Ensuring Quality Care for Low-Income Babies: Contracting Directly with Providers to Expand and Improve Infant and Toddler Care

Publication Date: July 2008

Publisher: Center for Law and Social Policy

Author(s): Hannah Matthews; Rachel Schumacher

Research Area: Social conditions

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The supply of high-quality infant and toddler child care is limited, particularly for low-income families. While most states provide child care assistance through vouchers or certificates, states have the option of contracting directly with providers to expand infant/toddler care for low-income families.

Based on interviews with state policymakers, this paper explains how states are using contracts to create or stabilize care in particular communities or for specific populations; to create child care slots meeting quality standards important for infants and toddlers; to extend the day for infants and toddlers served in Early Head Start; and to improve the quality of infant/toddler family child care.