State Approves Changes To Reimbursement Of Childcare Providers

BARNSTABLE – Changes are coming to how the state will reimburse childcare providers as rate increases proposed by the Department of Early Education and Care are being put into action by lawmakers.

Under the new policy, the cost of providing care will be used as a core metric to set rates for providers who accept state childcare financial assistance, making Massachusetts the sixth state to adopt the policy to make childcare more affordable for working families.

Childcare providers will start to receive an increase of at least 5.5 percent to their daily per-child reimbursement rate beginning in February, yielding an average of over $2,000 a year per child.

Providers will also receive a one-time retroactive payment to account for the previously increased rates dating back to July of 2023.

The state will invest $65 million from its fiscal year budget to facilitate the move, which local childcare providers are praising as a sustainable approach to help working families and providers by ensuring providers are paid a fair rate regardless of where they are located.

“An increase to the State’s level of reimbursement will have a profound effect here on the Cape,” said Denise Graham-Reardon, Executive Director of Children & Family Services at YMCA Cape Cod. “In a time when the rising cost of living is pushing young early educators out of the field, this increase will help us retain the next generation of great teachers.”

“Access to quality early education should be available to everyone,” she said, “and as a community organization we are proud to enroll families who utilize state funding. This increase is a helpful solution for families, teachers, and providers.”

The cost of care will be used in addition to a previously established market rate survey that many states have determined is inefficient on its own in establishing fair prices.

About Matthew Tomlinson

Matt Tomlinson is a Cape Cod native studying to be a documentarian. He has been with the NewsCenter since 2021.
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