Federal Rule requires states and territories to conduct a child care market price study every two years. Tribes have the option of doing their own study or using that of the state within which they reside if the tribe's child care facilities are included in that state's market price survey. States are to ensure parents receiving child care subsidies access to all types of child care in their community. Price findings from the market rate survey are to inform the setting of maximum subsidy rates sufficient to ensure that access.
Reports on the market price survey and child care subsidy rate settings practices and policies of states, territories, and tribes capture practices and policies as of 2005 and 2006. Another report includes findings on a study of the likelihood of the practices and methods currently used to produce accurate price findings.
A critical component of market child care is price – what the small businesses that serve families charge for the care they give. Since 1990, Oregon has regularly studied prices charged in child care centers and family child care homes throughout Oregon. Individually, each study documents the prices at a given point in time. Together, these child care market price studies capture the dynamics of child care prices.
In Oregon, Arthur C. Emlen, Paul Koren, and Karen Tvedt of Portland State University conducted the first market price studies. With the 2000 study, market price research moved to the Family Policy Program at Oregon State University, where Deana Grobe is lead. The most recent study will be published in September 2010. Oregon has developed and tested a methodology for using child care resource and referral (R&R) data for the market price analysis. Findings from special sample and other surveys have confirmed the appropriateness of using this comprehensive and readily available data set. Deana Grobe, Roberta Weber, Clara Pratt, and Arthur C. Emlen produced a guidebook (PDF) describing the market price study methodology using Oregon R&R data.