In an effort to increase access to high-quality child care for infants and toddlers, Georgia recently expanded its use of Quality Rated Subsidy Grants to 6% of the state’s infant and toddler slots.
In an effort to increase access to high-quality child care for infants and toddlers, Georgia recently expanded its use of Quality Rated Subsidy Grants (QRSG) to 6% of the state’s infant and toddler slots. The program consists of contracts awarded through a competitive application process to child care centers in high-need counties. Centers receive reimbursement that is 50% higher than the base subsidy rate. This child care subsidy delivery model was originally piloted using Early Learning Challenge Grant funds from 2015-2017. Increased federal Child Care and Development Block Grant funding allowed for a statewide launch of the initiative in 2018. Currently, 143 programs in 37 high-need counties are serving more than 3,000 children across the state using this model.
The QRSG initiative aims to:
- Improve access to high-quality early care and education programs for low-income families.
- Reimburse providers at a rate that supports the cost of high-quality care.
- Create a predictable and stable subsidy funding model for child care providers.
- Create an opportunity for closer relationships between child care providers and families.
Additionally, an innovative approach to enrollment is increasing the success of this program. Rather than having families enroll in subsidy and then select a program, programs are awarded slots and subsequently provide onsite enrollment in subsidy for eligible families. This process reserves slots in high-quality programs for low-income families and provides increased stability for participating child care programs. To maintain high-quality continuity of care for at-risk families, these programs must offer Georgia’s Pre-K program so children can enroll after the age of three.