Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) state plans open for stakeholder comments

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Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) state plans open for stakeholder comments

Update: June 13 at 5 p.m.: The federal Office of Child Care at the Administration for Children and Families has extended the date for the submission of state plans for CCDBG to August 31, which provides more time for the plans to reflect the availability of the new CCDBG funds.

Stakeholder feedback is now being solicited in all 50 states on the 2019-2021 Child Care Development Block grant (CCDBG) also known as also known as Child Care Development Fund (CCDF).  The Child Care Development Block grant provides federal funding to states so that low-income adults can secure quality, developmentally appropriate care for their children, ages birth to 13, while they pursue the careers needed to build and maintain a healthy life at home.

Every three years, states agencies submit a plan to the Federal Office of Child Care (which oversees the program) and describe details of their state’s implementation plan in order to receive the federal funds. We have heard from some states that the deadline is expected to be extended to August 31st for state plans, and that the draft plan pre-print has been finalized, so that states will now have a complete plan print to work from. We still await further confirmation from the Office of Child Care website

For parents, these plans’ details can be extremely important as they address issues such as who is eligible for funding, how parents can learn about available programs, and the level of subsidy they will be provided.

For programs, these plans can be the difference between them being able to open their doors to participate and accept children supported with CCDF funds or having to close their doors to the federal program due to barriers to participation such as unrealistic reimbursement rates, costs, training or other compliance requirements.

The plans include elements of health and safety, background checks including the process and cost burdens, the amount paid to providers and the process and time-scale of paid reimbursement, the expectations for program staff, the resources available to support staff career development, and the trainings offered.

For the afterschool community, these plans present a large opportunity to advocate for the 35 percent or more of youth served with CCDBG funding that are school aged — usually ages 5 or 6 to 13 — depending on the definition in the state.

Here are three important areas of the state-level plans for providers to be aware of as the process continues:

  1. Afterschool network coordination: For the first time, states are required to discuss their coordination with their statewide afterschool networks (or other main entities for out-of-school-time care). For example: In its coordination, Oregon mentions using funds in coordination with the Afterschool Network to convene a quarterly stakeholder meeting for all operators of school-age programs.
  2. Professional development: Professional development opportunities in the plan can be differentiated for school age providers so that students get age-appropriate services from qualified staff. Some states also provide funding to support staff obtaining classes and higher education degrees; some even provide higher payment rates for staff who have obtained more training. States also have professional development advisory councils that help design these processes. For example: Illinois has a professional development system and career lattice that specifically includes a School Age Youth Development Credential. Illinois also has a program, GreatSTART which awards licensed practitioners, including in school aged care, for obtaining higher education and staying at their place of employment.
  3. Exemptions: States can exempt providers from different components in the plan, including licensing and health and safety requirements (where applicable and explaining how exemption will not harm those in care) and trainings not relevant to the setting or age of children served. For example: Georgia notes in explaining an exemption for summer camps “in some areas of the state there is a lack of licensed care, meaning that day camps are the only resource available to working families for care outside school hours. Without this exemption category and the opportunity for subsidy children to attend, families and children would be put at risk.”

Other: Also in the plan you can see what your states is doing around health and nutrition, physical activity, social and emotional learning, and other optional areas.

For a more detailed explanation of where to look in your state’s plan for opportunities, see our opportunities for school age programs guide here and some scans of draft plans in three states here. For an example of comments on state child care plans, see Virgina's response here.

Also, don’t forget some more good news: for the FY 18 Federal Budget appropriation, Congress substantially increased the funding for CCDBG programs, to meet more need across the nation. As a result, states now also have the opportunity to spend more money on areas like broadening access, increasing provider rates, building out quality, or other activities.  Arkansas for example, used their increase to open up enough slots to serve the 2,000 infants and youth who had been long  awaiting access on their child care waitlist. A huge win for children and families in that state.

Your voice as an advocate for the children who access these programs is important to state decision-making – we hope those who can will reach out to the department responsible for CCDBG funding in their states and provide their perspective today!

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