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


  • 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.


  • 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.


August 22, 2022

Recording of 2022 Market Rate Survey Available

A recording of the Pennsylvania Child Care Association’s (PACCA) 2022 Market Rate Survey and YOU webinar is now available for child care providers.

Webinar Recording

The webinar, which was held on August 17, 2022, includes information about the importance of the Market Rate Survey, the elements of the survey, and how the information may be used.

The team from Penn State Harrisburg, Institute of State and Regional Affairs, coordinators of the survey collection and evaluation, shared the new complementary study in progress to assess the Cost of Care.

Watch the recording.

About the Market Rate Survey

Every two years, the federal government requires that states conduct a Market Rate Survey of child care. Information from the Market Rate Survey provides the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) with important data to compare private pay prices with the Child Care Works (CCW) base rate reimbursements.

Rather than pulling information from Provider Self-Service as conducted in 2016 and 2019, this year the Market Rate Survey requires child care providers to fill out a survey form. The final deadline to complete the survey is October 11, 2022.


July 7, 2022

Participate in the 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is asking all Pennsylvania licensed child care facilities to complete the 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey and share information about tuition rates and the true cost of care.

(This post was updated on 10/03/22 to reflect updated information regarding the Market Rate Survey.)

About the Market Rate Survey

Every two years, OCDEL asks early care and education providers to submit updates on their costs or confirm there has not been any change. These updates and confirmations are necessary as OCDEL uses this information to consider future Child Care Works (CCW) base rate increases. When all providers participate, this accurate accounting of data may mean more money for resources and staff in the form of future increased base rates.

Complete the Survey

The 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey should be completed by the facility’s director, owner, or other person who is knowledgeable about the facility’s operations and finances. The survey includes questions about private pay tuition rates, payments and fees, CCW program participation, enrollment, staffing, and operations. Private pay tuition rates collected from this survey will be used to update a facility’s rates in the PELICAN system. Rates from PELICAN are also displayed publicly on websites such as the Compass Provider search.

This survey has been mailed to all licensed child care facilities in Pennsylvania and may be completed online or on paper. Providers should complete the survey for the child care facility. If multiple facilities are owned by a single entity, a separate survey must be completed for each. Participation is voluntary, and participants may stop at any time. The minimum participation requirement is 50 percent of licensed providers. As of October 3, 2022, Pennsylvania has a 59 percent response rate to the survey. If you did not receive your mailed copy or misplaced it, please complete the Electronic MRS and return using instructions on the form.

The final deadline to complete the survey is October 11, 2022.

More Information

Those who have questions about the 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey, those who need help submitting the survey, or those who have not received the survey should contact the Institute of State and Regional Affairs at or leave a toll-free voicemail at 866.982.6433.