Guidance on Estimating and Reporting the Costs of Child Care

This guidance aims to support Lead Agencies and their partners as they create cost estimates, prepare detailed reports, and use cost estimates to inform their rate setting. Specifically, this guidance outlines (1) factors that influence the cost of care, (2) sources of information that can inform cost estimates, and (3) methods of calculating costs. 

A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet accompanies this step-by-step guidance and includes default values and built-in calculations to help users estimate the per-child cost of care in centers by age group. The file is available by emailing the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance at [email protected] or calling 1-877-296-2250.


Publication Date
Resource Type
  • COVID-19
    • American Rescue Plan Act (ARP Act)
    • ARP Act Supplemental Funding
  • Leadership and Coordination
    • System Financing
  • Quality Improvement
  • System Planning and Implementation
Archive Status