Cost of Quality Study

Transcript

1 THE COST OF Quality ARE STUD Y: CHILD C A COMMUNITY RELEASE & ATIONS RECOMMEND April 2017 Pr epar ed By: Anne Mitc hell, Pr esident of Early Childhood P y Researc h in olic collabor ation with Workf orce Solutions for Tarr ant County and Workf orce Solutions Gr eater Dallas County

2 Inside Front Cover

3 Acknowledgments A special thanks to:  The partnership with Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas  Child Care Associates for their assistance with data collection and development of recommendations  Rhonda Rakow, Provider Services Manager at ChildCareGroup  ChildCareGroup for shared research and data collection  Stephania Whitehurst, Executive Administrator for Quality Early Learning (CCMS) and staff  Especially to the child care providers that shared their budgets and financial information that were critical to this report  Tarrant County Workforce Board, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley and Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams for their vision and ongoing support of quality child care for all working parents.

4 Introduction in regulation. Nonpersonnel costs are Many states and some cities and counties typically 20-40% of total costs. Revenues have undertaken cost of quality studies are from public child care subsidy or as Quality Rating and Improvement private tuition, participation in the federal Systems (QRIS) have spread throughout food and nutrition program (CACFP) and the country. The Provider Cost of Quality in some cases fundraising or donations Calculator (PCQC) is an online tool to such as free/reduced rent. Costs related support these efforts; it was developed for to participation in Texas Rising Star (TRS) the federal Office of Child Care to estimate 2 were determined initially by a group of costs of quality under differing conditions. well-informed providers and others in The Texas cost of quality study involves 2 October 2015 and reviewed after changes counties: Tarrant and Dallas. to TRS took effect in October 2016. Their conclusion was that TRS standards contain The intent of the Fort Worth-Dallas Cost few absolute cost drivers. It is possible to of Quality Study is to establish a true cost reach TRS Four Star Certification without of quality for the area (Tarrant and Dallas earning points for teacher qualifications Counties), specifically the cost of operating or group size reductions. TRS provides a facility utilizing the Texas Workforce ample support to providers for the costs Commission’s Texas Rising Star Quality of improving learning environments, both Rating Assessment. The primary goal is to in classrooms and outdoors, and tailored estimate the cost of quality care, defined assistance through the mentoring programs at each level of Texas Rising Star, in each of each county. county in centers which participate in the federal child care subsidy program. How the expenses and revenues were determined for the Tarrant- What are the costs in ECE programs? Dallas Cost of Quality Study Early care and education (ECE) is a labor-intensive business. The primary Some of the necessary data to estimate 2 For more information and to set up an account, see costs are for personnel, primarily teaching provider costs are readily available: salaries, https://www.ecequalitycalculator.com. The calculator staff. Staffing levels by age of child are set mandatory payroll taxes, child care subsidy is free and open to anyone. Characteristics of Child Care Provider Sample (by county) Tarrant County (12 Centers) CCS Enrollment Range of in Tarrant County 4 centers 3 5 centers centers Small – 55% 7% Medium (11 Centers) Dallas County CCS Enrollment Range of Large centers 3 centers 4 centers 4 in Dallas County – 11% 100% Tarrant County Dallas County (12 Centers) (11 Centers) Not-for-profit in Tarrant County Star 4 Star 3 2 Star 2 Not-for-profit in Dallas County No Star 6 Page 1

5 Personnel expenses for salaries are from rates, typical private tuition rates. Other EMSI, a company that compiles workforce data (non-personnel expenses, paid leave data from multiple sources. Benefits or other benefits, confirmation of typical information is from data collected from salaries) are not. These are best collected providers. Nonpersonnel expenses are from willing providers in each county, with based on the data collected from providers. confidentiality essential and assured. Successes and Challenges Number of Children per Staff The study leaders determined that a mailed or emailed survey would not be effective. Data would need to be collected in a face- to-face interview, with a known trusted person, e.g., mentors and others. The team was successful in getting cooperation from almost 2 dozen providers. The goal was to reach a range of types and sizes of providers, not a representative sample, or a sample large enough to statistically represent either county. There are challenges to getting complete data, e.g., some providers do not know Infants (0-17 months) Toddlers (18-23 months) certain items, or their bookkeeping system can’t breakout a cost, or the provider does not want to reveal a particular expense item. Not all centers have a given expense, e.g. some church supported centers do not pay rent, or may only pay a portion of utilities in lieu of rent, some centers do not serve meals, etc. After much effort on the part of mentors, and a high degree of cooperation from many providers in both counties, data were assembled for centers in each county, representing a range of sizes, TRS levels and both non-profit and for-profit status. Twos (24-36 months) Threes Data for the PCQC We used the typical age ranges, group sizes and staffing ratios required in Texas regulations. Age of Children Group Size Infants (0-17 months) 10 Toddlers (18-23 months) 18 Twos (24-36 months) 22 30 Threes Fours and Fives 35 Fours and FIves Page 2

6 Expenses: Salaries The PCQC uses a set of common staff positions (director, assistant director/ education coordinator, teacher, assistant teacher, administrative assistant) and provides guidance on mean annual salaries for each position by state, using the most recent available data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and each 3 state’s minimum wage. Data from the provider sample indicated that most centers employed either an Assistant Director or an Administrative Assistant, but not both. Thus the Assistant Director position was included in the staffing pattern; the administrative assistant was not. Salary data for jurisdictions within a state can come from regional data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics or other 3 sources, if these are deemed more accurate. The federal minimum wage applies in Texas; it is $7.25 per hour. The Tarrant and Dallas salary data come Tarrant County 3 STAR BLS Occupation Position Title No TRS & 2 STAR 4 STAR Rate Median 25th Percentile 75th Percentile in PCQC Title and Code 50th Percentile Education Annual $48,797 $33,093 $68,723 Administrators, Preschool and Director Child Care Center/Program Hourly $15.91 $23.46 $33.04 (11-9031) Education Annual $48,106 $34,158 $23,165 Administrators, Preschool and Assistant Director Child Care Center/Program Hourly $23.13 $11.14 $16.42 (11-9031) @ 70% Annual $29,390 $24,149 $20,301 Preschool Teachers, Except Classroom Teacher Special Education (25-2011) Hourly $9.76 $11.61 $14.13 Annual $16,661 $20,904 $18,470 Childcare Assistant Teacher Workers (39-9011) Hourly $8.01 $8.88 $10.05 The EMSI data at the 25%ile for Tarrant County is fairly consistent with the salaries reported in the Tarrant provider sample for all positions. Page 3

7 Dallas County 3 STAR BLS Occupation Position Title No TRS & 2 STAR 4 STAR Rate Median 75th Percentile 25th Percentile Title and Code in PCQC 50th Percentile Education Annual $27,310 $49,046 $35,922 Administrators, Preschool and Director Child Care Center/Program Hourly $17.27 $23.58 $13.13 (11-9031) Education Annual $25,145 $19,117 $34,332 Administrators, Preschool and Assistant Director Child Care Center/Program Hourly $16.51 $9.19 $12.09 (11-9031) @ 70% 6 Annual $36,858 $53,518 $26,187 Preschool Teachers, Except Classroom Teacher Special Education (25-2011) Hourly $12.59 $25.73 $17.72 Annual $16,598 $18,678 $15,288 Childcare Workers Assistant Teacher (39-9011) Hourly $8.98 $7.35 $7.98 The EMSI data at the 25%ile for Dallas County is fairly consistent with the average salaries reported in the Dallas provider sample. The exception is that directors and assistant teachers’ salaries in the Dallas provider sample are somewhat higher than those in the EMSI data for the category No TRS & 2 Star. from EMSI which is “an economic software Maximum Typical rate company specializing in labor market Employment basis for tax for child care information analysis and employment data Rate Tax (annual wages) business to help students, colleges and businesses 4 Since in making data driven decisions.” data are not available from any source on $9,000 3% Minimum Tax Rate for salaries based on TRS quality levels, the 2016 is 0.45 percent. Unemployment team decided to construct a salary matrix 7 Insurance Maximum Tax Rate for by position and TRS level using the salary 2016 is 7.47 percent. data from EMSI by quartile. These salaries 5 by TRS level were used in the PCQC. Disability 4 None required For more on EMSI, see http://www.economicmodeling. Insurance com/workforce-development 5 EMSI Q2 2015 Data Set www.economicmodeling.com Workers’ 6 To be consistent with Tarrant, the same approach to None required Compensation assign salaries by TRS level was applied in Dallas, even though EMSI data at the 3 Star and 4 Star levels show the teacher makes more than the director. The explanation for the high teacher salaries in the EMSI data for Dallas, especially those at the 75%ile, may be that there are a lot of public-school preschool teachers in the EMSI data (and also BLS data, on which it draws). 7 http://www.twc.state.tx.us/businesses/your-tax- rates#effectiveTaxRate Page 4

8 the nonpersonnel defaults to Tarrant and Expenses: Employment Benefits Dallas provider sample. The PCQC automatically includes mandatory taxes for federal benefits (the Social Security and Medicare taxes). Revenue Typical mandatory state taxes and the The two major sources of revenue are mandatory employment taxes for Texas public child care subsidy (CCS) and private are shown here. tuition. CCS uses base rates and increased The PCQC automatically includes 40 (tiered) rates by TRS level. The CCS base hours of paid leave per staff member. rates and tiers differ between the two Other benefits can be added if the cost counties; Tarrant rates are consistently per employee is known for each benefit. higher than Dallas rates. Not all providers in the samples reported benefits or their costs. An amount of $500 per year per employee was used as a placeholder for the cost of other employer-provided benefits. Expenses: Nonpersonnel The PCQC provides default values for administrative, educational and occupancy expenses based on data from several states. These expenses are calculated either per child, per classroom or per provider. The default values were changed to reflect the data from Tarrant and Dallas providers. There were not significant differences between the counties except for a few items. See Appendix for chart comparing Tarrant County: Child Care Subsidy Rates Licensed Three Star Four Star Two Star Weekly Full Day Full Day Full Day Weekly Full Day Weekly Weekly Infants $33.34 $29.50 $147.50 $31.57 $157.85 $32.45 $162.25 $166.70 (0-17 months) Toddlers $142.50 $30.50 $152.50 $31.35 $156.75 $32.21 $161.05 $28.50 (18-35 months) Preschoolers $141.25 $25.00 $125.00 $26.75 $133.75 $27.50 $137.50 $28.25 (3-5 years) Dallas County: Child Care Subsidy Rates Licensed Two Star Three Star Four Star Full Day Weekly Full Day Weekly Full Day Weekly Full Day Weekly Infants $26.15 $130.75 $29.00 $145.00 $30.50 $152.50 $31.50 $157.50 (0-17 months) Toddlers $24.00 $120.00 $25.20 $126.00 $26.50 $132.50 $28.50 $142.50 (18-35 months) Preschoolers $130.00 $26.00 $22.00 $110.00 $23.50 $117.50 $24.50 $122.50 (3-5 years) Page 5

9 Tarrant County: Annual and Weekly Private Tuition Preschool Toddler Toddler Infant Weekly Infant Preschool Weekly Weekly 50th Percentile $147.60 $7,150.00 $137.50 $6,882.00 $7,675.00 $132.35 60th Percentile $7,464.60 $138.19 $8,008.00 $7,186.00 $143.55 $154.00 70th Percentile $164.60 $153.75 $7,709.00 $148.25 $8,559.20 $7,995.00 75th Percentile $170.60 $8,299.20 $159.60 $8,005.00 $153.94 $8,871.20 Dallas County: Annual and Weekly Private Tuition Toddler Preschool Preschool Toddler Infant Weekly Infant Weekly Weekly 50th Percentile $6,929.00 $133.25 $6,406.00 $123.19 $6,126.00 $117.81 60th Percentile $7,238.00 $123.19 $6,406.00 $123.81 $6,438.00 $139.19 70th Percentile $149.56 $7,215.00 $138.75 $6,913.00 $132.94 $7,777.00 75th Percentile $7,511.00 $155.44 $8,083.00 $138.56 $7,205.00 $144.44 Private tuition also varies by county. The most recent Market Rate Survey (2015) was used to determine rates in each county. Tarrant rates are consistently higher than Dallas rates. It is reasonable to assume that tuition rates will be higher for higher rated centers. Private tuition rates used in the PCQC for each level of TRS are: • Licensed/Unrated = 50th percentile • 2 STAR = 60th percentile • 3 STAR = 70th percentile • 4 STAR = 75th percentile A third revenue source, for centers that provide food, is the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) which supports food and nutrition in child care programs. All not-for-profit centers are the child’s family. Higher rates are paid for eligible to participate in the CACFP; any lower-income children: free, reduced, or proprietary (for-profit) center that enrolls paid rates are used, similar to the school at least 25% low-income children is also lunch program. In the PCQC, this revenue eligible. Reimbursement rates are based source is built in and can be easily included on the type of meal (breakfast, lunch, or excluded. dinner or snack) and the income level of Page 6

10 Results: Cost of Quality by TRS Levels The PCQC produces an annual revenue and expense statement for a center of a particular size and quality level, with the net annual revenue expressed in dollars and Ta ve l rrant Net Annual Rev enue by Star Le as a percentage. Net annual revenue is a ) (85% Enrollment, 5% Debt common measure of financial sustainability; a healthy net annual revenue range is considered to be 5-7% of total 40% annual revenue. 30% To concentrate on the impact of quality 30% levels (rather than effects of size, age mix or 27% 27% revenue sources), we used a typical center. 20% Based on the provider samples, a typical 21% center in either county has 7 classrooms and 10% serves all ages of children. In each scenario presented below, there is one room each of infants, toddlers and twos plus two 0% 3-year-old rooms and two 4-year-old rooms. $299,616 $266,034 $329,184 $356,643 The center has 50% subsidy enrollment, 50% private tuition and participates in the CACFP. Assuming typical (US average) Star 4 Star 3 Unrated Star 2 enrollment efficiency (defined as actual to desired/staffed enrollment) of 85%, and debt collection efficiency, defined as the percent of revenue that is uncollectible (bad debt) of 5%, the financial sustainability at each TRS Level looks like this. The two charts to the right indicate that centers at all TRS levels are financially sustainable, well above the 5-7% threshold, l ve Dallas Net Annual Rev enue by Star Le with the Star 4 center in Dallas just making it into the profitable range at 6%. Those ) (85% Enrollment, 5% Debt in Tarrant County are overall somewhat better off than those in Dallas County. 25% Considering sustainability for higher quality 20% 23% centers, these charts show that Star 2 is better off than an unrated center (in both 19% 17% 15% counties), but that Star 3 & 4 are less profitable, especially the Star 4 center in 10% Dallas County. Basically, the market offers little (financial) incentive to move 5% beyond Star 2. 6% 0% The Typical Center with Lower $192,380 $72,819 $194,981 $239,933 Efficiency If instead of national averages, we use the Unrated Star 2 Star 3 Star 4 averages for enrollment efficiency (70%) and efficient debt collections (10%) that were reported in the county provider samples, the situation looks very different in terms of sustainability. (Note that all Page 7

11 other characteristics of the typical center remain the same: 7 classrooms, all ages, 50% enue by Star Le ounty: Net Annual Rev rrant C Ta ve l subsidy enrollment, 50% private tuition and (70% Enrollment, 10% Debt ) participating in the CACFP.) 12% This second set of charts to the right 10% 11% indicates that only centers in Tarrant 8% County up to TRS Star 3 are financially healthy, with Star 2 better off than Star 6% 7% 7% 3. The Star 4 center in Tarrant is not 4% sustainable at all. 2% All of the centers in Dallas County, at all ($6,633) TRS levels, are financially unsustainable. 0% -1% Clearly, enrollment efficiency and effective $65,754 $100,658 $57,805 -2% debt collection matter: when centers do better on these key financial measures, Star 4 Star 3 Star 2 Unrated they can be financially healthy. The recent changes to CCS policy to base payment on enrollment (rather than attendance) may help for that part of enrollment efficiency unty: Net Annual Rev l Dallas Co ve enue by Star Le and bad debt that are related to CCS, but (70% Enrollment, 10% Debt) those changes cannot affect the part that 5% may be due to private tuition. ($46,576) ($20,462) ($177,407) $100,658 2% 0% Are efficient centers financially -3% $14,609 -5% -5% sustainable without 4-year-olds? As more school districts offer preschool -10% programs tuition-free to families, a concern that has been raised is the financial -15% 8 The sustainability of child care centers. -19% effect of having no 4-year-old classrooms -20% is shown in this chart, using the typical -25% 8 For a full discussion of these issues, see The Impact of Star 4 Star 3 Unrated Star 2 Universal Pre-K on Child Care Providers in Fort Worth Independent School District (2014) enue Ta rrant Net Annual Rev enue Dallas Net Annual Rev l ear-o ear-o l ve lds by Star Le without 4-y without 4-y lds by Star Le ve (85% Enrollment, 5% Debt) (85% Enrollment, 5% Debt) 20% 30% 20% 10% 12% 22% 9% 19% 18 % 6% 10% 0% 11% -7% 0% -10% Star 4 Star 3 Star 2 Unrated Page 8

12 center, with good efficiency. The center Support of the operating cost of has 7 classrooms (one infant room, two sustaining quality toddler rooms, two 2-year-old rooms and Supporting the operating cost of sustaining two 3-year-old rooms), has 50% subsidy quality, once achieved, is essential. The enrollment, 50% private tuition and is major (or only?) current public support participating in the CACFP. for operating costs is the CCS tiered rates. The tiers in use seem to support the Star Perhaps surprisingly, efficient centers appear 2 centers well. The Star 3 and Star 4 need to be able to operate sustainably without higher rates to be in the sustainable range, 4-year-olds. The pattern is similar to especially in Dallas County. One of the previous scenarios, with center sustainability ways to use the PCQC is to inform subsidy greater at lower TRS levels and Tarrant policy on rate increases. centers better off than Dallas centers. The explanation for the minimal effect of not Encourage centers to use net enrolling 4-year-olds may lie with Texas 9 ratios and group sizes. The typical center annual revenue in excess of 10% to with 7 classrooms serving all ages can increase compensation potentially enroll 180 children; if the seven Centers with 10% net annual revenue classrooms are all for children under age are financially healthy. A reasonable four, the center can potentially enroll 150 assumption is that to attract and retain children. Centers operating at Texas group better performing teaching staff, and sizes appear to be able to sustain the loss advance in TRS, higher-rated providers of one age group. will need to pay higher salaries than lower-rated providers. The Star 2 center in Tarrant County is comfortably financially Discussion of sustainable at 30% net annual revenue (and at 23% in Dallas County). What can Findings and a Star 2 center in Tarrant County afford to Implications devote to increasing compensation? Conservatively maintaining its financial Clearly, high quality child care costs more sustainability at 10%, the center could than basic regulated child care. The efforts direct ‘excess annual revenue’ (above of the Tarrant and Dallas County team have 10%) to salary increases. To determine quantified the cost differences by TRS level how much salaries might be raised, take and for each county, as discussed above. our typical center that has 15 teaching The major conclusion is that while some staff and 2 administrators. The Star 2 centers are financially sustainable, there center in Tarrant County could allocate is little or no financial incentive to move 2/3 of its net revenue (about $236,000) beyond operating at Star 2. to compensation. Divided equally among 15 teaching staff and 2 administrators and Quantify the value of the quality deducting for employer payroll taxes, each improvement efforts that are employee could receive a raise of almost provided to centers in TRS $12,000. Or the amount could be split between salary increases and additional In addition to ongoing operating costs, benefits such as retirement contributions, there are initial costs to improve quality. life insurance, and health insurance. These quality improvement supports are provided at no cost to centers in TRS. An important consideration is that some They include materials and equipment, 9 center staff may currently earn salaries no-cost professional development, on-site Group sizes in Texas are large compared to other that make them and their families eligible mentoring and other valuable provisions. jurisdictions. However private tuition rates and CCS rates are in the mid-range compared to per child Centers are well-supported on the cost of for public benefits, such as food (SNAP, other states across the nation. Thus revenue generated improving child care. Consider issuing an the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance per classroom in Texas is much higher than revenue annual statement to each center delineating Program), healthcare (Medicaid), or generated per classroom in states with similar tuition/ the items it has received and their value. subsidy rates and much smaller group sizes. subsidized housing. The value of these Page 9

13 public benefits must be factored into any Conclusion compensation calculation to assure that any loss of public benefits can be offset by the The Fort Worth-Dallas Cost of Quality Study has met its initial objective to compensation increase. estimate the cost of quality care, defined at each level of Texas Rising Star, in each county in centers which participate in the federal child care subsidy Collect financial data from all program. The study process demonstrated methods that work to engage providers that participate in CCS to providers and revealed more questions to be investigated. develop a deeper understanding of the costs of operations. Appendix While this study has benefited greatly from the data shared by providers in both Provider Cost of Quality Calculator Data counties; the samples are small and may or may not be representative. More data Nonpersonnel Cost Drivers - Centers can only improve understanding of the PCQC Dallas Tarrant actual cost of operating child care centers. Default County Data County Data A reasonable approach is to create a Values simplified revenue and expense template and ask all centers to provide information Annual per-child costs: in the template or submit an actual end of $1,000 $659 $653 Food & Food Prep year R&E statement (whichever is easier). Protect confidentiality of this information. $50 $43 $59 Kitchen Supplies Focus on factors that affect sustainability. $50 $54 $143 Education Supplies • What is a typical bad debt ratio in $48 Education Equipment $100 $46 these counties? What proportion of bad debt is related to private Office Supplies $52 $76 $30 pay families versus to CCS $22 Office equipment $53 $45 reimbursements? Insurance (liability, accident, etc.) $257 $96 $75 • What is typical enrollment efficiency? In what ways are centers with higher $24 $10 $17 Postage enrollment efficiency different from $25 $35 Advertising $66 those with lower efficiency? Are there effective practices that can be Miscellaneous $25 $69 $15 shared/implemented? Per-classroom costs: • Does financial sustainability vary by size of center? Or by location or 1,086 1,280 1,339 Square feet/classroom neighborhood? Or by quality level or These costs are per square foot other factors? Rent /Lease $11.51 $10.78 $13.65 • Does compensation in fact vary $5.44 $2.19 $3.40 Utilities with quality level of center? Is either center size or auspice a factor in $1.34 $0.00 $0.00 Building Insurance compensation? $2.97 Maintenance/Repair/Cleaning $4.02 $2.85 • What employment benefits are provided for center staff? Which Annual per-staff costs: are used? What is the total cost of each benefit? What is the employer/ $200 $200 $200 Consultants/Training employee share of the costs? Annual per-site costs: • Do center’s tuition rates for private pay families vary by center quality $1,440 Telephone & Internet $4,955 $4,952 level, or by other factors? $2,295 $3,000 Audit $2,706 • What are the actual expenses Fees/Permits $500 $3,703 $1,573 incurred by centers preparing to move up in TRS? $5,227 $127 Miscellaneous Page 10

14 last inside page

15 Inside Back Cover

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