State Initiative

Rhode Island Passes Bill to Increase Infant-Toddler Child Care Reimbursement Rates

Jul 25, 2018

Thanks to a group of diligent advocates, families, and committed policymakers, high-quality child care will become more accessible for babies in low-income families in Rhode Island.

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The state’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget establishes tiered quality rates for the Child Care Assistance Program, providing larger reimbursements to infant and toddler care and high-quality programs across the state. That change will drive increased access to high-quality care, providing a strong start for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Rhode Island is a ZERO TO THREE Think Babies™ state partner, led by Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. Their top priority was to increase reimbursement rates for infant and toddler child care to reach or exceed the 75th percentile of market rates. Early advocacy in 2017 led to the Governor’s proposed FY2019 budget, including $1.5 million to implement tiered quality rates for infants and toddlers. Continued advocacy included events like Rhode Island Reads: Campaign for 3rd Grade Reading and Strolling Thunder™, and led the legislature to expand the Governor’s original proposal and establish tiered quality rates in statute for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Under the new system, child care providers serving infants and toddlers will receive a 2.5% to 33% increase in reimbursement rates and preschool providers will receive a 2.5% to 21% increase depending on their star-level rating in Rhode Island’s quality rating and improvement system.

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