Tracking ARRA Child Care Funds - April 2010
Apr 21, 2010 | Child Care & Early Education
Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) ARRA funds are available until September 30, 2010. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issues weekly reports tracking state outlays of ARRA funds. As of April 9, states, territories, and tribes have drawn down a total of $730.7 million in child care funds, or 37 percent of the $2 billion allocation.
Ten states have drawn down 75 percent or more of their allocated dollars: Arkansas, Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington. Additionally, six states have drawn down between 50-75 percent of their allocated dollars: Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Please note that ARRA reporting of state outlays includes any tribal funds drawn down within the state. To track weekly financial reports for your state, go to HHS.gov/Recovery or check back here monthly as we update national and state-by-state spending. VIEW STATE OUTLAYS>>
States are using ARRA child care funds in a variety of ways to help alleviate some of the challenges that low-income families and child care providers are facing in the economic downturn and to improve the quality of care for young children, including infants and toddlers. The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) released a new report, Supporting State Child Care Efforts with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds, which illustrates some of the key strategies that states are taking to utilize these funds. Among them, states are using ARRA funds to:
- Reduce or maintain child care waiting lists,
- Provide child care assistance to parents seeking work,
- Reduce copayments for families receiving child care assistance,
- Maintain or increase reimbursement rates for child care providers,
- Offer provider training, education, or other professional development opportunities,
- Create grants for equipment, supplies, or other materials for child care programs,
- Provide comprehensive services, such as health care, screenings and assessments, and supports for children with special needs.
According to the NWLC report, at least nine states have made cuts to their child care assistance programs that reduce families' access to assistance and/or their benefits level. Without ARRA funds, the impact of these cuts would likely have been worse. As the expiration date for the funds gets closer, it is important that states think about how to build on their ARRA investments to ensure that the benefits gained from them are sustained and that families and providers continue to have the supports and services they need to promote healthy child growth and development.