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Child Care and Development Fund Final Rule FAQs

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


What is the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)?

  • The CCDF is a federal and state partnership program (over $5 billion in federal funding) authorized under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) and administered by states, territories, and tribes with funding and support from the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Child Care. States use CCDF to provide financial assistance to low-income families to access child care so they can work or attend a job training or educational program.
  • The CCDF program helps fund child care assistance for 1.4 million children, under age 13, each month.
  • In addition, states use the CCDF to invest in quality to benefit millions more children by building the skills and qualifications of the teacher workforce, supporting child care programs to achieve higher standards, and providing consumer education to help parents select child care that meets their families’ needs.

How many children and families are currently being served by CCDF?

Nearly 1.4 million children under age 13 from almost 850,000 low-income working families are served by CCDF each month. This support enables their parents to work and participate in education or training to improve their job prospects. In addition, CCDF funds support state, territory, and tribal initiatives to improve the quality of child care for all children in our nation.

How does CCDF support parental choice?

Parents in eligible low-income families receive help paying for child care at a provider of their choice. The parent may select any provider meeting the state’s health and safety requirements that ensure basic protections for children. Parents receive consumer education and information on such topics as what to look for in a quality child care provider.

How does CCDF benefit families who do not receive subsidies?

Many children who receive no direct assistance from CCDF benefit from the program’s health and safety requirements as well as accessible consumer information and education for their parents and providers. In addition, states spend a portion of CCDF funds on activities to improve the quality of care—such as training and professional development for caregivers, teachers and directors, and quality rating and improvement systems that provide information to parents and improve quality. These activities reach far beyond the children receiving subsidies to benefit many of the approximately 12.5 million children in child care.

Related Content: Child Care and Development Fund Block Grant