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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Children Youth and  Families
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
 Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education
 Financing ECE cover


This report from the Board on Children, Youth, and Families concludes that transforming the financing structure for early care and education to meet the needs of all children and families will require greater coordination among financing mechanisms, as well as significant mobilization of financing and other resources across the public and private sectors. The report offers specific recommendations for making early childhood education and care more affordable for families, linking funding to high quality-standards, and financing the transformation of the education and care workforce.

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Report Highlights: Summary of the main ideas in the report

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Activity Information


Type: Consensus Study

Topics: Children, Youth, and Families; Education, Workforce

Board: Board on Children, Youth, and Families



Staff Information

Sheila Moats, Co-Study Director
Emily Backes, Co-Study Director

Mary Ghitelman, Senior Program Assistant
Lesley Webb, Program Assistant



Committee Members

LaRue Allen, Chair
Celia C. Ayala
Daphna Bassok
Richard N. Brandon
Gerald M. Cutts
Kim Dancy
Elizabeth E. Davis
Harriet Dichter
Kathy Glazer
Lynn A. Karoly
Helen F. Ladd
Shayne Spaulding
Marcy Whitebook

Committee member biosketches




Administration for Children and
   Families, HHS

Alliance for Early Success 

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood

Foundation for Child Development

Heising-Simons Foundation

Kresge Foundation
U.S. Department of Education
W.K. Kellogg Foundation



For more information, contact:

Lesley Webb

Phone: (202) 334-1663

Mailing Address

Keck Center

500 Fifth Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001


Financing ECE Highlights cover final
 Issue Brief for Policymakers: A Vision for Financing Early Care and Education

Issue Brief for the Business Community: Supporting the Transformation

Issue Brief: Strengthening the Knowledge and Competencies of Early Care and Education Professionals

Transforming Early Childhood Care and Education: Highlights from Two Reports
Papers commissioned for the study

Scott Latham's Data Analysis from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education.

Helen Penn's Report for SOW on the Financing of Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe, and, in particular, on the Training and Remuneration of Childcare Workers and its Costs.
Meeting of Stakeholders Agenda
 - August 24, 2018

Report Release Webinar


About the study

An ad hoc committee under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine studied how to fund early care and education for children from birth to kindergarten entry that is accessible, affordable to families, and of high quality, including a well-qualified and adequately supported workforce consistent with the vision outlined in the report Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8.

The committee reviewed and synthesized the available research and analysis on the resources needed to meet the true costs of high quality early care and education, including resources for improving the quality, affordability and accessibility of higher education for the workforce; improving the quality and availability of professional learning during ongoing practice; and supporting well-qualified educators and administrators with adequate compensation through complete wage and benefit packages that are comparable across settings and children's ages. The committee usee available costing research, analyses, and tools to illustrate select aspects of the cost implications of the principles and frameworks for financing that they consider and recommend. It is not within the scope and funds of this study for the committee to carry out new comprehensive costing analyses of the approaches they consider or of their conclusions and recommendations.

To inform their primary analysis, the committee will gather information and review the available evidence on funding mechanisms across early care and education settings that are currently being employed successfully on a large scale as well as illustrative examples of funding mechanisms that are being employed on a smaller scale but have promise for expansion. The committee will also take into consideration lessons that can be drawn from financing of early care and education in other countries and from workforce development in sectors other than education.

The committee used the information gathered to explore the following questions:

1. In most states the cost of a high quality early learning program exceeds the cost of college tuition, making it unaffordable for most lower income families. What changes need to be made to the funding structure of the early care and education system in order to ensure that sufficient funds are available to support quality of care and early learning consistent with the science of child development?

2. What are the implications for families of varying levels of costs of early care and education relative to their income and how can a reasonable share for families be determined?

3. What funding mechanisms at the federal, state and local levels have been effective at creating a strong element of support for the workforce (i.e., higher education; ongoing professional learning system; compensation degree/credential attainment)?

4. What promising funding mechanisms at the federal, state, and local levels warrant further examination through a systematic approach to implementing and evaluating at scale?

5. What other workforce development considerations at the national, state, and local level affect the effective implementation of these funding mechanisms?

6. What frameworks or tools can support national, state, and local systems to develop funding mechanisms that are most likely to be effective in their contexts?

Committee Meetings

December 8, 2016 - First Committee Meeting in Washington, DC  

March 9-10, 2017 - Second Committee Meeting in Irvine, CA (CLOSED MEETING)

May 17, 2017 - Third Committee Meeting in Washington, DC - Public Session
Meeting Information | Agenda

July 13-14, 2017 - Fourth Committee Meeting in Washington, DC



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