TANF Child Care in 2009

Sep 28, 2010

By Hannah Matthews

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds used for child care increased from $3.3 billion to $3.5 billion in 2009, a 6 percent increase, according to data released by the Administration for Children and Families. This is the third year in a row that federal TANF funds used for child care increased. 

States choose to use TANF funds to provide child care assistance to families. They can spend TANF funds directly on child care, usually in the form of vouchers given to parents. And they may also choose to transfer up to 30 percent of their annual TANF block grant to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) or to a combination of CCDBG and the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). 

Funds spent directly on child care through the TANF program increased from $1.6 billion in 2009 to $1.8 billion in 2009. TANF transfers to CCDBG increased slightly from $1.68 billion in 2008 to $1.72 billion in 2009. No state transferred the maximum amount of 30 percent of TANF funds. Thirteen states transferred between 20 to 29 percent of their TANF funds to a combination of CCDBG and SSBG: Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. 

States are required to spend state dollars through a TANF maintenance-of-effort (MOE) requirement. State MOE spending on child care decreased from $2.6 billion in 2008 to $2.3 billion in 2009. A portion of TANF MOE funds spent on child care may also be directed toward states' CCDBG MOE requirement. 

The Administration for Children and Families has not yet released FY 2009 expenditure data for CCDBG, so it is not possible to determine total child care spending (CCDBG and TANF combined) for 2009. When that data is available, CLASP will produce additional analysis on national child care spending trends as in prior years, as well as updated state-by-state child care spending pages. State-by-state tables analyzing TANF and MOE spending are currently available on CLASP's website.

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