Spotlight on Early Childhood Cost and Finance

Preschool teacher playing blocks with young students

AIR’s early childhood cost and finance team informs state decisions about the true cost of high-quality early care and education, the systems that support it, and revenue sources that can fund it. Our work has focused on childcare subsidies, different preschool models, and support for birth-to-five children with special needs. Our research on subsidy policies across states and in other industries offers a deep bank of information about policy innovations and nuance that can support states in refining policies to support children, families, and the broader economy.

Collaboration and Transparency

Our research and dissemination efforts are rooted in collaboration and transparency, which are crucial principles for addressing historical inequities in early childhood education.

  • We collaborate with federal, state, and local partners alongside other research entities and community groups to conduct rigorous cost studies that can inform strategic policy recommendations.
  • We collaborate with professional colleagues and other leaders in this area through federal research collaboratives and other work groups to share knowledge and keep up-to-date on policies and best practices in methodology.
  • We partner closely with states, local communities, childcare providers, and other affected community members to gather comprehensive data and meaningfully convey research findings. While engagement with local partners allows us to understand the nuance of proposed policy changes and their impact more fully on children and families, we are also committed to ensuring all affected community members fully understand the research findings that inform policy changes.