The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released its 2017 Child Care Market Rate Survey. To comply with Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) regulations and state statute, DHHS is required to oversee a child care Market Rate Survey (MRS) every two years to set provider subsidy rates within the context of market conditions. The purpose is to ensure children receiving assistance through the Child Care Subsidy Program have access to the pool of providers equal to the access of provider-paying families.
The survey looked at urban and rural child care providers, with each category broken out into Family Child Care Home I and II, Accredited Child Care Centers and Non-Accredited Child Care Centers.
With passage of LB335 during the past legislative session, provider reimbursements may not fall below the 50th percentile of the Market Rate Survey for FY2017-18, or below the 60th percentile for FY2018-19.
First Five Nebraska will continue our work with state agencies, child care providers, the business community and other partners in ensuring subsidy dollars are being used to purchase the caliber of services known to promote developmental outcomes that can help close the achievement gap of young children at risk.
We are exploring ways of modeling the costs of high-quality child care with the goal of using this data to set reimbursement rates that reflect the level of quality delivered by child care providers. We believe this methodology can offer a cost-neutral way to address limitations of the current Market Rate Survey model, deliver a higher level of fiscal accountability to Nebraska taxpayers and buy a better product for Nebraska’s children and families.