to: california@prenatal5fiscal.org or call (217) 469-5250 and someone from their team will return your call.

Virtual Input Sessions

These input sessions provide an opportunity to share your experience delivering early care and education services, beyond the information gathered through the online survey. Questions will focus on program operations and expenses, the true costs of providing care, and barriers you face to delivering care. 

Sessions are scheduled in English and Spanish. Additional language can be accommodated as needed. You only need to attend ONE session, but you must register in advance. 

  • Click this link to see the schedule and register for an input session.

Learn more about the process. Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies is conducting this study and all data will be kept confidential and not attributed to any one person or program.

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