Market rate for Purchase of Care (POC) in Delaware

Change Indicator

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Why This Indicator Matters

The first five years of a child's life are an important time for growth and development, and lay out the foundations for language, academic ability, habits and socio-emotional development. Research shows that access to high quality early care and education programs help young children grow up ready to succeed in school and life. However, there are large gaps in the quality of early care and childhood programs and not all children receive the maximum benefits from their program. When we invest in replicate high quality programs for children and youth, we can solve these gaps in early childhood development and show significant long-term improvements for children. Investing in  a system of high quality early care and education programs will benefit both young children and society as early investments reap dividends when child development translates into economic development later on.
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Daily market rates at the 75the percentile are used to determine purchase of care reimbursement amounts to early care and education providers.

Market rate = prices providers charge parents for the care of private-paying children. They are prices charged by the providers to unrelated and unaffiliated parents that have not been reduced for special circumstances (e.g. low-income, employees children, etc.)

The 75th percentile is such that 75% of the prices are at or below the price and 25% are above.

Data Source: Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Social Services


POC rates are 65% of the 75th percentile of the 2015 market rates.

In order to calculate the new Purchase of Care reimbursement rates, researchers reviewed a total number of providers per provider type (child care centers versus family child care) and county serving each age category. For childcare centers, researchers identified age categories served by each provider from the data provided by Children and Families First and from age-category information obtained from the Delaware Market Rate Study. For Family childcare, researchers estimated the number of providers that served the various age categories based on the outcome of the Delaware Market Rate Study.

Effective 5/1/19, DSS issued guidance on FFY2019 POC rates. The new rates bring the daily POC rates up to between 48% and 62% of the 2018 market rates- with an average being 59% of the 75th percentile of the 2018 market rates. The current rates reflect an increased rate for most providers and no change for a small number of providers. The Market Rate Study proposed a reduced payment for some of the providers who are curretnly in a "no change" status but DSS chose to grandfather the higher Market Rate so no provider experienced a rate reduction.

Last updated: 6/2019