Federal Policy

While states have traditionally led the way on early education policies, anticipated changes to federal programs and proposed new initiatives will significantly impact program providers and families in the years to come. As a result, ECEC’s current portfolio of federal issues is particularly robust.

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Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): CCDBG is a federal law that creates a partnership between the federal government and states, establishing policies and directing funding for child care services. ECEC engages in efforts to improve CCDBG both through common sense policy changes and much-needed financial investment. ECEC worked with federal legislators on CCDBG Reauthorization and submitted detailed comments to the Department of Health and Human Services proposed CCDBG regulatory changes which would raise the bar on quality and support families’ need to access affordable care.

Early Head Start/Child Care Partnerships: The Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership initiative was initiated as newly competed Early Head Start grants in 2014. These grants support community child care and Early Head Start programs serving low-income infants and toddlers. Partnership grantees have a period of 18-months from the grant award to meet Early Head Start program standards and comply with program re-designation requirements. ECEC worked closely with the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as other key stakeholders, to help define the initiative’s application, implementation, and monitoring processes.

Pre-Kindergarten Development Grants: This grant program began in 2014 and has been jointly administered by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. Grants were competitively awarded to states to build their capacity to develop, enhance, or expand high-quality pre-K programs. States may administer grant funds by sub-granting to local education agencies or other early learning providers, including Head Start or licensed community child care providers. ECEC is working with senior leaders in both Departments to ensure that the initiative’s implementation emphasizes a collaborative mixed delivery model with schools and community providers.