Magazine article Public Welfare

Dispatches from the States: Rhode Island

Magazine article Public Welfare

Dispatches from the States: Rhode Island

Article excerpt

In July 1997, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Almond announced significant enhancements to the state's child care program to ensure that quality care is universally available to all working families in the state.

As mandated in the 1998 state budget, reimbursement rates to providers who care for subsidized children will increase to become more competitive with local market rates by the year 2000. In addition, licensed home-based providers who care for the children of working families can now qualify for health and dental benefits through RIte Care, the state's health insurance program.

Rhode Island's innovative child care program is a national model. In addition to being the only state in which child care is guaranteed to working families, Rhode Island is now the only state to offer health and dental insurance to licensed home-based child care providers.

The state Department of Human Services (DHS) has approximately 6,400 children in subsidized care throughout the state. DHS analysts predict that demand could increase to 7,139 slots in 1998, 8,500 slots in 1999, and 10,200 slots in the year 2000. State officials are confident that the new benefits will motivate providers to open up additional slots for DHS children to meet this projected demand. …

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