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Resource Details

Initiative Name: 

Delaware Increases Reimbursement Rate for Child Care Providers




Financing, Basic Needs/Economic Stability, Child Care, Quality Improvement, Financing

Source Of Information: 

ZERO TO THREE Policy Center state updates



Year Started: 



During a time when many states were cutting funding for child care subsidy programs, Delaware increased the reimbursement rates early care and education providers receive for caring for low-income children. As of October 1, 2011, all providers caring for children eligible for the state’s Purchase of Care system began receiving 65% of the market rate, plus an additional 50 cents per child per day. Prior to the change, reimbursement rates varied across the state, with the majority of early care and education providers receiving less than the current standard rate. The $12 million necessary to implement the increase was part of a $22 million plan to improve early childhood services passed by the legislature in June 2011.

The plan also funded an expansion of Delaware Stars for Early Success, the state’s quality rating and improvement system. Participating providers that have earned ratings of 3, 4, or 5 stars are now eligible for higher reimbursement rates of 80%, 90%, or 100% of the market rate. The expansion includes technical assistance to support providers in making quality improvements and merit awards for achieving a higher star-level as well. The Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood at the University of Delaware provides technical support. The Delaware Stars for Early Success program was revised in 2012 and redesigned to a hybrid point-based model. Points are awarded in these four areas: 1) Qualifications and professional development; 2) Learning environment and curriculum; 3) Family and community partnerships; and 4) Management and Administration. For more information about Purchase of Care or Delaware Stars for Early Success, visit

Updated October 2013.

Web Site: 



National Infant and Toddler Child Care InitiativeComing Together Around Military FamiliesNational Training InstituteEarly Head Start

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