The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014, which reauthorized (renewed and updated) the major federal child care assistance program for the first time since 1996, aimed to accomplish several essential goals: ensuring the health and safety of children in child care, improving the quality of care, and making it easier for families to get and retain child care assistance. These are important objectives, but achieving them entails costs—and Congress did not provide significant new funding to cover those additional costs when it passed the reauthorization law.
The National Women’s Law Center has been tracking states’ progress in implementing the CCDBG Act of 2014 and will continue to do so in the coming years by obtaining updates from state administrators and advocates and collecting data on state policies. As part of this effort, this report—an update to our initial report published in 2017—analyzes data on state policies and policy changes in four key areas addressed by the law. These four areas are:
• Additional staff hired to implement the law’s new licensing and monitoring requirements.
• Length of the eligibility period during which families can continue to receive child care assistance without having to recertify and interim reporting requirements during that period.
• Payment to child care providers for days when children receiving child care assistance are absent.
• Differential (higher) payment rates for special needs care, care during nontraditional hours, and other specialized care in short supply.
The trends in state policies in these four areas indicate that while many states have taken steps to meet specific requirements of the law, many states need to make additional changes to achieve full compliance and fulfill the law’s larger goals in one or more of these areas.