High-quality child care and early education can build a strong foundation for young children's healthy development and ensure that children have all they need to thrive. This knowledge drives CLASP's work to promote policies that support both child development and the needs of low-income working parents. We support policies that expand resources for child care and early education initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels.  We also study the relationships between child care subsidy systems, Head Start and Early Head Start, state pre-kindergarten programs, and other birth to five early education efforts, to advance ideas that ensure these systems address the full range of needs of children and families. 

Subcribe to Child Care/Early Ed Updates by Email!     UPCOMING EVENTS
Find out where and when
our experts are speaking.

Mar 30, 2015  |  PERMALINK »

No Progress on Child Care Assistance Spending, Participation

By Stephanie Schmit

According to new analysis from CLASP, national spending on child care assistance for low-income families remains at historic lows. In FY 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, spending totaled just $11.3 million—a slight decrease from FY 2012’s decade-low $1.4 billion. The 2013 figures includes expenditures of federal and state child care and development block grant (CCDBG) funds, as well as federal and state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds used for child care.

The number of children receiving CCDBG-funded child care has also declined steadily, hitting a 16-year low of 1.46 million in 2013. Since 2006, the number of children served has dropped by roughly 315,000. It is unknown how many children received child care funded directly by TANF because states are not required to report this number. According to 2011 estimates from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, TANF and the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) served an additional 900,000 children in an average month over FY 2013.

For years, CLASP has sounded the alarm on these disturbing trends, and the need to reverse them is more urgent now than ever. In November 2014, President Obama signed the CCDBG Act of 2014—the first reauthorization of CCDBG in 18 years. A key purpose of the updated law is to increase the number of low-income children in high-quality child care settings. However, significant new resources are needed to fund this costly provision and achieve higher quality and increased access. Federal funding debates are just beginning for FY 2016; it’s critical that lawmakers take this opportunity to reverse trends by putting money behind the overwhelmingly bipartisan reauthorization. States, too, should consider new investments in child care. By directing resources to fund child care improvements included in the reauthorization, states can advance multiple goals: support for working families, economic investment, and early learning.

Reauthorization was an important step, but there’s still a long way to go. Let’s reverse these trends. With a new law comes a new opportunity to focus investments on the needs of working families and their children.

CCDBG Reauthorization

CLASP resources on the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 reauthorization and implementation. READ MORE »
site by Trilogy Interactive