In November 2014, Congress reauthorized the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the major federal child care program, for the first time since 1996. It offered states a framework to improve their child care assistance programs to help families access safe, reliable, affordable child care, better enabling parents to go to work or school and furthering children’s healthy growth and development. The law’s goals of raising health and safety standards for all children receiving CCDBG-funded child care and increasing the quality of care are essential for the well-being of children, especially the most vulnerable children.  However, the ultimate success of the CCDBG reauthorization will depend on federal and state lawmakers’ commitment to investing in this vital work support and child care program.

This guide is an update of the implementation guide published by CLASP and NWLC in April 2015 and includes an outline and discussion of provisions in the final rule implementing CCDBG issued by the Administration for Children and Families in September 2016. This guidebook summarizes and analyzes key sections of the law, offers recommendations—and cautions—for states as they consider how to implement those sections, and suggests related resources that may be useful for background information or model policies.

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