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RI child care centers see increase in state reimbursement rates

DHS Applies Increased Tiered Reimbursement Rates for Child Care Centers 

As state agencies begin implementing a wide range of strategic policy updates and initiatives contained within the State’s enacted SFY 23 budget, the RI Department of Human Services (DHS) has applied the increased tiered reimbursement rates for child care center providers on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

“The increased reimbursement rates for child care center providers were made possible by a strong commitment from Governor McKee, the General Assembly, community advocates, and other champions. These rate increases will help to sustain high-quality programs and strengthen the sector,” said DHS Acting Director Yvette M. Mendez. “These enhanced rates are an investment in Rhode Island’s families, children and businesses.”

Reimbursement rates are impacted by a provider’s BrightStars rating, the child’s age (also called the child’s age category), and the amount of time care is provided. Across each age category, center providers will benefit from an increase in reimbursement rates. 

The new reimbursement rates represent an approximate 13 percent raise for child care center providers. Updated rates were highest for children in the school age category, represented by an approximate 20 percent increase. Rates for children determined to be in infant/toddler care or pre-school care represented an approximate increase of 8.9 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively. 

In 2021, DHS issued $56 million in total Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) reimbursements to approximately 517 child care center and family child care providers. These providers collectively served an average of 5,629 children in Rhode Island who received CCAP benefits in FY 2022. CCAP administrators anticipate the increased rates will result in a higher total payout for CCAP providers than was reported in 2021. 

The increased rates for centers reflects the urgency of supporting providers, who have also received financial assistance through the Reinvigorate Child Care Stabilization Grants and Early Educator Pandemic Retention Bonuses in 2021 and 2022. 

Rate increases must be passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor. 

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