How States Can Spend $10 Billion for Child Care Well, Wisely & With Urgency
By Danielle Ewen, Lauren Hogan, and Christine Johnson-Staub
In December 2020, under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Congress allocated $10 billion to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), in addition to the $3.5 billion allocated through the CARES Act in March 2020. Under CCDBG, states have significant flexibility in how funds can be spent to support working families and providers through the COVID-19 crisis. An estimated distribution of funds by state can be found here. The new funds in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 can help provide relief and stability for child care while providing needed supports to children and their families. But if our economy is to recover over the long term, it will require a reimagined approach to financing and structuring the systems that support high-quality child care.
This brief, co-written with NAEYC and EducationCounsel, outlines policy considerations that can be implemented in state plans to spend these funds and provide immediate relief. In creating these plans, states can draw on what they’ve heard from providers and parents throughout the pandemic, the data they have on needs of the field, innovations from other states, and consideration of which providers and communities have been hardest hit by the public health and economic crisis, with racial equity and other inequities as a key consideration. This $10 billion in funding is both addressing an emergency and creating an opportunity. States must spend this money urgently and wisely, putting effective policies into place, and demonstrating the deep need for additional, ongoing, substantial, and sustainable funding that sets our nation on a path towards an essential, equitable, quality child care system.