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Modeling the Cost of Child Care in the District of Columbia

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) regularly uses a cost modeling approach to analyze the costs of delivering child care in the District of Columbia, in order to inform policy and practice. Using the cost estimation model, OSSE explores the likely costs of delivering services at each level of the District’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), Capital Quality, in center and home-based settings that serve children of mixed ages and needs. OSSE’s cost estimation model is based on the Provider Cost of Quality Calculator developed by national experts for the US Department of Health and Human Services and is further customized to reflect the District of Columbia context.

OSSE updates its analysis of the cost to deliver care in the District of Columbia every three years and uses this information to inform reimbursement rates for subsidized child care,  make policy decisions that will support child care providers in maintaining financial sustainability and enhance business supports for child care providers, in support of the District’s efforts to ensure that all District of Columbia children have equal access to quality child care.