New model projects cost to provide access to high-quality child care for all New Yorkers

by | Feb 3, 2023 | Press Release

NEW YORK – The Education Trust–New York, in partnership with the Raising NY coalition, released today a cost model that projects how much it would cost New York State to provide access to high-quality child care for all children under the age of five.

The cost model, developed by Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies (P5FS) and exclusively tailored for New York State, projects that New York would need to invest roughly $20 billion into making high-quality child care available to all children from birth to five-years-old, with providers earning a living wage.

This is just one of eight possible scenarios included in the model, which aims to inform advocacy efforts and anchor policy innovation in a data-informed set of principles and strategies that guide positive and equitable change for children, families, and providers in New York.

Recent efforts at the community, state, and federal levels have examined and addressed some of the fiscal issues related to the prenatal to five system, and New York has made some of the fundamental first steps to improving access to child care for all families. Now, this tool offers an opportunity to build on these efforts and focus investments on meeting the vast needs of young children and their families.

The current child care subsidy system in New York reaches about 78,200 children annually and subsidy rates are set based on current market prices. The cost model provides an initial and necessary foundation of data from which New York can build a sustainable and comprehensive child care system that ensures providers receive a family-sustaining wage and children have high-quality care.

The cost model, which was developed with input from 72 child care providers across 38 geographic regions, draws from multiple data sources and includes four eligibility scenarios with two different provider salary options for each scenario.

Other states have used similar models to create comprehensive early childhood systems that provide equitable access to high-quality programs and supportive services for infants, toddlers, and their families.

This model builds upon many years of work by leaders in New York State to develop revenue and funding strategies that adequately address the needs of children, families, and providers. The release of this model is the first step in a comprehensive approach that seeks to illustrate the true cost of quality child care in New York. We anticipate upgrading this initial model with additional data and information in the coming months.

“The Education Trust–New York believes that the best policy innovations are community-driven and data-informed. This cost model is an essential first step to understanding what the path to an equitable and affordable comprehensive early childhood system may entail,” said Dia Bryant, executive director of The Education Trust–New York. “Improving access to affordable, high-quality child care is essential for New York families and our economy. The cost model is a tool that can drive innovation and inquiry focused on improving how children, families, and providers experience the complex systems that touch the lives of New Yorkers who are five and under.”