Rate Increase for Providers of Subsidized Early Education and Care
Dear Early Education and Care Provider,
The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) is pleased to inform you that the FY14 state budget approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Patrick provides a 2.3% rate increase for providers of state-subsidized early education and care, retroactive to July 1, 2013.
The FY14 budget included a reserve account to increase reimbursement rates for subsidized early education and care providers, subject to the availability of surplus funding from last year’s budget, as certified by the state Comptroller. This reimbursement rate increase is different from prior rate reserve appropriations in that it was predicated on the availability of surplus funding from the previous fiscal year. Historically, EEC’s rate increases were appropriated on July 1 and not subject to this certification process.
In November 2013, the state Comptroller confirmed the availability of $11.5M in surplus funds for an early education and care provider rate reserve, to be used for salaries, benefits and stipends for professional development, or programmatic quality improvements.
The proposed allocation of the rate increase for providers of subsidized early education and care was subject to approval of the Board of Early Education and Care, as mandated by law. The Board voted to approve the implementation of the rate reserve at their meeting on December 10, 2013. EEC immediately began implementation of the processes necessary to ensure timely, accurate delivery of the rate increase to all eligible providers.
As a result, voucher and contract provider billing rates will increase on March 1, 2014, and will be implemented starting with April 2014 payments. Providers will also receive a retroactive payment of the 2.3% increase for subsidized services provided between July 1, 2013 and February 28, 2014. This payment will be made to providers in April 2014. Family Child Care Systems will also receive an increase in their administration fee. The supportive add-on rate, transportation rate, and parent fees will not change under the rate increase.
If you have any questions about the rate increase, please contact your lead agency or Child Care Resource and Referral agency. If you have any questions about technical issues related to billing, please contact the EEC Help Desk at EECHelpDesk@massmail.state.ma.us.
Thank you for your service to the children and families of the Commonwealth.