Child Care & Development Block Grant
Child care is a necessity for low-income and working families, yet the cost for accessing this often rivals, if not exceeds, the cost of housing. The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) recognizes the difference access to child care can make in a child’s development by increasing the consistency of care. The block grant provides subsidies to states to help low-income families pay for child care so that families with children under age 13 can work or attend school, and children will be prepared for school success. The availability of funds for CCDBG has made it possible for families to access child care who otherwise could not afford it.
CCDBG was first enacted in 1990, and authorizes the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), which is administered by the Office of Child Care (OCC) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). With champions on both sides of the aisle in support of the legislative agreement, the CCDBG Act was reauthorized for the first time in 18 years in November 2014. CCDBG has now been significantly revised to include health and safety requirements for child care providers, increasing quality and improving transparency so families are equipped to make the best choice. Proposed rulemaking builds on the reauthorization to provide care that positively impacts children during their formative years while also allowing parents to enter into and remain in the workforce. Translating the proposed regulations in practice will require significant efforts by states and communities to align best practices across all early learning program.
FFYF strongly supports the federal government’s continued partnership with states to support local providers to addresses the needs of children from low-income families. CCDBG is a critical piece of the federal-state early childhood continuum to ensure children birth to age 5 are ready for school and success in college, career and life.
Looking ahead, FFYF is collaborating with state and national advocates to improve implementation of the new law. This legislation intentionally and intelligently builds on work being done by leading states from around the country, which prove each day that these critical investments are worth the time and effort. FFYF has a plan to leverage public support into a significant expansion of high-quality early learning from birth through age five. Increased funding for child care would make a critical difference in ensuring that children from low-income families are accessing the high-quality early learning experiences necessary to be ready for the first day of kindergarten.