The Provider Cost of Quality Calculator is an online tool developed by APA and Anne Mitchell at the Alliance for Early Childhood Finance through a contract with the U.S. Office of Child Care’s National Center for Child Care Quality Improvement. The tool is designed to help states and providers understand the cost of operating centers or family child care homes at different levels of quality. In essence the tool helps answer the question: “What does it cost for different types or providers to operate a program at each level of quality in your QRIS?” The tool also includes details of revenue and can therefore demonstrate whether there is a gap between the cost of providing quality services and the revenue sources available to support such a program. Knowing the size of the gap at different quality levels for various provider types can inform the design of state financial support and incentive packages.
The PCQC builds on spreadsheets developed by Anne Mitchell. APA developed the web-based platform that makes this tool accessible to a wider audience and worked closely with Anne Mitchell, the National Center for Child Care Quality Improvement and a number of pilot states in order to refine the tool methodology, structure and design.
APA also authored two Issue Briefs, in partnership with Anne Mitchell and ICF International, that demonstrate how the PCQC can be used to answer policy questions. The issue briefs can be accessed here and here.