High Quality Community Early Care and Education

Child Care and Development Block Grant

CCDBG
The CCDBG Act of 2014 signing ceremony at the White House.

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the primary federal law that allocates funding and sets minimum rules for states with regard to child care policies.  Funds support health, safety, and quality initiatives in the states for all children and provide subsidies for low income children through eligibility levels set by each state.

ECEC members know that CCDBG is about supporting access to quality child care.  ECEC has been working with key Members of Congress to better understand the cost of quality child care as well as the importance of quality care for the healthy development and school readiness of children.  Quality after school programs are also important as the research shows that high quality care can assist school-age children in performing at grade level and particularly in the summer months – avoid losing ground attained during the year.

After 18 years, the Child Care and Development Block Grant was reauthorized in 2014. The law includes many new health and safety minimum protections for children. The overall goal is to support more families with quality child care choices in their communities and increase the number of children in high quality care.

Resources:

ECEC Resources Related to Improving CCDBG:

CCDBG Setting the Course for Child Care
CCDBG Subsidy Policy and Practice
CCDBG Tiered Eligibility and Continuity of Care
CCDBG Parent Fees and State Reimbursement
CCDBG Background Checks and Other Fed Laws
CCDBG Background Checks

CCDBG Program Data & Child Care Funding

TANF Funding Used for Child Care:

2016-2018 Child Care State Plans

In July of 2016, the Administration for Children and Families posted each state’s FY2016-2018 CCDF conditionally approved state plan along with a letter from Rachel Schumacher, Director of the Office of Child Care, with regard to areas of weakness and approval or rejection of specific waivers that may have been requested by a state. If you have not yet had a chance to see your state’s final plan and Rachel Schumacher’s letter, check it out today.  This is the first time that ACF has posted final state plans. It is an opportunity to bring more transparency to plan contents and state implementation.

New CCDBG Regulations
(Published in the Federal Register 9/30/16)

In December of 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed changes to the federal regulations to assist states in implementing the CCDBG Act of 2014.  Comments on the proposed regulations were open to the public through February 22, 2016.  The proposed regulations fall in four main categories: health and safety, improving quality, establishing family-friendly policies, and program integrity. Final CCDBG regulations were published on September 30th and become effective 60 days following the public posting.

ECEC worked with our members and, based on our experience with health and safety requirements, subsidy policy and program accountability across all 50 states, submitted comments to the Department for their consideration. See ECEC CCDBG NPRM comments here.

Resources:

ECEC comments to the Office of Child Care on the CCDF ProposalAugust 2013
ECEC Board Member Chad Dunkley’s statement at the HHS press conference, May 2013

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.

Child Care & Early Head Start Partnerships

For FY 2015, Congress appropriated $500 million for Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships.  Funded projects are listed hereIn December of 2015, the FY2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 114-113) included an increase of $135 million for EHS-CCP grants. The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), a competition for the new EHS-CCP funds, was posted ontodllers at round stack table June 23, 2016 with applications due on August 24, 2016.  Applications could be for Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, Early Head Start Expansion (an expansion of EHS center-based slots), or a combination. The grants are intended to encourage collaboration between new or existing Early Head Start grantees and child care providers to strengthen the quality of care (to meet EHS standards) and provide comprehensive services. They will serve children and families in a variety of settings, including family child care homes, child care centers and traditional Early Head Start centers in both rural and metropolitan areas across the country. Several ECEC Members are included among the awarded grants, including Brightside Academy, Child Care Business Coalition of Hawaii, Child Care Network, Easter Seals, New Horizon Academy, and YMCA. Award decisions are to be announced before the end of the year.

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.

Resources:

HHS Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership Overview Page

HHS: 1st Year Report, Lessons Learned through EHS-CCP initiatives

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

Check out ECEC’s toolkit 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 provides 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.

You may also wish to visit the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership National Technical Assistance Center.