Information for Child Care Providers

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Questions about the Studies

How can you participate?
If you are selected to participate in either study, a research assistant from the Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) will be calling you to complete these surveys over the phone. You will be sent an introductory leaflet to let you know that you were selected to participate in the study for that year. Do not worry if you receive a phone call prior to getting a leaflet. Sometimes leaflets get lost in the mail or delayed, so if you have any questions or would like us to email you more information about the study, we can.

Do I have to participate?
No. Participation in both studies is optional; however, your responses help determine the market rate of child care for your region of Texas. While not required, your participation is extremely valuable and greatly appreciated.

Can you mail/email me the survey?
Unfortunately, no we cannot mail or email surveys at this time. All surveys are conducted via phone interviews to standardize the method of data collection. We are happy to arrange a time to complete the survey that works best for you. If you would like to review a sample of the questions ahead of time to prepare for the phone interview, you may view an overview of the survey questions here:
Sample Survey Questions for Homes
Sample Survey Questions for Licensed Child Care Centers

Who conducts this study?
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) contracts with researchers from the Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing and the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources at The University of Texas at Austin to administer the Child Care Market Rate and Cost of Quality Surveys.

How long will the survey take?
The average completion time for the Child Care Market Rate Survey is 5-10 minutes.  If you are also being asked to participate in the Child Care Cost of Quality Survey, the interview may take 15-20 minutes. Of course, some surveys are a bit shorter or longer depending on factors such as the number of children enrolled (for homes), or the number of age groups (for centers). Some providers also enjoy talking with our researchers and thus provide extra information which slightly extends the length of the survey.  Other providers provide short, quick answers, which typically reduce the survey time to less than ten minutes.  Therefore, the length of the survey depends a lot on the preference and style of those being interviewed.

Who will see my responses?
Your individual level responses will be kept confidential. They will never be shared with anyone outside of the research team.

Are my responses published?
Only aggregate data is published. We will not publish the responses of any individual childcare facility.  All providers who complete the survey(s) will also receive, via mail or email, a copy of the published market rate results for their area in late summer.

How was my child care facility selected to be a part of this study?
Child care facilities are randomly selected each year from the public list of licensed and registered child care facilities provided by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Child Care Regulation department (HHSC CCR).

General Questions

What are the market rates for my area right now?
For information on market rates in your area, please contact your local workforce development board (LWDB).  Contact information for each LWDB is available on the Texas Workforce Commission’s website at

Who do I call to get my reimbursement rates raised?
All comments and inquiries regarding reimbursement rates should be directed to your local workforce development board.  TWC provides a list with links to all LWDB websites at:

What is the Texas Rising Star Program?
The Texas Rising Star program is a quality rating and improvement system for Texas early childhood programs. Texas Rising Star offers three levels of quality certification (Two-Star, Three-Star, and Four-Star) to encourage child care and early learning programs to attain progressively higher levels of quality. These certification levels are tied to graduated enhanced reimbursement rates for children receiving child care scholarships. All Child Care Services (CCS) regulated providers are now required to participate in Texas Rising Star.  New CCS providers and current CCS providers who are not Texas Rising Star certified must meet the minimum quality standards to receive Entry Level Designation as part of the certification process. For a more information on Texas Rising Star, please visit


What does accreditation mean?
Accredited homes and centers voluntarily measure up to national standards of quality that have been established by national childcare organizations. Programs that are accredited have gone beyond minimum licensing standards and have made a commitment to provide the kind of care, attention, and stimulating activities that children require.

Examples of Center-Based Accreditations:
• NAEYC – National Association for the Education of Young Children
• NECPA – National Early Childhood Program Accreditation
• NAC – National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs
• COA – Council on Accreditation
• Cognia Accreditation (Formerly AdvancED Quality Early Learning Standards, QELS)
• Montessori Accreditation (AMS or AMI)
• Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)

Example of a Home-Based Accreditation:
• NAFCC – National Association for Family Child Care