Final Rule Implementing CCDBG Act of 2014 Includes Important Provisions to Support Low-Income Families

On September 23, 2016, the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released final regulations implementing the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). This an important step forward in implementation of the new CCDBG law.

CLASP is thrilled to see provisions included in the rule that will support low-income families in accessing more stable child care assistance to help them go to work or school and to provide important continuity for children. The final rule includes important subsidy provisions that:

  • Codify the law’s 12-month eligibility provisions so that children who receive CCDBG-funded child care will be eligible for a minimum of 12 months of assistance, regardless of temporary changes in parents’ employment or participation in education or training, as long as family income does not exceed the maximum federal eligibility level;
  • Significantly decrease the reporting requirements for families during their eligibility period so that small changes in family circumstances no longer result in abrupt disruptions to assistance; and
  • Establish a graduated phase-out of subsidies that will ensure families keep assistance as their earnings increase above the initial qualifying eligibility levels. .

Additionally, the final rule clarifies for states important health, safety, and quality provisions.

CLASP is gratified that the new regulations reflect many recommendations made by the advocacy community, and we look forward to continue working with state policymakers and advocates as they balance how to realize the important opportunities in the law for low income children and parents with the real cost burden on states given the lack of sufficient federal and state investments to date in child care.  CLASP will provide more analysis on the rule and implementation opportunities in the coming weeks.