Participation in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) has fallen for the third consecutive year to a 15-year low. Fewer children were served in 2013 than in 1998. In February of this year, CLASP first reported that the number of children receiving child care funded by CCDBG had reached a 14-year low. CCDBG provides critical help to low-income parents so they can work and meet the high costs of child care. With the release of an additional year of data by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), reflecting participation in the program in 2013, the overall picture of child care assistance continues to worsen. In 2013, 1.46 million children received CCDBG-funded child care in an average month. Not since 1997 have so few children gotten help. With increased investments in the early part of the decade, the program served 1.8 million children at its high mark and has since steadily dropped. Since 2006 alone, 315,000 children have lost child care assistance, an 18 percent drop. Even before this latest drop, HHS estimated that only 18 percent of children eligible for assistance under federal rules actually got any help. Coupled with the decline in children served is a 10-year low in state and federal child care assistance expenditures.
Read the report here.