Early Childhood Cost Modeling


Early childhood cost models allow stakeholders to understand the true costs of an early childhood system.  Cost estimation analyses take into account a range of factors that affect system costs, including:

  • Costs of child care at different quality levels and settings
  • Local cost drivers, such as salaries and operational costs
  • Characteristics of children participating in the system
  • Administrative and infrastructure costs
  • Implementation factors, such as doseage and fidelity to program design

Cost estimation projects also map current funding across a range of programs and domains, including child care, family supports and home visiting programs, and health and mental health care.

For more information about BRC’s work in this area, visit our Program Areas page.


Project Examples

Colorado Child Care Assistance Program Evaluation

The Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab at the University of Denver is evaluating the Colorado Department of Early Childhood's activities to strengthen and expand the early childhood sector in Colorado with the support of over $465 million in American Rescue Plan Act...

Toledo Pre-K Evaluation

Toledo, Ohio is engaged in a multi-year process to provide high-quality preschool to all children in Toledo. Brodsky Research is assisting with the evaluation and data component of the project. Andrew Brodsky has been involved in this process since late 2018, when a group of stakeholders in Toledo coalesced to bring preschool to the city. The project is currently in a demonstration phase, enrolling underserved children in high-quality providers in select neighborhoods in the city

Strengthening Colorado’s Early Childhood Workforce

BRC is partnering with the Butler Institute at the University of Denver to better understand the economic contribution of the child care sector, and to determine sustainable strategies for building a highly qualified workforce.

Colorado Early Investment Model

The Colorado Early Investment Model is the first interactive model to map costs and benefits of a state’s entire early childhood system. The model was commissioned by the Colorado Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) to help stakeholders better understand the scope of the state’s current EC system, and the costs associated with expanding the system.

Latest News

Colorado Preschool Development Grant Cost Evaluation and Needs Assessment

Colorado’s Preschool Development Grant (PDG) provides $33.5 million to support Colorado’s vision that all children are ready for school when entering kindergarten. Colorado Shines Brighter, the state’s PDG B-5 initiative, works to maximize the number of high-quality early care and education options available to families, especially families identified as vulnerable and underserved such as those living in rural areas, families of infants and toddlers, and families of children with special needs.

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Presentation at the Early Childhood Social Impact Performance Advisors Conference

Each year, the Annual Conference of the Early Childhood Social Impact Performance Advisors hosts one of the nation’s most dynamic conversations about the feasibility, research, and policy implications of Pay for Success programs. The conference is organized by the Institute for Child Success, Ready Nation, and Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah, with whom I partner as a Senior Research Fellow.

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Two Definitions of Child Care Quality

As I think about the conversations I heard about early childhood in the past year, I find people are usually speaking the same language.  At conferences, in journals, and in legislative chambers, those of us who live within the early childhood realm generally agree...

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The Five Warning Signs Of EAU (Evaluation As Usual)

Is your organization suffering from Evaluation As Usual (EAU)?  Symptoms of EAU include overly enthusiastic language about successes, wish-washy discussion of potentially negative results, and a general lack of objective and critical data analysis and discussion....

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What Programs Are Appropriate For Pay For Success?

In April I had the opportunity to participate in a panel on Pay For Success (PFS) programs at the annual Early Childhood Social Impact Performance Advisors Conference in San Diego.  Jointly sponsored by the Institute for Child Success and ReadyNation, the conference...

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