CCCAP: Rate and Paid Absences Increase

The Need 

Public funding programs like The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) are typically reimbursed at rates that do not reflect the true cost of care, making it challenging for providers to participate in CCCAP. This, in turn, decreases CCCAP families’ access to affordable quality care. 

CCCAP providers may experience further financial challenges because the program has historically paid providers based on a child’s daily attendance, rather than a child’s enrollment. Without a consistent payment model, unique situations as significant as closures during the pandemic or as small as a week-long absence for family reasons can impact the overall stability of a provider’s business. This lack of certainty is a barrier to provider participation in CCCAP. 

The Strategy

CDEC executed two strategies to increase CCCAP providers’ financial stability. First, the activity increased the daily reimbursement rate providers are paid to care for children enrolled in a CCCAP-funded program. Second, this activity increased the number of monthly absences reimbursed — in other words, the times per month a child care provider is reimbursed for an enrolled CCCAP child who is not in attendance. 

Effective July 1, 2022, counties were required by the State to reimburse no fewer than three absences per month to CCCAP child care providers at Colorado Shines Quality Levels 1-2 and no fewer than four absences per month at Quality Levels 3-5. 

Effective October 1, 2022, CDEC increased provider daily reimbursement rates based on the results of the 2022 Market Rate Survey

Key Outcomes and Learnings

Aligning payment practices for CCCAP with practices used by providers for children not receiving subsidies helps to address known financial barriers for CCCAP providers. 

Increasing financial stability for child care providers supports those currently serving families eligible for CCCAP and can increase the number of providers willing to participate in CCCAP. Ultimately, this preserves choice in providers for families participating in CCCAP.

green gear labeled access and quality


Amount: $57,307,274 


  • American Rescue Plan Discretionary 
  • Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) 

Expiration: September 30, 2024

Next Steps

CDEC continues to pursue strategies to increase CCCAP providers' financial stability. As covered in the Alternate Methodology Rate Setting strategy, CDEC is working to align CCCAP rates with the true cost of providing quality child care. This strategy is intended to help to sustain and rebuild the industry by better covering actual program costs, as well as increasing access to quality child care environments for CCCAP families and children.


Evidence Brief

"CCCAP Increased Absence Payments for Preschoolers, CCCAP Enrollment-Based Payments for Infants/Toddlers, and CCCAP Reimbursement Rate Increase for Child Care Providers" 

Brodsky Research and Consulting

(September 2023)