Financing Strategically


Children’s Funding Project Blog (Office of Child Care, n.d.).
This blog provides timely information on innovative strategies to fund children’s initiatives in states and localities. It also shares political and funding news related to children and in-depth explanations of federal, state, private, and local funding streams

National Institute for Early Research (NIEER) preschool Matters Blog

“South Carolina: Care and Education for the Whole Family” (June 14, 2021) (Office of Child Care, n.d.).
This article on the NIEER blog highlights the unique public-private initiative in South Carolina called First Steps. This initiative supports children’s readiness for school by empowering local leaders to develop solutions to meet the needs of their local early childhood communities.

Preschool Today 
Preschool Today is the Twitter account for NIEER. It helps put today’s early childhood education and care issues in the context of research, policy, and practice. In addition to sharing relevant resources from NIEER, it also retweets information from other national, state, and local early childhood sources.

Financial Forecasting

Cost Estimation Model (Office of Child Care, n.d.).
This online tool is designed to help state administrators determine costs of implementing all elements of a quality rating and improvement system and explore scale-up options. The tool can be used to estimate the cost per year of phasing in such a system, the cost of certain elements, or the overall cost of a fully implemented system. 

Demonstration of the Provider Cost of Quality Calculator (2015) (Office of Child Care, 2015).
The Provider Cost of Quality Calculator is a cost modeling tool that is designed to assist with calculating the costs associated with different aspects of services. The tool helps state policymakers understand the costs associated with delivering high-quality early care and education. The tool can demonstrate whether there is a gap between the cost of providing quality services and the revenue sources available to support a program.

Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018).
This study addresses the current financing of quality early care and education for children from birth through kindergarten age, provides a cost model to show the needed additional resources to achieve an accessible, affordable, quality early care and education system and provides principles and recommendations.

Professional Development System Cost Analysis Tool (Office of Child Care and the Office of Head Start, n.d.).
This tool is designed to help states and territories understand current investments and target resources for professional development systems and initiatives that result in a well-qualified early childhood and school-age workforce. The tool can help professional development system funders analyze and align investments with state or territory priorities and forecast budget needs to advance workforce goals.

The Cost Estimation Tool for EHS-CC Partnership Services (Office of Child Care, and Office of Head Start, n.d.).
The Cost Estimation Tool for Early Head Start–Child Care Partnerships is a cost modeling tool that is designed for Early Head Start grantees and their child care partners to determine the cost of services when participating in a partnership agreement. 

Financial Management

Financial Management Web page (Government Finance Officers Association, n.d.).
The Government Finance Officers Association provides resources, training, research, and consultation around financing issues related to managing and administering state finances.

Maximizing the Impact of Public Funding

Blending and Braiding Early Childhood Program Funding Streams Toolkit: Enhancing Financing for High-Quality Early Learning Programs (Margie Wallen and Angela Hubbard, 2013).
The Ounce of Prevention Fund supported the development of this toolkit, which lays out the foundation for blending and braiding funding at the program level. The toolkit provides best practices, resources, and examples.

Early Childhood Finance Toolkit: A Curated Resource to Support State Leaders in a Mixed Delivery System (Harriet Dichter, G. Weisenfeld, and Howard Morrison, 2021).
This resource provides guidance on how to create a more sustainable finance system across multiple early childhood programs.

Federal Recovery Funding Resources (Children’s Funding Project, n.d.).
This website provides guidance to state and community leaders about how to direct public COVID-19 relief funds toward children and youth.

Opportunities Exchange (Opportunities Exchange, n.d.).
Opportunities Exchange offers consulting support in finding ways to finance early childhood programs and services. The organization also supports the formation of shared-service alliances. The Opportunities Exchange website provides resources related to these goals.

“Policymakers Can Redesign the Early Childhood and Education System to Root Out Structural Racism” Urban Wire Blog Post(Urban Institute, 2021).
This blog post provides access to research, resources, and policy solutions for addressing racial inequities in early childhood and education systems.

“Fiscal Monitoring Studies (Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies, n.d.).
This comprehensive set of resources was developed to help state and community leaders better finance supports for young children and their families. It includes resources focused specifically on fiscal modeling.

Revenue Generation Strategies

Early Childhood Systems: Transforming Early Learning (Lynne Kagan and Kristie Kauerz, 2012).
This compendium of articles on governance looks at many issues, including revenue generation.

Extra Credit: How Louisiana is Improving Child Care (Nancy Duff Campbell, Joan Entmacher, Helen Blake, and Amy K. Matsui, 2015).
The National Women’s Law Center describes how Louisiana School Readiness Tax Credits have generated millions of dollars in new investments in child care quality. This report describes five separate credits that make up the package and quantifies resources.

Funding Our Future: Generating State and Local Tax Revenue for Quality Early Care and Education (BUILD Initiative, Center for American Progress, Children’s Funding Project, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, and University of Maryland, 2019). This resource offers state leaders funding ideas for increasing the revenue from state and local sources to support high-quality early care and education.

Making Care Less Taxing: Improving State Child and Dependent Care Tax Provisions (Nancy Duff Campbell, Amy K. Matsui, Julie G. Vogtman, and Anne W. King, 2011).
This report covers the 34 child and dependent care tax provisions in effect in 28 states in tax year 2010. The accompanying state report card, Making the Grade for Care, grades those state provisions. Annual update memos are available for tax years 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Tax Credits for Early Care and Education: Funding Strategy for a New Economy (Opportunities Exchange, 2011).
This issue brief from Opportunities Exchange examines an early childhood education financing strategy that thus far has not received the attention it deserves—the use of tax credits to raise the quality of services and to make high-quality early childhood education more available to low-income and working-poor families.

"The Potential and Limitations of Impact Bonds: Lessons from the First Five Years of Experience Worldwide" (Emily Gustafsson-Wright, Sophie Gardiner, and Vidya Putcha, 2015).
This study from the Brookings Institution offers an overview of impact bonds, including definitions of the concepts, key players, and structuring of impact-bond transactions; a comprehensive inventory of all 38 active social impact bonds (contracted as of March 1, 2015), as well as some of the social and development impact bonds in the development stage; and an inventory of key policy actions and legislation to support the impact-bond ecosystem. The report also includes analysis of the stakeholder motivations, key facilitating factors, and biggest challenges faced in the 38 social impact bond transactions; a critical examination of 10 positive claims made about impact bonds based on 5 years of experience worldwide; and an analysis of the potential of impact bonds and possible derivatives, with a particular focus on developing-country contexts. Impact bonds related to early childhood services are included in this document.

2016 Expiring Tax Credits (Oregon Legislative Revenue Office, 2015).
This legislative research report on tax credits in Oregon provides good background on the rationale for and actual use of several types of child care credits for both individual and corporate taxpayers (see pp 40–54).

Using Tax Credits to Promote High Quality Early Care and Education Services (Louise Stoney and Anne Mitchell, 2007).
This paper delves into the feasibility of using the market intervention of tax credits—linked to quality and accountability measures like a QRIS—to help promote, and partially finance, higher quality early care and education services. It includes examples of successful tax provisions used in other industries.