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Alternative Methodology

California is changing how it pays for child care! 

To increase positive outcomes for children and families and early care and education providers, California will be setting child care subsidy payment rates informed by the cost of care, moving away from market rates. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is working with Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies to design and implement an alternative methodology process. 


To learn more about this process, please see the project overview via the links below. 


Provider Engagement

Input from all types of early care and education providers is a central component of the alternative methodology process and P5 is committed to ensuring provider voice is represented in the cost study and cost model. 

There are multiple opportunities for child care providers to share their input, including through an online survey, virtual input sessions, and one-on-one interviews. More information about these opportunities is available via the links below.

California Rate and Quality Advisory Panel

The California Department of Social Services has convened a Rate and Quality Advisory Panel to support the alternative methodology process and provide input into the cost study and development of the cost estimation model that will inform rate reform. The panel is meeting every other month and meetings are open to the public. For more information, please visit the CDSS rate reform website via the link below. 


P5 California Team

This project is supported by a team of experts in child care cost modeling, provider engagement, data collection, data analysis, and subsidy rate setting. See below to learn more about the team leading this work. 

2022 Cost of Care Study

In 2022, the state of California convened a Rate and Quality Work Group. P5 conducted a cost study and developed a cost model to inform this work group. To learn more about the 2022 study and to access the final report, please use the button below. 

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this study and want to connect with a member of the P5 team, please either email or call us via the details below, or complete the contact form on this page.



Call:    217-469-5250 

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