Many programs struggle with financial sustainability, and may require parents to pay for care even if licensed early learning and child care programs are closed. Will ECE subsidize parent fees so that licensed programs do not have to charge parents?
ECE is continuing to pay Early Childhood Program (ECP) funding to licensed early learning and child care programs, regardless of whether a program remains open or closed during the pandemic. As this funding is attendance-based, ECE is processing payments based on the previous fiscal quarter’s payment or the current actuals, whichever is higher.
In addition to continued regular funding, ECE recently announced additional support for licensed early learning and child care programs.
ECE is discouraging programs from requiring parents who are not currently accessing child care services to pay to hold their spaces, given that regular ECP funding continues to be provided to both closed and open programs, along with these new additional subsidies for fixed costs.
That said, programs may choose to continue charging parent fees, regardless of whether families have access to the services; this will vary depending on the individual program and policies. ECE is encouraging programs to provide the services they are charging for.