Defining Funding Mechanisms and Tools

Cost Modeling


CELFE believes that to do transformative work to advance our early childhood education and care (ECEC) financing systems, we first need to understand the total costs of providing high-quality services. To do this, CELFE works with states and localities to build cost models that allow state and local administrators to understand the current cost of providing high-quality ECEC. Through cost modeling, we can also understand costs at higher levels of quality. By understanding the current cost of care in combination with the cost of care using higher quality levels, we can reimagine the cost of what is needed to better support high-quality services for our youngest learners.

CELFE’s cost modeling work is driven by extensive quantitative and qualitative data collection, analysis, and synthesis. See examples of our previous cost modeling work here.

August 2022

An Example from Our Work — Massachusetts Cost Estimation Study

Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care – Cost Estimation Study Final Report

An Example from Our Work — Illinois Cost Model

Illinois’ Governor’s Early Childhood Funding Commission – Illinois Cost Model for Early Childhood Education and Care Services (February 2021)

Cost Modeling Technical Network

In addition to working with individual states and localities, learn more about our work to create a community of practice for cost modeling technicians and practitioners.