Cost Modeling as a Tool to Improve Child Care Policy

October 2023 | Tags: Cost Modeling, Funding Strategy


In October 2023, CELFE’s executive director, Theresa Hawley, Ph.D., presented to people from shared services alliances from across the country on how cost models can be critical tool for early care and education financing.

Cost modeling has long been used in various business sectors to understand and address changing sector needs. This presentation showcases the use of cost modeling to calculate the cost of running an entire child care system, an individual program, or even the cost per child. Cost modeling has also been used by states to increase reimbursement rates, raise income eligibility guidelines, lower or cap family copayments, and even improve compensation for the early childhood workforce. CELFE explains how ECE cost models are built to answer critical questions that are relevant to these issues.


  • Theresa Hawley, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Early Learning Funding Equity