Upcoming Changes to Early Care and Education Quality Funding Strategy

Dear Early Care and Education Program Partner,

Attached you can read a description of the upcoming changes to the funding for Delaware’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (Stars) based on the proposed fiscal year 2024 (FY24) state budget by clicking here.


What quality funding strategy do we have now? (current-June 2023): Programs rated at 3, 4, or 5 Stars under the Delaware Stars 5-star rating system receive tiered reimbursement for each enrolled child who uses Purchase of Care. Through tiered reimbursement, the Department of Education provides an additional daily reimbursement rate on top of the purchase of care rate, with the intention of helping to pay for higher quality care.

What quality funding strategy will we have in the future? (Beginning July 2024): Tiered reimbursement as a funding strategy will be replaced with Quality Improvement Awards, which will be available to all early childhood programs participating in Delaware’s new quality improvement system. These awards will not be tied to POC or enrolled children. They will instead be tied to each program’s quality improvement plan. The money must be used to carry out the action steps in that plan.

What is the transition plan? Fiscal year 2024 (FY24: July 2023-June 2024) will be a transition year, to ensure that programs receive the same level of funding as we transition from tiered reimbursement to quality improvement awards. During FY24, programs that have an active and approved quality improvement plan will be eligible to receive funding at the same level as the combination of POC and tiered reimbursement that they received during fiscal year 2023 (July 2022-June 2023).

What do I need to do for the transition year? You will work with a DIEEC quality improvement specialist to create a quality improvement plan for your program. More details about the quality improvement plan process will be shared at the newly added provider call on May 24th from 1:30pm-2:30pm and via follow-up email.

You can also hear this message from the Office of Early Learning Director, John Fisher-Klein, by clicking the “play button” on each of the PowerPoint slides attached by clicking here. Please email early.learning@doe.k12.de.us with your questions.

Thank you for your time!


Caitlin Gleason

My Child DE is a user-friendly website that brings together resources to help families, providers and other caretakers make informed choices for the children of Delaware. The goal of My Child DE is to help these groups feel welcome, informed and empowered to engage, learn and take the next steps needed to support children.