June 21, 2023 OCDEL Releases 2022 Market Rate Survey Report The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) recently released their 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey (MRS) Report. Data in the report reflects a challenging operating and economic environment, which child care providers continually navigate. About the MRS Report The MRS report is a collection and analysis of prices charged by child care providers in an open market. It includes information on private pay tuition rates, staffing, payments and fee practices, facility types, and food offerings at local programs. OCDEL uses the report to set base reimbursement rates for Pennsylvania’s subsidized child care program Child Care Works (CCW) to ensure equal access to child care for low-income families. 2022 MRS Report Across the state, 6,378 child care providers stayed in operation throughout the entire survey period. A total of 4,383 providers participated in the 2022 MRS, representing a 68.7% response rate. Key Findings from the 2022 MRS Report CCW Of providers with a CCW agreement, half (50.1%) indicated that they do not usually require CCW families to pay any difference between the private tuition rate and the subsidy payment amount. Family and Group Child Care Homes are more likely to require CCW families to pay the difference between the private pay rate and subsidy reimbursement amount than centers. This raises concerns about equity and access to affordable child care in these settings. Among providers who did not have a CCW agreement, the most common reason for not participating was that their capacity was at full enrollment with only private pay families. Payments & Fees Providers with higher Keystone STAR designations charge more than similar providers with lower designations across all care levels and types. Almost two-thirds (64.4%) of providers charge families a registration fee, with the median fee being $50. Registration fees were most often charged by centers. Incidental fees for late pickups and overdue payments were charged by most providers. With so many providers requiring a registration fee, low-income families in the CCW program may face financial barriers to accessing child care. Additionally, fees for late pickups and overdue payments may cause financial strain for families who are struggling financially. Staffing Over half of all providers reported unfilled job openings (54.1%), which reduced the number of children that could be served. This was most common among Child Care Centers (67.9%). Only a portion of providers (36.6%) offered health insurance to any staff members. The low portion of providers offering health insurance benefits to staff members may impact the quality of care. Food & Nutrition The USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program that provides reimbursements to providers for healthy meals and snacks — 43.3% of providers reported using the program. Regardless of CACFP participation, most providers offered some meals or snacks with regular tuition. The fact that over half of providers do not participate in CACFP suggests that there may be gaps in the quality of meals and snacks offered by child care providers. This could be particularly bad for children from low-income families who may rely on child care providers for healthy meals. Access the Report Access the 2022 MRS Report on the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) website. Learn More To learn more, visit the Official Pennsylvania Government website.