The Mississippi Child Care Quality Step System is designed to provide incentives to improve the quality of existing early childhood education and after-school programs and provide Mississippi children the skills necessary for success in school. This system allows licensed programs that choose to participate to receive monetary rewards (quality bonuses over and above the current Child Care Development Fund voucher reimbursement level) for meeting certain criteria.
This system would reward improvements in:
· Administrative Policy
· Professional Development
· Learning Environments
· Parent Involvement
Child care facilities may receive voucher bonuses for meeting criteria according to the following steps:
Step #1 = No voucher increase
Step #2 = 7% increase
Step #3 = 10% increase
Step #4 = 5% increase
Step #5 = 3% increase
These steps are cumulative. In other words, a facility achieving Step #5 would receive a total 25% per-voucher increase.
The Mississippi Child Care Quality Step System is currently in a pilot phase. The 2008 plan calls for implementation in 29 counties. The funding requested for 2008-2009 would continue this implementation; this funding would avoid reduction of the number of vouchers provided to eligible children to attend a child care program.