Delaware Purchase of Care Program


  • Pay Increases


In June 2022, Delaware’s Joint Finance Committee voted to add $20.07 million to Delaware’s Purchase of Care program (POC), which is the state’s subsidy for child care for low-income families. This investment includes a 15 percent increase to the rates paid to child care providers who accept POC. The funds for POC will be ongoing and included in the operating budget, rather than contingent or one-time funding. Furthermore, House Bill 377, signed by Governor John Carney in October 2022, establishes that the Delaware Department of Education will conduct an annual study on early education professionals to further develop a plan to support the workforce.

Sources: First State Pre-K. (June 2022). Early Child Care Budget Update

Rodel. (July 2022). The Education GA Ride Again.

Delaware General Assembly. (October 2022). House Substitute 1 for House Bill 377.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

The early education workforce is the foundation upon which all daily work and any expansion and quality improvement efforts rest. Research suggests that states and cities should invest in the workforce across all early education setting types, focusing on enhancing educators’ professional learning, compensation, and workplace conditions.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:

  • Early educators play a critical role in supporting the well-being of young children and families across setting types.
  • Yet their pay, benefits, and other professional supports are often inadequate in light of the job demands and their cost of living.
Learn more about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Delaware

Context matters. Visit the Delaware profile page to learn more about its demographics, political landscape, early education programs, early education workforce, and funding sources and streams.

Visit the Delaware Profile Here:
  • The state population is 1,018,396
  • The number of children age 0-4 is 53,501
  • The rural percentage is 17.4%