Child Care Subsidy

Child Care Assistance for Working Families

Child care makes it possible for parents to go to work and support their families. But for many, the price of child care puts safe, high-quality child care out of reach and deeply strains family budgets. Through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the federal government supports states in helping families with the cost of care. Eligible families can participate in their state subsidy program, which helps- if they can find a participating provider and if the amount is enough for the going rate of child care in the area.

ECEC is concerned about the current subsidy system. Subsidy rates in many states are far below the cost of providing child care, making it difficult (and in some cases impossible) for families to access child care and for providers to make business ends meet.

Congress and the states can help eligible families afford care that offers them peace of mind while they are at work, and offers their children learning opportunities that matter. This can be achieved by investing in the Child Care and Development Block Grant, by investing in after-school learning and care opportunities, and by improving and expanding the federal Dependent Care Tax Credit.

Our recommendations for improvements to the subsidy program can be found on the Federal Legislation page.

 Child Care & Early Head Start Partnerships

Despite the challenges inherent in forging successful partnerships, particularly across programs supported by different funding sources, the early childhood community has traditionally valued the benefits of program partnership and pursued collaboration and coordination in a variety of configurations.  In 2014 the Office of Head Start will support states and communities in expanding high quality early learning to over 100,000 infants and toddlers through the newly funded Early Head StartChild Care Partnerships initiative. Through these partnerships, Early Head Start grantees will partner with center-based and family child care providers who agree to meet Early Head Start Program Performance Standards and provide comprehensive, full-day, full year high-quality services to infants and toddlers from low-income families. This new initiative provides ECEC members the opportunity to strengthen mixed delivery systems at the state and local level by partnering with Early Head Start and other service providers  as non-profit and tax-paying community programs.

ECEC & Parent as Teachers Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Toolkit

We are pleased to introduce the toolkit resource we’ve designed to support ECEC members in planning for potential participation in the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships initiative, Community Child Care and Early Head Start Collaboration… Making a Match That  WorksWe  incorporated many of the resources already available through the HHS toolkit, and worked to tailor this to community providers who may be looking for a quick reference guide.

This toolkit will provide ECEC members with:

  • An understanding of the benefits of partnering with another organization or organizations to seek funding as an Early Head StartCommunity Child Care Partnership;
  • Deeper knowledge about how Early Head Start programs are funded and operate;
  • Effective strategies for establishing and maintaining partnerships with Early Head Start;
  • Examples of successful partnerships between Community Child Care centers and Early Head Start programs; and
  • Information on the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships funding opportunity.

For additional links to helpful tools to support the Partnerships, please visit our Resources page.

ECEC Resources

ECEC 2013 Policy Agenda

ECEC Policy Brief: Child Care Assistance for Working Families

ECEC Congressional Testimony: Quality in Child Care (2011)

Other Helpful Resources & Reports

Child Care and Development Fund Statistics
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, January 2014

Low-Income Families and the Cost of Child Care: State Child Care Subsidies, Out-of-Pocket Expenses and the Cliff Effect
Urban Institute, December 2013

Confronting the Child Care Eligibility Maze: Simplifying and Aligning with Other Work Supports
Center for Law and Social Policy, Urban Institute, December 2013

The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables: Key Cross-state Variations in CCDF Policies as of October 1, 2012
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, October 2013

Pivot Point: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2013
The National Women’s Law Center, October 2013

Child Care and Development Block Grant Participation in 2010
Center for Law and Social Policy, April 2012