Using contract-based financing mechanisms to meet child care goals is of increasing interest to policymakers and stakeholders seeking to address key issues and inequities in the child care system, including how to address the major challenges facing the child care/early care and education (CC/ECE) workforce. However, relatively little is known about different ways to use contract-financing mechanisms, their strengths and weaknesses, and which strategies can work best to accomplish different goals. Based on a literature review and convening of 26 experts, this report provides an overview of different ways states can design contracts to support the CC/ECE workforce to meet different goals. The new federal pandemic-relief child care investments provide policymakers and stakeholders with a unique opportunity to move quickly to design and implement contract-based strategies to support the workforce. The report first provides background information on the issues facing the CC/ECE workforce, defines contract-based financing mechanisms, and lists questions policymakers may want to consider as they weigh different options. It then focuses on ways to approach contracts to support the CC/ECE workforce and provides suggestions from the convening. (author abstract)
Using contracts to support the child care workforce: Thinking outside the box
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