Recent Child Care Growth to Fade, Startling Drop in Assistance Projected

Mar 01, 2012

By Hannah Matthews

The number of children receiving child care assistance will fall to a 15-year low in FY 2013, according to information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  

Spending and participation in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program increased in 2010, the latest year for which data are available and also the year in which states spent the bulk of their funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The increases in spending and the number of children receiving assistance are not surprising due to the large amount of ARRA dollars spent in 2010, which comprised 12 percent of CCDBG expenditures. However, documents released as part of the FY 2013 HHS budget request signal a disturbing trend.

The administration estimates that only 1.5 million children would be served in CCDBG in 2013 if President Obama's funding request of an $825 million increase for CCDBG is adopted. Absent an increase in funding in 2013, as few as 1.4 million children might be served in 2013. This large decrease in children served would result in the smallest number of children reported in CCDBG since 1998.

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