Child Care Studies
The Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing (TXICFW), in partnership with Dr. Daniel Schroeder of the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources (RMC), contracts with Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to conduct two studies annually: the Texas Child Care Market Rate Study and the Child Care Cost of Quality Study. General information about each study is presented below.
If you are a provider being asked to participate in the Texas Child Care Market Rate Survey and/or the Child Care Cost of Quality Survey, you may have some additional questions about your participation. Use the links below to learn more about participating.
Texas Child Care Market Rate Study
The purpose of the annual Child Care Market Rate Study is to gather and report on the rates charged to the general public (or the “market rate”) for child care services in each of the 28 local workforce development areas (LWDAs) of Texas. In this study, market rates for child care are estimated using a combination of survey data and TWC administrative records data on published rates of providers who accept subsidies. A sample of child care providers is drawn annually from a list of licensed and registered child care facilities provided by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Child Care Regulation department (HHSC CCR). Research assistants at TXICFW call providers in the study sample to conduct Child Care Market Rate Survey over the phone in English, Spanish, or Vietnamese, depending on the provider’s preference.
The Child Care Market Rate Surveys for licensed and registered homes and licensed child care centers cover similar topics. However, home-based facilities provided detailed information concerning each child under their care (age, exact schedule of care, and rate charged), whereas center-based facilities provided rates by age group and by whether care was full-day or part-day (less than six hours per day).
Data collection for the Child Care Market Rate Study typically occurs from September to May each year. Once data collection is finished, data is compiled, cleaned and analyzed. Findings are published in the Annual Child Care Market Rate Report and sent to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Child care providers who complete the survey also receive a results leaflet that contains the average full-time and part-time hourly rates for their area by facility type and age of child. The state (TWC) and the Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) use this information to help set subsidy rates for low-income families participating in the Child Care Services (CCS) Program.
Child Care Cost of Quality Study
The purpose of the Child Care Cost of Quality Study is to explore the cost of providing quality child care in Texas by estimating the price charged for higher-quality care under Texas Rising Star (TRS) or other recognized sources of accreditation relative to other child care providers in the state. The study sample is drawn alongside the Child Care Market Rate Survey sample. The study alternates each year between surveying licensed child care centers and surveying licensed and registered child care homes. Providers randomly selected to participate in the Child Care Cost of Quality Study are asked to complete the Child Care Market Rate Survey as well as an additional set of questions that focus on quality of care.
Data collection for the Child Care Cost of Quality Study typically occurs from September to March each year alongside the Child Care Market Rate Study. Once data collection is finished, data is compiled, cleaned and analyzed. Findings are published in the Annual Cost of Quality Price Modeling Report sent to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The report presents several calculators focused on factors related to the structural quality of early childhood education (ECE) programs: staff turnover; staff education and experience; staff training expenses; staff earnings and benefits; and curriculum, assessment, and staff planning time. The calculators are intended to assist providers, Local Workforce Development Boards, and the State in understanding cost drivers for improving quality as well as revealing which structural quality factors are typically used by providers to reach higher quality tiers.