In 2008, the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation created the Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program, a pilot program to provide families with scholarships to cover the cost of high-quality early childhood education (ECE) programs. Although there is a large body of research about the benefits of preschool specifically and early learning programs more generally, there is little research that clearly identifies the cost components of ECE programs. This report provides detailed cost data for a sample of 12 ECE programs participating in the scholarship program. It also provides data on the extent of services, program features, and characteristics of children served at the different types of ECE programs participating in the Saint Paul Early Childhood Scholarship Program and the sources and amounts of funds used to pay for children attending the programs. On a per-hour per-child basis, the 12 sampled ECE programs' costs ranged from $3.47 to $19.06.
This research was sponsored by the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation through a subcontract with SRI International, and was undertaken within RAND Labor and Population.
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