Center-Based Child Care Rate Increase

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

Increases in the rates the state pays to early education centers for each child in subsidized care can help facilitate improvements in salary, benefits, and working conditions for early education teachers. Having adequate rates for subsidized care providers is a significant challenge facing efforts to improve early education in the Commonwealth. Salaries for early education and care teachers in Massachusetts averaged just $26,000 in 2016. This is only 35 percent of average salaries paid to teachers in the public K-12 school system.

In FY 2018, the Governor, House, as well as the Senate proposed dedicated funding for salary increases and professional development for early educators through a new line item Center-Based Child Care Rate Increase. There was a similar line-item, Early Education and Care Provider Rate Increase, for the same purpose in FY 2017.

Salary and benefit increases along with professional development are key mechanisms to improve the quality of services available for young children. When rates paid by the state to child care centers are too low relative to their costs, early educators are unable to attain salaries and benefits in line with their training and state standards for delivering quality early care. This contributes to problems retaining qualified early education teachers and strain on centers offering services, particularly for low-income kids. This presents a major challenge limiting the Commonwealth’s ability to provide high-quality early education and care for more of our children.

Updated May 2017

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