Child Care and Development Block Grant
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG, or the Child Care and Development Fund, CCDF) is the largest source of federal funding to provide child care assistance for low-income families and improve the quality of child care. CLASP actively supports increased funding for CCDBG and expanded investments in quality initiatives.
In September 2013, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed the bipartisan Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013.
The Senate bill emphasizes improvements in health and safety, along with child care quality. The bill incorporates a number of changes to the program, including the following:
Health and safety standards: States would have to ensure that providers serving children benefiting from CCDBG receive training in particular areas including prevention of SIDS and safe sleeping, first aid and CPR, and others.
Background Checks: The bill requires comprehensive criminal background checks for all licensed child care providers and all providers receiving CCDBG funds.
On-site monitoring: Licensed providers would be subject to at least one pre-licensure inspection and at least one annual unannounced inspection to monitor health and safety standards.
Increased consumer education for parents: States would have to make available information about the child care services and quality of providers, along with making public the results of licensing and monitoring visits for eligible providers.
Annual eligibility determination: States must adopt 12 month authorization periods for families, regardless of changes in parent's work/education status or income, as long as family income does not exceed 85% of State median income, thus improving the continuity of care for children.
To date, there has been no legislative action in the House, which would be necessary for a reauthorization to be completed.