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4

POLICY
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CCDBG implementation plans seek stakeholder input by March 1 deadline

By Jillian Luchner

The Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBG), supporting low-income working families with quality child care, were reauthorized in 2014 after 18 years. The update included a number of statutory changes on issues such as health and safety, staff training, background checks, staff ratios and group limit policies, consumer education, family eligibility policies, payment practices, tribal set-asides and quality standards among other topics.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published a timeline of when expected changes must be enacted, and states must plan the details of implementation. Late in 2015, the Office of Child Care at HHS published the CCDF FY2016–2018 Final Plan Preprint for States and Territories and accompanying Program Instruction which serves as a blueprint for state agencies’ plans.

States have been given until March 1, 2016 to present plans on how they will implement the new requirementsEach state must meet with stakeholders and take public comment into consideration before finalizing their plan.

Some provisions especially relevant to afterschool programs include:

  • School-age child care ratios
  • Group size limits
  • Quality standards
  • Healthy and safety standards
  • Ensuring a continuum of care from early childhood programs into school age programs.  
  • Licensing and license exempt requirements for physical space
  • Inclusion of afterschool networks on advisory committees
  • Family income exit limits
  • Family contributions/ fees
  • Provider reimbursement rates

Scheduled public hearings are being tracked by the Early Care and Education Consortium here. California, Iowa, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington DC, and Wisconsin each have meetings scheduled for January 2016. Child Care Aware lists the requirements of the public hearing process, including 20 days’ notice prior to the hearing and details as to how public input will be considered in the final plan. The Office of Child Care lists the coordinating office and contacts for each state.

At the federal level, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new set of regulations for implementation with a 60 day comment period (comments due February 24th). HHS reminds people to comment on proposed regulations they both “like” and “don’t like.” They also ask that comments be sent as early as possible. When possible, they request a single submission with multiple signatories rather than a deluge of form letters in order to simplify the process of review. The National Women’s Law Center and CLASP will be holding a conference call January 20th at 3 p.m. to discuss the federal regulations.

Federal appropriations for CCDBG funding for FY2016 (p. 122) were allocated at $2.761 billion, an increase of $326 million over FY15. New requirements, including tiered reimbursements, licensing inspections, background checks, and annual monitoring are expected to require additional investments. To ensure quality improvements in their childcare system, Oregon's legislature reached out to the child care community for input and allocated $42 million in additional funds. We will continue to provide updates as we become aware of what states are doing in regards to public hearings, proposed policies, investments, and support.

Additional Resources:

CLASP Resources Website

Webinars:

Moving Forward With the Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships: Highlights, Lessons Learned, and Early Successes

Child Care and Development Block Grant Act Reauthorization Anniversary webinar

Known Published Draft Plans (please let us know if your state has made the draft public):

 CAGA, IA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NM, OK, ORPA, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI

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