“Children Learning, Parents Earning, Communities Growing"

Federal & Child Care and Development Fund State Plan

Topics on this page (click to be directed):

  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Resources and Updates Overview: The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), also called the Child Care and Development Fund, is the primary source of United States federal funding for child care subsidies for low-income working families and funds to improve child care quality.
    Congress Approves $260 Million Funding Increase for Federal Early Childhood Programs
  • Child Care and Development Fund State Plan Overview: The purpose of the CCDF is to increase the availability, affordability, and quality of child care services. States and territories receiving CCDF funds must prepare and submit to the federal government a plan detailing how these funds will be allocated and expended. California is currently in process of submitting its State Plan to the Federal Government for Fiscal Years 2019 -2021.
  • Federal Legislation of Significance Overview: This section notes significant pieces of federal legislation relevant to the field of child care and early education. 
    • Child Care Aware of America CAPITOL HILL: House Committee Releases Draft TANF Reauthorization
  • Federal Updates from Partners Overview: This section highlights recent reports and research conducted by our Federal Advocacy Partners. 
    • NEW!  Child Care Advocates Applaud  Reintroduction of Child Care for Working Families Act


CCDBG Resources and Updates

Congress Approves $260 Million Funding Increase for Federal Early Childhood Programs

Washington, D.C. - In a critical bipartisan House vote, Congress has approved a FY2019 "minibus" appropriations package that includes $260 million in increases to the federal early childhood education programs. Notably, in addition to a $200 million increase to funding for Head Start and Early Head Start, lawmakers voted to increase funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program by $50 million, building on the historic $2.37 billion increase the program received in FY2018 through a bipartisan deal made by House and Senate leaders.

The funding package approved today, which also includes FY2019 funding for the Department of Defense, as well as a short-term Continuing Resolution to fund the rest of the government through December 7, 2018, was overwhelmingly approved in a 361-61 vote, and now awaits the president's signature.

"Congress has again prioritized the care and education of America's young children, building on years of bipartisan progress and commitment from lawmakers," said First Five Years Fund (FFYF) Executive Director Sarah Rittling. "The funding levels included in this bill will support greater access to, and the quality of early childhood education programs that are proven to support children's healthy development and prepare them for a lifetime of achievement. We are grateful to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House & Senate for their unwavering support for children from birth through age five."

Earlier this month, a Congressional Conference committee made up of bipartisan representatives from the House and Senate reached agreement on this funding "minibus" package, after negotiating appropriations legislation from the House and Senate.

Take a look at the final FY2019 funding numbers as approved today:

Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)-$5.3 billion - $50 million above FY2018

Early Head Start / Head Start-$10.1 billion - $200 million above FY2018

Preschool Development Grants-$250 million - Level with FY2018

Child Care Means Parents in School-$50 million - Level with FY2018

IDEA Part B Preschool Grants-$391.12 million - $10 million above FY2018

IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Families -$470 million - Level with FY2018

Research shows high-quality early learning and care from birth through age five benefits the academic, social, and emotional skills of children later in life and contributes to improved long-term societal outcomes. The high-quality early childhood education programs included in today's appropriations package play a critical role in ensuring that all children, regardless of where they start in life, have the opportunity to build a foundation for lifelong success.

FFYF is committed to working with stakeholders in the coming months to build upon the robust federal support for early childhood education programs so that all children can access high-quality opportunities that help them reach their full potential.

Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Reauthorization Resources


Child Care and Development State Fund State Plan

The federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is an aggregate of several funding sources that is distributed in block grants by the federal government to the states and territories. The majority of the funds are to be used to provide child care services to families who meet certain income and need criteria. A portion of the funding is to be used for activities to improve the quality of child care. Another portion is to be used to pay for costs of administering the CCDF.

The purpose of the CCDF is to increase the availability, affordability, and quality of child care services. States and territories receiving CCDF funds must prepare and submit to the federal government a plan detailing how these funds will be allocated and expended. 

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April 1, 2018 was the most recent deadline for public testimony for CCDF State Plan Fiscal Year (FY) 2019–21. The submission deadline for the final CCDF State Plan Fiscal Year (FY) 2019–21 is June 30, 2018 to the federal government. A proposed timeline of this process can be found at the CDE CCDF State Plan Timeline Web page.

CLICK HERE TO SEE CAPPA'S INPUT LETTER for fiscal year 2019 -2021. 

Federal Fiscal Years (FFY) 2019-21

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Federal Fiscal Years (FFY) 2016-18


Federal Legislation of Relevance  

June 11, 2018

House TANF Bill Makes Small Improvements, But No New Funding to Support Them

By Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Renato Rocha

Last week the House Committee on Ways and Means passed H.R. 5862, a TANF reauthorization bill, with no Democratic support. However, members of both parties have expressed a shared understanding that TANF isn't providing participants the education, training, and supportive services needed to find-and keep-good jobs that enable them to meet their families' needs.  Read more.

June 4, 2018

Child Care Aware of America
CAPITOL HILL: House Committee Releases Draft TANF Reauthorization

Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee published draft legislation that would reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, including making significant changes to child care entitlement spending by states.

In its current version, the legislation proposes raising the cap by allowing states to transfer up 50% of TANF funds to CCDF. However, it would prohibit these funds from being spent on child care activities.  While CCAoA supports giving states more flexibility on child care investment, we fear that this proposal could negatively affect families and communities who depend on this support.

Child Care Aware® of America provided comments on the draft bill to the Committee that you can review here . The official introduction and consideration of the bill may happen soon. 

As of now, there is no Senate companion legislation.

May 7, 2018

On the Hill

Get Ready for Farm Bill Floor Fight: On April 18, the House Agriculture Committee reported out a Farm Bill, H.R.2 (pdf), that could see a House floor vote as soon as mid-May.  This bill would take food out of the refrigerators and off the kitchen tables of more than 1 million households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), leading to significantly greater hunger and poverty. Meanwhile,the Senate Agriculture Committee is currently drafting its version of the Farm Bill, which is expected this spring.

Now is the Time to Act 
Members of the House and Senate will be heading home for a one-week recess from Monday, April 30, through Friday, May 4, creating an opportune time for advocates to engage with Members of Congress. See  FRAC Legislative Action Center for actions you can take during the recess to urge your representatives to vote "No" on any Farm Bill that cuts SNAP.

Additional: Click here to read letter submitted from California anti-hunger community to California Members of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture

November 6, 2017

With the state legislature on Interim recess, our attention and focus has turned to the federal government. Of particular interest is the Child Care for Working Families Act, introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate education committee. This bill aims to be a comprehensive early learning and child care bill with the goal of increasing access and affordable, high-quality child care for working families across the country. 

The bill, S. 1806, was introduced on 9/14/17 and has been referred to Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, where it is currently at in the legislative process.

As highlighted in Senator Murray's press release, the main tenants of the bill are as follows:

  • Establish a new federal-state partnership based on Medicaid to provide high-quality, affordable child care from birth through age 13;
  • More than double the universe of children eligible for child care assistance, and increase the number of children who could receive such assistance by more than 13 times the current amount;   
  • Provide incentives and funding for states to create high-quality preschool programs for low- and moderate-income 3- and 4-year olds during the school day, while providing a higher matching rate for programs for infants and toddlers, who are often harder and more expensive to care for
  • Increase workforce training and compensation, including by ensuring that all child care workers are paid a living wage and early childhood educators are provided parity with elementary school teachers with similar credentials and experience;
  • Improve care in a variety of settings, including addressing the needs of family, friend, and neighbor care and care during nontraditional hours to help meet the needs of working families;
  • Build more inclusive, high-quality child care providers for children with disabilities, and infants and toddlers with disabilities, including by increased funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and
  • Help all Head Start programs meet the new expanded duration requirements and provide full-day, full-year programming.

Text for the bill can be found by clicking HERE.

A fact sheet can be found HERE.

A press release can be found HERE.


Federal Updates from Partners

June 20, 2019

RELEASE: 60 Percent of Families Are Spending More Than Twice as Much on Child Care as What the U.S. Government Considers Affordable

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Center for American Progress released a new issue brief analyzing what families with children under age 5 are spending on child care. The study relies on new data released last month as part of the nationally representative Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which looks both at what families are spending on child care and types of child care arrangements on which families rely.

In addition to promoting economic growth, access to affordable early childhood programs is essential for helping parents stay in the workforce, encouraging healthy development and learning, and connecting families with important social services of which they may otherwise be unaware.

The brief raises serious concerns about how a lack of public investment in early care and education is increasing inequality-in terms of both wealth and access to quality early education programs-as high-income parents are increasing their investment in their children's care and education at a faster rate than ever before. Key findings from the brief include:
  • Low-income families earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level are spending 35 percent of their income-or $188 per week-on child care; middle-income families earning between 200 and 399 percent of the federal poverty level are spending 14 percent of their income-or nearly $200 per week-on child care. Respectively, these families are spending five times and twice as much of their household income on child care as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has deemed affordable. Families in these income brackets account for 60 percent of all families with children under age 5.
  • Wealthier families earning more than 600 percent of the federal poverty level are spending 7 percent of their income on child care, despite the fact that these families are twice as likely to send their children to more costly licensed programs.
  • Nearly 8 in 10 families rely on relatives to arrange care for their young children-with grandparents serving as the most common relative child care providers. Specifically, about 56 percent of young children who need child care spend at least some time in the sole care of a grandparent.
  • Less than half of families-46.7 percent-utilize licensed child care.
"It's unconscionable that low-income families in this country are spending five times what the U.S. government deems affordable child care," said Rasheed Malik, senior policy analyst for Early Childhood Policy at CAP and author of the brief. "These findings send a clear warning to policymakers that failing to take bold action to improve access to quality, affordable child care could exacerbate income inequality at a time when working families are already struggling to get by."

Just yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a spending bill that includes an additional $2.4 billion in federal child care funding. Last week, hundreds of child care advocates called on Congress to pass the Child Care for Working Families Act, which would limit child care payments to 7 percent of household income and provide free child care to low-income working families. Earlier this week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) also introduced a universal child care bill that would similarly cap child care payments.

Please click here to read "Working Families Are Spending Big Money on Child Care" by Rasheed Malik.
Link to article.

June 17, 2019

How well does California care for children? New report ranks state just below Kentucky

California's efforts to improve health care for children is being dimmed by high rents and housing prices, poorly performing schools, expensive child care and a host of other challenges, according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

In many ways, the report reflects a familiar story for the state: Prosperity is unevenly divided, the education system is inadequate and families are worse off because of the shortcomings in public programs. The report found that more than 13 million U.S. children live in poverty.

California made only small gains compared with last year in the foundation's Kids Count report, which evaluates child well-being based on 16 measures that rate health, education, family and community, and economic well-being. The report found California had more than 1 million children living in impoverished areas, and more children than in any other state living in households where the parents or guardians lacked a high school education.
Kentucky ranked one place higher, and Tennessee ranked just below California. Almost all of the states with lower rankings than California were in the South and Southwest, with Mississippi and New Mexico ranked as the worst.
Link to full article and to see all state rankings.

June 11, 2019

When Parents Can't Find Summer Child Care, Their Work Suffers

Americans see summer as a carefree time for children, but for working parents, finding summer child care can be a logistical and financial headache. Care is expensive and hard to find, forcing parents to make difficult trade-offs between work and family life.
Joi is one mother who knows this struggle all too well. She and her husband live with their four young children in Jonesboro, Georgia. 

Joi works full time during the day, while her husband works as a police officer at night, staggering their work schedules to accommodate their child care needs. Although their family has been able to secure regular, year-round child care for their younger children, they are still searching for an affordable summer program for their oldest, 6-year-old Mason. "As of right now I don't have Mason enrolled in any summer camp. We're hoping people will drop out of the parks department camp during the first two weeks so that a spot will open up. ... I don't know what I'll do when I have to find summer care for my four kids," Joi said in a personal interview. With few options available, Joi is left scrambling for a short-term arrangement for her son-and dreading the day when she must juggle summer care for all her children.

Most children in the United States today live in families like Joi's, where all available parents are in the workforce. During the school year, many parents must find child care in the late afternoon and during school breaks. But finding child care when school lets out for the summer-without the six-hour school day and after-school programs to rely on-can be an even greater challenge. For many families, summer child care arrangements are expensive, difficult to find, and out of line with parents' work schedules.
Link to  full article.

June 5, 2019

Invest in California's Children by Investing in Early Childhood Educators 

Every day, in classrooms and home-based settings, California's early childhood educators are building the academic and social-emotional foundation of the state's youngest learners. With sufficient knowledge, skill, and experience, they are able to draw out each child's potential and help set children on a path to good health, academic success, and economic security later in life. That's the ideal, at least. In practice, however, California has undervalued and underinvested in its early childhood workforce, creating hardships for educators and undermining the many benefits of high-quality early care and education (ECE).
Nearly 60% of California's ECE educators are on public assistance. A 2016 study of ECE teaching staff in Alameda County is illustrative of the economic challenges facing ECE educators throughout the state. The study found that 75% of those surveyed worried about having enough money to pay the bills, 70% worried about housing or health care costs, and 54% worried about being able to feed their family each month. Not surprisingly, given these economic hardships, an average of one in four ECE educators in California leave the profession each year. These conditions are untenable for educators, and the stress and lack of stability have a negative impact on children's learning environments and achievement.
Link to full article.

June 4, 2019

5 Facts To Know About Child Care in Rural America 

Families across the nation are facing barriers to finding and paying for quality child care. The unique experiences of rural families can exacerbate this struggle: Many rural areas of the country have experienced stalled economic growth , have higher rates of  child poverty, and see young children entering kindergarten already   behind their metropolitan-area peers in early reading and math skills. Access to high-quality, affordable child care is especially necessary to support family economic security and early childhood development in rural communities.

This column presents five key facts to know about child care in rural America and outlines opportunities for improving access to quality, affordable child care in rural communities.
  1. On average, families in rural areas spend 12 percent of their income on child care
  2. Rural families use regular child care at rates similar to metropolitan families but are more likely to use home-based child care
  3. 60 percent of rural Americans live in a child care desert
  4. Family child care providers play an outsize role in rural child care supply
  5. A typical teacher in a rural child care center earns just $23,000 per year
Public investments in child care are necessary to support children, families, and providers in rural communities

While rural communities experience unique challenges to building and maintaining their supply of quality, affordable child care, they also offer unique opportunities to serve children and families. Several policies could be bolstered or enacted to increase access to quality child care for rural families in the United States. Increasing funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, for example, would provide child care assistance to more rural families, and increase the subsidy rate so that rural child care providers could more easily meet their operating expenses and increase the quality of their programs. And passing the Child Care for Working Families Act would limit most working families' child care payments to 7 percent of their income and make targeted investments in building the supply of licensed child care in child care deserts. Access to high-quality, affordable child care must also be central to any plan to build infrastructure in rural communities: Increasing child care supply and revitalizing child care facilities are vital to supporting not only rural communities but also the national economy.
*this was shortened for purpose of brevity, please see full article by clicking the link below
Link to article.

June 3, 2019

Federal Investment Gives Child Care Centers A Leg Up  

Kentucky's child care centers are able to offer support to more working families since the state received $42 million in additional funding last year, according to a survey by the advocacy group Kentucky Youth Advocates.

More than 120 child care providers in 43 counties said they used the funds to increase access to child care for foster parents, and to boost program eligibility for parents who might otherwise lose access to affordable child care because they got a promotion or a better paying job.

Mike Hammons, senior director of advocacy at Children, Inc., a child care provider in Northern Kentucky, says centers like his are using the boost in funding to pay for staff criminal background checks. "Criminal background checks for child care providers is extensive," he states. "The industry does not want people who would not be safe with children to be around the children. "The cost of those background checks will be borne by the child care providers and the state is going to subsidize that with this new money."

The congressional House Appropriations Committee recently approved another $2.4 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which if supported in the Senate, would give states like Kentucky more financial assistance to help working families navigate the rising cost of child care.
Link to the full article.

May 28, 2019

Explore A Broader Definition of Health in Child Care 

Since 2015, Child Care Aware®  of America's Health Policy Team has partnered  with teams in  12  states to explore a broader definition of health in child care through our  "Healthy Child Care, Healthy Communities "   technical assistance project. Along with our state partners, we conducted research, communications and advocacy projects covering diverse health topics from nutrition and active play to injury prevention and inclusion.  Child Care Resource  and  Referral agencies  (CCR&Rs)  played a pivotal role on nearly every state by connecting us to data, convening partners and lifting up provider and community voices to inform our understanding of healthy child care.  
We developed numerous tools, resources and reports to help our partners advance healthy child care in their states.  One resource we put together explores   Health and Wellness Recognition Programs , which identify and acknowledge child care programs, communities or organizations that go above and beyond minimum requirements to follow best practices for nutrition, physical activity or breastfeeding. In addition to an interactive map explaining the recognition programs in each state, we also developed an  infographic  with tips to help providers follow best practices in their child care programs.  
Visit our resource pages from  " Healthy Child Care, Healthy Communities "   Round One  and  Round Two  to learn more about the Health Policy Team's innovative technical assistance work.  
Link to article.

Invest in California's Children by Investing in Early Childhood Educators 

Every day, in classrooms and home-based settings, California's early childhood educators are building the academic and social-emotional foundation of the state's youngest learners. With sufficient knowledge, skill, and experience, they are able to draw out each child's potential and help set children on a path to good health, academic success, and economic security later in life. That's the ideal, at least. In practice, however, California has undervalued and underinvested in its early childhood workforce, creating hardships for educators and undermining the many benefits of high-quality early care and education (ECE).
Nearly 60% of California's ECE educators are on public assistance. A 2016 study of ECE teaching staff in Alameda County is illustrative of the economic challenges facing ECE educators throughout the state. The study found that 75% of those surveyed worried about having enough money to pay the bills, 70% worried about housing or health care costs, and 54% worried about being able to feed their family each month. Not surprisingly, given these economic hardships, an average of one in four ECE educators in California leave the profession each year. These conditions are untenable for educators, and the stress and lack of stability have a negative impact on children's learning environments and achievement.
Link to full article.

May 23, 2019

Child Care and Early Education Equity: A State Action Agenda -CLASP

Child Care and Early Education Equity: A State Action Agenda outlines the important role state policymakers can play to ensure equity in their states' early education efforts.  High-quality child care and early education is critical for child development and family economic security-and it can have a particularly positive impact on the wellbeing of families with low incomes. CLASP's action agenda describes key state early education programs, significant challenges such as racial disparities and underinvestment, and recommendations for how state leaders can meaningfully improve policies and programs.

Historical and institutionalized racism, which has created systemic and structural barriers to equitable access to opportunity, causes pronounced socioeconomic disparities for a large share of America's children. Young children of color are more likely than their white counterparts to live in families with low incomes, and a quarter of all children under the age of six have at least one immigrant parent. States must design their child care and early education programs to meet the diverse linguistic and cultural needs of their communities. To achieve a more equitable system,  state leaders must pay attention to the racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity-along with the inequities in opportunities and outcomes-of  young children and the early childhood workforce that serves them.
State leaders have many options and opportunities to significantly improve their child care and early education programs. They should consult a range of experts-including those with lived experience-offer professional development for providers, and expand services to underserved populations. Above all, states should meaningfully invest in child care and early education, which is an investment in the present and future wellbeing of their states.
Link to the article.


May 21, 2019

Family Voices: Turning Heartbreak to Happiness 

Even with  early and  careful planning, finding the right  child care  provider can be difficult for families.  The challenges often seem overwhelming  for parents searching for a provider that is qualified to care for a child with special needs.   
Hear from Tara as sh e shares how her  child care  journey turned from heartbreak to success after  being  connected to  a   local  Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency.
Link to full article and video.

May  20, 2019

CCR&Rs' Role in Closing Child Care  Supply and Demand Gaps -ChildCare Aware
Did you know that there are  approximately   12.5 million  children in some sort of regular child care arrangement? Yet there are communities across the country where the supply of child care doesn't meet the need for child care. Child Care Aware® of America helped states  quantify families' child care needs  through  our   Mapping the Gap™ project , and learned a lot about  child care gaps across the US :  
  • 4 in 5 children under age three in Alaska don't have access to licensed child care. 
  • 2 in 3 children under age 13 in North Dakota don't have access to licensed child care. 
  • 2 in 5 children under age six in Massachusetts don't have access to licensed child care. 
As you can see, even just a snapshot of our findings reveals a child care crisis. Child care supply often falls short of meeting the demand, leaving families with few choices for their child when they go to work. 
Link to full article and report.


Support Child Care for Working Families! -Child Care Works

Child care plays an important role in the U.S. economy, helping to generate 15 million jobs and more than $500 billion in income annually. Yet, on average, millions of working families pay more for child care than they do for mortgage or rent, transportation, or even food every month. That's why it's critical to fund child care and early learning programs so all families can afford care. Tell your congressmembers to support the Child Care for Working Families Act and thank those who already have signed on!  


May 15, 2019

Governors Propose Nearly $3 Billion of Investments in Early Learning Programs  -Center for American Progress

In 2018, a commitment to improving child care and other early childhood programs helped many gubernatorial candidates win election.  With significant majorities of Republican, Democratic, and independent voters supporting increased funding for early learning, it's no wonder that early childhood was a winning issue.  Now, those campaign promises are turning into action as governors unveil their budget proposals. A Center for American Progress analysis of the latest budget proposals of governors from 49 states -as well as the mayor of Washington, D.C.-reveals that the nation's governors have proposed a combined $2.9 billion in new state funding for child care, preschool, and home visiting programs. This number is almost one-third of federal yearly spending on Head Start, and more than seven times that of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, demonstrating governors' strong commitment to improving early childhood programs. 
CAP's analysis of governors' most recent budget proposals found that 32 governors and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) proposed a total of $2.9 billion in additional state funds for early care and education programs. Funding is proposed for a range of programs, such as expanding the number of families reached by home visiting programs; constructing new child care facilities; expanding full-day kindergarten; increasing the value and reach of child care subsidies; and more.



May 13, 2019

Closing the Gap: How CCR&Rs Can Help Communities Meet Their Child Care Supply and Demand Needs -ChildCare Aware

Child Care Aware® of America recognizes that Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies have a strong presence in communities throughout the country and extensive knowledge of the child care landscape. Our new report, Closing the Gap: How CCR&Rs Can Help Communities Meet Their Child Care Supply and Demand Needs, highlights examples of CCR&Rs and advocacy organizations and their approaches to ensure families' and communities' needs are met. With extensive knowledge of the child care landscape and firmly positioned in communities, CCR&Rs are uniquely qualified to identify gaps in child care supply at state and local levels.  
Click here to get the new report.


May 9, 2019

Solid Evidence for Career Pathways Out of Poverty -CLASP
Project QUEST in San Antonio was a pioneer in creating what is now known as an adult career pathway program. The program combines sector strategies, comprehensive support services, community-based career navigators, foundational skill building, and community college postsecondary training. Strong evaluation results prove the effectiveness of this model for increasing the earnings of low-income adults. Promisingly, career pathways are now a defined service delivery model for equity investments in communities of need in three federal education and workforce development laws: the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Higher Education Act (HEA), and the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21 st Century Act (Perkins V). 
Click here for full article.


May 3, 2019

Pelosi calls for investments in child care, early education -The Hill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday voiced support for increased federal funding of early child care and education while touring schools in Massachusetts.
Joined on the trip by several congresswomen from the state, Pelosi told reporters that her primary motivation for serving in government has been improving life for younger generations, according to The Associated Press.


May 2, 2019

Special Alert! House CCDBG Ask -Child Care Works

Do you live in CA, CT, FL, GA, IL, MA, MD, MI, NJ, OK, WA, or WI? 
If yes, then we need YOU to contact your representative and ask them for a $5 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)!

On April 30, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will meet to propose their budget priorities for next year. We need YOU to tell them why CCDBG needs a $5 billion increase. This critical funding will continue to assist states, providers, and parents to ensure young children are in healthy, thriving learning environments that will help them prepare school and succeed later in life. 
Follow this link to contact your representatives!


April 30, 2019

Parents take to Capitol Hill to protest skyrocketing day care costs, short maternity leaves -WUSA9

In DC, a recent study found day care for an infant is over $20,000 a year. Some single mothers are working just to pay for child care. Families from all 50 states took over the east lawn of the U.S. Capitol today, in the third annual Strolling Thunder event. Local families say they are burnt out and cashed out, forced to pay skyrocketing day care costs.
In Washington D.C., a recent study by the non-profit Child Care Aware of America, found on average the cost of child care at a center is $23,666 per year. For an infant and 4-year-old, the cost is $42,323. That number is about three times as much as the annual cost of a public university tuition.

"I'm here because her daycare does cost more than my mortgage," said Masha Sapper. Sapper is a single mother living in Silver Spring. She says she pays $1,400 for an at-home daycare, which pales in comparison to friends who pay $2,000 per month at day care centers.  
Strolling Thunder is in its third year. The group is hoping to get the attention of lawmakers to get parents nationwide more affordable, quality day care and to give parents time to bond with their baby. The study also found that for a single parent in DC, they are spending 91% of their income for one child in center-based care. 
Some changes are on the way to help DC working parents. Starting next summer, the Paid Leave Act will provide 8 weeks of paid leave so parents can bond with children. 


April 25, 2019

Inequitable Access to Child Care Subsidies -CLASP

"Child care is an essential support for families, allowing parents to work while their children learn and grow in a safe environment. Many families with low incomes qualify for child care assistance through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). However, few get the help they need because funding is insufficient to serve all eligible children.

This brief examines children's access to CCDBG-funded child care by state, race, and ethnicity using publicly available data from fiscal year (FY) 2016. It builds on CLASP's previous Disparate Access research. The Office of Child Care made a change to the way it reports CCDBG participation data beginning in FY 2016. As a result, CLASP was able to analyze children's race and ethnicity concurrently for the first time. Our analysis demonstrates that access to CCDBG-funded child care is low across the board. Just 8 percent of potentially eligible children are receiving subsidies based on federal income eligibility limits. And 12 percent of potentially eligible children are receiving subsidies based on state income eligibility limits. However, access varies significantly by race and ethnicity as well as from state to state.

Compared to potentially eligible children of other racial and ethnic groups, Black children had the highest rates of access nationally. Asian and Latinx children had the lowest rates. In no state, however, did more than half of all potentially eligible children in any racial or ethnic group receive subsidies under federal or state income parameters.

Administrative data alone cannot explain this variability. Our brief analyzes potential factors that may contribute to racial disparities in CCDBG access. We also offer next steps for states to further investigate and begin to address inequities in access to child care assistance."


April 23, 2019

Child Care is Hard to Find for Children With Disabilities -Childcare Aware of America
Though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed into law 30 years ago and is meant to protect those with disabilities against discrimination, parents and advocates continue to report problems with child care and after-school care providers with issues like lack of access, quality care, accommodations and discrimination against children with disabilities.
Federal law mandates that both publicly and privately owned child-care centers must evaluate and accommodate each child based on individual need. However, many providers often do not assess the need for accommodations, and will often reject a child before enrollment, or allow them to enroll and then kick them out of the program shortly after, due to challenges or behaviors related to their disability. Some providers also feel that taking care of a child with a disability is too much of a liability issue for them, and make excuses and refuse to allow the child to be enrolled.

Parents and families have also reported that providers would not accommodate children with any type of physical or medical need, or who was not toilet-trained, sometimes saying they did not have enough staff to assist those children. Several have been denied care for children with hearing impairments, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and those who are considered medically fragile. This leaves parents who do not have any other type of support with few options other than suing the child-care facility, which can be costly and time-consuming."


April 22, 2019

Quality Child Care Pays Off! -Childcare Aware of America
New research estimates an annual economic cost of $57 billion in lost earnings, productivity and revenue due to the lack of affordable and accessible child care. It's beneficial to both parents and employers to fix this child care crisis. 
April 18, 2019
A Bipartisan Majority in COngress Call for Appropriations to Prioritize Early Childhood Funding -First Five Years Fund
"Each year through the appropriations process, Congress determines and allocates funding for federal programs, activities and priorities. And for the past several years , Congressional appropriations bills have sustained or increased funding for the federal early learning and care programs, even as other priorities and programs have been decreased or eliminated. The annual appropriations process provides a critical opportunity each year to both protect and build upon funding gains for the core early childhood education programs. And with many competing priorities that require funding, Members of Congress showcasing the bipartisan support for, and value of early childhood education is crucial to maintaining our momentum.
On Capitol Hill, "Dear Colleague" letters convey support for these programs among Members on both sides of the aisle. Lawmakers collaborate to show appropriators the breadth and depth of support among their colleagues, and often make specific requests related to program funding levels."


April 10, 2019

Health Resource Spotlight: Family Child Care -ChildCare Aware of America
Resources to Build and Retain the FCC Workforce 
The problem:  Across the nation, the supply of family child care providers is declining. What can be done to retain existing FCC providers, and attract new providers?  
One solution:  A suite of   National Resources about Family Child Care , published on the website of the Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance System (ECTTAS).  
FCC providers may face challenges that center-based providers don't, including a sense of isolation, long workdays, a lack of support staff, and less business expertise. Stakeholders need to understand these issues so they can develop ways to support and increase the success and stability of FCC providers. The ECTTAS site has a collection of online tools and written products specific to FCC settings.  
Online tools include a:  
  • QRIS Resource Guide to help states and communities explore key issues as they planning and implement a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). The "search" function allows users to identify topics that are specific to FCC, such as participation, standards, and use of assessment tools. 
  • Provider Cost of Quality Calculator (PCQC), which calculates the cost of care based on provider data for FCC homes and centers. The tool can help state policymakers, child care providers, and other stakeholders understand the costs associated with delivering high-quality care. It can also show whether there is a gap between a program's cost of care and the revenue sources available to support the program. 
  • Data Explorer and State Profiles, a database that allows users to search for information about various early care and education topics, including FCC demographic information, data on licensing requirements, program quality improvement activities, and professional development and workforce initiatives. 
In addition to the online tools, the  National Resources about Family Child Care webpage has links to nearly two dozen other reports, fact sheets and webinars on the following topics:  
  • Supporting access to high-quality FCC 
  • Staffed FCC networks 
  • State policies that support the business practices of child care providers 
  • Trends in licensing regulations and policies for FCC homes 
  • License-exempt FCC 
  • The demographics of home-based ECE providers 
  • Supports for improving access to and sustainability of FCC 
  • Supports for FCC providers who serve infants and toddlers 
  • Compliance with health and safety requirements
Senate Budget Committee Passes FY2020 Resolution; House to Focus on Spending Cap -ChildCare Aware of America
On March 28, the Senate Budget Committee passed its resolution that would cut nondefense discretionary funding by $55 billion in FY2020 and would not raise the spending caps. It would also reduce mandatory spending by $551 billion over the next five years, possibly impacting programs like Medicaid and SNAP. It's unclear when, or if, this resolution will move to the Senate floor. 
The House will forgo a budget resolution this year, and instead, push a spending cap proposal. The House could vote on this legislation this week.
A Plan to Expand Tax Credits, Lifting Several Million Out of Poverty -CLASP
"The U.S. tax code is the single largest way the government supports wealth and asset building. However, a  disproportionate share of federal tax benefits is funneled to  wealthy, White households that own homes and businesses and have savings and investment accounts. The Working Families Tax Relief Act (WFTRA), introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown (OH), Michael Bennet (CO), Dick Durbin (IL), and Ron Wyden (OR), strengthens the  Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and  Child Tax Credit (CTC), recognizing the importance of tax policy in promoting economic mobility. If enacted, the Act's changes would raise the incomes of  46 million households.    

The EITC is a refundable tax credit for low- and moderate-income earners that provides income and supports work. The CTC is a partially refundable tax credit that helps working families with the cost of raising children and is worth up to $2,000 per eligible child (under age 17). The EITC and CTC have positive effects on health, asset building and savings, and educational achievement in children. For instance, credits as little as $1,000  have been shown to improve children's test scores and increase the likelihood of those children attending college and earning high wages as adults. 
In conjunction with the CTC, the EITC lifted  8.9 million Americans out of poverty in 2017-including 4.8 million children-and reduced the depth of poverty for an additional 7.7 million people. Nevertheless, one of the EITC's biggest flaws is the paltry credit it provides to adults who are not raising children, which is too small to offset childless workers' tax liability. As a result, the tax code essentially taxes some of these workers into poverty-even after they receive the EITC. The WFTRA addresses this concern by expanding the EITC for childless workers by raising the maximum credit from $529 to $2,074 and expanding the age range from age 25-64 to 19-67...."

March 29, 2019

Can We Rewrite the History of Undervaluing Child Care Workers -National Women's Law Center

" Child care workers are responsible for providing safe, nurturing environments for children while parents work or go to school. Despite the importance of their work, child care workers are too often underpaid and stressed, affecting their ability to support their own families and to provide quality care to the children they serve.  Typical wages for child care workers are less than $11 an hour  - pay that leaves more than one in six women who are child care workers living below the poverty line. Poverty rates are even higher for women of color in the child care workforce, especially those who are supporting children of their own. In one survey of early childhood teaching staff, nearly three-quarters expressed worry about having enough money to pay their bills, while almost half said they were worried about having enough food for their families . Low wages also make it challenging for child care providers to recruit and retain quality workers, undermining the stability and quality of care."
Link to article.

March 22, 2019

"All Families Should Be Able to Afford Childcare, and Here's How... A new bill would also make sure childcare providers earn a living wage" -The Nation

"Only about one in six children who are eligible for childcare assistance in America actually receive it. In most states, childcare costs more than  tuition  at a four-year public university. And more than  50 percent  of neighborhoods in America have a demand for childcare that exceeds supply.

But the Child Care for Working Families Act, reintroduced last month by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Bobby Scott and largely overlooked by the media, aims to change that. The legislation, which has been endorsed by all of the Democratic presidential candidates who are in Congress, would reach three in four children under age 13 by making quality childcare affordable for every low- and middle-income family who needs it. It would also provide a living wage to teachers, the majority of whom are low-income women of color. Childcare workers earn an average of  $22,310 annually, and over  75 percent of them earn less than a living wage."

Link to article.

March 18, 2019

A One-time Child Care "Investment" Won't Support Working Families

Set in the context of a budget proposal that disinvests in nearly all programsthat make a difference for children and families, the Trump budget attempts to show "support" for working families with a one-time child care investment of $1 billion over 5 years, but we are not fooled. A quick look at the details makes clear how little this would actually do to support working families or provide child care for children and families with low incomes.

If this proposal were approved, states would access the funds through a competition-but would only be eligible to receive funding if they remove "unnecessary regulations." Removing these regulations could threaten the basic protections that keep children safe and eliminate standards that are the building blocks of high-quality child care.

If the Trump Administration and Congress truly want to help working families and their children succeed, they should start by investing more in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which is the foundational funding states rely on to help families pay for child care. But the president's proposal flat funds CCDBG and does not address the significant unmet need for child care among working families and, in fact, would cause the program to reduce the number of children it serves as the result of inflation costs. 

Click here to be directed to the full article.

March 11, 2019
Submit a Comment on SNAP Changes by April 2!

SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a proven anti-hunger, anti-poverty program that helps young children and their parents, working adults, disabled individuals, and the elderly gain access to healthy food. 

Currently, the federal government is seeking comments on a proposed rule that would drastically change the work requirements for SNAP and make it harder for people to access the program. The destabilizing effect of this proposed rule could harm over 750,000 people and cut $15 billion from SNAP.

We are calling on CCR&Rs and advocates to submit a comment to this proposed rule, telling the federal government you oppose this harmful change in policy. 

STEP 1: Download template and edit with your own personal message and/or story. 

Template for CCR&Rs

Template for Advocates

STEP 2: Upload your comments to the Regulations.gov site by April 2 at 11:59 pm EST.

Submit comments here.

(If you have trouble downloading the templates,send an email and we will make sure you can access them in a different format.)

Comments are due April 2, 2019 and we strongly encourage you write to the USDA with your thoughts. 

Thanks for all you do for children and families!

Chrisi West

Director of Advocacy  

March 4, 2019
Child Care in State Economics - 2019 Update- Committee for Economic Development

Provides an update to CED's original report from 2015 to reflect the most currently available data. The 2019 Update examines the child care industry's effect on parents' participation in the labor force, and provides extensive details regarding the industry's impact on 

regional economic growth and development, including: usage rates, the role of public funding, revenues, and business structure. The report was commissioned by the Committee for Economic Development, produced by the economic firm, Region Track, Inc., and generously supported by the Alliance for Early Success.

Link to the website and more fact sheets

March 4, 2019

Child Care Advocates Applaud  Reintroduction of Child Care for Working Families Act - Child Care Aware of America, Jay Nichols; February 26, 2019

"Earlier today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the "Child Care for Working Families Act of 2019" on Capitol Hill.  At the press conference, Senator Murray was joined by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Bob Casey (D-PA), as well as several parent advocates. The legislation is nearly identical to the 2017 version.

Child care plays an important role in the U.S. economy, helping to generate 15 million jobs and more than $500 billion in income annually. Families need child care so they can work, and children need a safe place where they can learn and continue their healthy development. Unfortunately, far too many low-income families do not have access to high-quality care, or cannot afford it. Over the past decade, the cost of child care has remained high, which has forced families to make the difficult decision of trying to afford putting their child in child care or leaving the workforce altogether.

On average, millions of working families pay more for child care than they would for a mortgage/rent, transportation needs, or food every month. The Child Care for Working Families Act would ensure low-income families pay no more than seven percent of their annual income on child care, help young children gain access to preschool, and for the child care workforce.

Child Care Aware® of America proudly endorses this legislation and encourages all members of Congress to support this bill. Contact your members of Congress and ask them to sponsor this legislation, or thank them for their current support."

TAKE ACTION Contact Your Congressmember!

Link to article.

February 4, 2019

The Importance of Investing in the Child Care and Development Block Grant- Women's Law Center

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the major federal child care program, was enacted in 1990 in response to women's growing participation in the workforce and the struggle of these working women to find affordable, high-quality child care. Congress approved a $2.37 billion increase in March 2018. The new federal funds are essential to help address existing gaps in the child care assistance program. Only one in six children eligible for federal child care receives it. And only one state set its provider payment rates at the federally recommended level of February 2018.

Click here to download.

January 28, 2019

New Report Shows Nonstandard Hours of Work Cause More Obstacles For Families and Children- Child Care Aware of America

 Working Parents Need More Than "Day" Care

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) released its Nonstandard Hours (NSH) Paper: "It's About Time! Parents Who Work Nonstandard Hours Face Child Care Challenges,"  which found that the inadequate supply of NSH child care is problematic and raises concerns about access to safe, affordable, and quality child care for many families in our country. In today's economy, where anyone can work 24/7, many parents struggle to find reliable, affordable NSH child care. NHS is defined as hours worked outside the traditional Monday through Friday work week. By 2020, occupations requiring nonstandard schedules are projected to see the most employment growth.

In the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation, 43 percent of all children under 18 in the United States have at least one parent who works NSH. This translates to about 31 million children who may need NSH care. Child care during nonstandard working hours is extremely limited when available and often, unlicensed.

With a declining child care provider market, it's even harder to find NSH care. Many parents turn to a collection of center-based child care, home-based child care, and child care provided by family, friends, and neighbors. Lack of access to a consistent caregiver puts a strain on both parents and children in a number of ways and this report highlights that.

Report Highlights

  • Our Mapping the Gap efforts with the state of Massachusetts. We focused on NSH - specifically, the current supply of child care providers around the sites of two proposed casinos and one existing casino.
  • Factors that affect the likelihood of needing NSH care including poverty, lack of paid leave, and irregular work schedules.
  • More than one in four Americans with low incomes work a nonstandard hours job.
  • Few states have regulations focused on NSH of care, especially for family child care. Realistic regulations for care during NSH could help to further expand licensed care.

CCAoA works with state Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies to track the cost of care for children by age and setting, then compares each state's costs to its median income, ranking the states by affordability for each category of care. CCAoA's  interactive mapshows the relationship between costs and median income by state. The organization has also partnered with the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) to add this year's data to an  online interactive calculatorof child care expenses by area.

Congress recently justified the more than $2.3 billion increase to the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) saying, "...the department should work with states to ensure they are meeting the needs of families with nontraditional work hours." However, more research needs to be done to determine the best practices for programs operating during nights and weekends in order to determine what those standards need to look like.

States, communities and businesses are implementing innovative solutions to meet the NSH child care needs of their employees and of military families. Located in 47 states with touch points at the local, state and national levels, CCR&Rs are a vital resource for families, child care professionals, businesses and community stakeholders. CCR&Rs can connect families to child care providers offering care during evenings and weekends, and can be instrumental in recruiting, retaining and providing outreach to qualified providers to build the supply of NSH care in their communities.

To read and download 2018's The US and the High Cost of Child Care and supplemental interactive map and fact sheets,

January 14, 2019

If the government shutdown continues into February, there may not be sufficient funding for food assistance for SNAP to provide full benefits for that month. The problem only gets worse if the shutdown continues into March.

As a result, millions of low-income households - including millions of poor children, parents, elderly people, and people with disabilities - could have their basic food assistance cut back substantially next month and then virtually eliminated altogether in March if the shutdown continues.

The President stated several days ago that the shutdown could go on for months or even years.  

What will happen in coming weeks with respect to SNAP thus is cause for very substantial concern.

Read the report.

November 26, 2018

Public Charge Early Childhood Template for Public Comments

Our friends at CLASP have put together some very helpful resources for all of us to participate and send our comments during the public charge open comment period. Submitting organizational and individual comments is crucial as its a way to make our voices heard and make it clear that immigrant children and their families could be greatly affected if this proposed rule is finalized.

More background and action items: 

On October 10, the long-anticipated "public charge" proposed rule was published in the federal register for a 60-day comment period. The rule proposes to expand the forms of public assistance that are counted in a "public charge" determination, which may be used to deny individuals entrance to the United States or lawful permanent residency.  It establishes standards for income, health, age, and English language proficiency for immigrant families seeking long-term stability. If enacted, the rule would make immigrant families afraid to seek programs-such as Medicaid and SNAP-that keep children and families healthy and fundamentally change who we are as a nation.

This proposal will have a major impact on millions of young children in immigrant families.

Please find attached template comments written especially for the early childhood field. We ask that you modify these comments to reflect your unique perspective or expertise and have included prompts in the template for you to do that. The  Protecting Immigrant Families campaign is using a sector-based strategy for generating a large number of unique comments in opposition to this rule. Template comments are being written from the perspective of 40+ different sectors. If you receive more than one template for commenting, we encourage you to use the template or sections of the templates that are most relevant to your expertise or perspective. By law, every unique comment must be read and considered by the federal government. Public comments must be submitted to the federal register by December 10th.

For more information:

October 1, 2018

Last weekend, the Trump Administration announced a very harmful draft proposal that would change the definition of a "public charge" in an effort to support its ongoing and extreme overhaul of U.S. immigration policy.   

A "public charge" is a policy implemented by the federal government to identify people who may depend on benefits (TANF, Supplemental Security Income, long-term care) to support themselves and their families. The social safety net and programs like these support the wellbeing of families and communities. Under current policy, the United States can deny an immigrant/refugee admission to the country, or refuse an application for residency, if it's determined that the person(s) would be a public charge.

The Administration's proposal would considerably expand the public charge definition, putting millions of families at risk by forcing them to forgo any public assistance in an effort to remain in the country. This proposed rule would target many programs that help low-income families, including:

*    Non-emergency Medicaid

*    Subsidies provided through the Affordable Care Act

*    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

*    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

*    Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

*    Housing assistance such as Section 8 vouchers, and

*    State and local assistance programs

In addition, the Administration is considering adding the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to the list of benefits. 

This rule would impact the lives of millions of children and families who not only rely on the programs listed above but also those who depend on child care assistance and other critical education and health programs. In fact, many immigrant families have already disenrolled from these programs even though current U.S. public charge policy still remains.
The Administration is expected to officially publish this proposal soon and will seek comments for 60 days after its release, and we strongly encourage you to respond. In addition, Child Care Aware® of America is working closely with the National Immigration Law Center and CLASP and you can access  key resources here. Also, we strongly urge you to join the webinar both organizations are hosting on  October 3 or October 17. Both are scheduled for 1:00 pm EST. 

Please continue to follow Child Care Aware® of America for further updates, and feel free to contact us with questions. You can read Child Care Aware of America's official statement here .  


October 1, 2018

New data out today from the U.S. Census Bureau show that progress for low-income Americans came to a near halt during the first year of the Trump Administration, in sharp contrast to previous years of progress. In 2017, the poverty rate fell slightly to 12.3 percent and the number of people in poverty was statistically unchanged from 2016, compared to the substantial decline in poverty in the previous two years (from 14.8
percent in 2014 to 13.5 percent in 2015 and 12.7 percent in 2016). While median household income rose for all households-at a far lower rate than in previous years-the improvement was concentrated among those in the top half of incomes

 Click here to read the full article.

October 1, 2018

After several years of lower poverty rates, higher income, and broader health coverage, gains slowed - and in some cases stalled - in the states in 2017, new Census data show. For example, fewer states reduced their share of people below the federal poverty line (about $25,000 for a family of four), according to new state data from the American Community Survey. Because policy decisions affect whether people get a real shot at economic opportunity and communities thrive, states should do what they can to reverse the decline in progress.

Today's data show that:

  • Poverty fell in 21 states in 2017 and rose in two (Delaware and West Virginia), compared to 2016 when it fell in 25 states and rose in just one.
  • Child poverty, in particular, fell in 16 states in 2017, compared with 23 in 2016. It rose in one state, New Hampshire. (See chart.)
  • Fewer states saw incomes rise, likely due in part to a  slowdown in employment gains, and income gains were not shared equally across racial and ethnic groups, as I've explained.

Click here to read the full article by Erica Williams.

September 4, 2018
Protect SNAP Benefits In The Farm Bill 

Members of the conference committee are working on a final version of the Farm Bill, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is a proven anti-poverty and anti-hunger program supporting low-wage working families, seniors, children, and people with disabilities, and it is at risk of massive cuts that could lead to one million working families losing access to these benefits.

Make sure the House and Senate conferees working on this legislation protect SNAP benefits as the Senate version of the bill proposes, and oppose any cuts to this critical program in a final Farm Bill.

Click here to communicate to your elected representatives.