Child Care Aware® of America Releases 2019 Funding State Snapshots
Licensed child care is in short supply, but Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies can help
WASHINGTON, DC —Today, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) released its new policy report, CCDBG: 2019 State Snapshots, detailing the critical work that all 50 states are doing using Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding. This report describes the child care infrastructure needs of each state and how states are using the recent historic increase in CCDBG funding.
For this report, CCAoA worked with partners in all 50 states, including state departments and agencies, advocacy organizations and partners, to create the snapshots of CCDBG funding. CCAoA also broke down how much each state received in the recent historic increase and estimated what each state could receive with a $5 billion increase, based on previous state allocation data provided by the Office of Child Care.
Overall, this report shows how the recent historic increase in CCDBG funding has been beneficial for all states, enabling them to address important issues in child care and early education. Although the increase helped significantly, gaps still remain across most states in providing access to quality child care and support for the child care workforce, and in fully complying with CCDBG requirements.
Established in 1991, CCDBG is the primary source of federal funding for child care assistance. Administered in block grants, states can use the program to subsidize child care for working families with low incomes. In 2014, Congress reauthorized CCDBG with bipartisan support to include child care health, safety, and quality standards, and mandated new requirements on comprehensive criminal background checks and disaster preparedness planning, among other critical improvements. Since then, the program has enjoyed strong bipartisan support. This support paved the way for Congress reaching a budget deal in 2018 that nearly doubled the amount of discretionary funding for CCDBG, and increase of $2.4 billion.
Decades of research has demonstrated that children who participate in high-quality programs have positive lasting effects on IQ scores, boosted academic and economic achievement and lower incidences of childhood obesity and chronic illness.
“Making sure parents have access to affordable child care is important for families and our economy. The CCDBG program supports healthy early childhood development and gives hardworking parents the opportunity to build a better future for themselves and their kids,” said Senator Roy Blunt [R-MO], Chair of the Labor-H Subcommittee on Appropriations, which determines discretionary funding for CCDBG. “Our subcommittee has worked in a bipartisan way to increase resources for CCDBG, nearly doubling funding over the past two years. This has helped states begin to meet the goals of the 2014 reauthorization of the program to improve the safety and quality of child care programs, and expand access to affordable high-quality child care to more low-income working families.”
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, also emphasized the importance of the program. “Because so many parents and early childhood educators around the country have used their voices to highlight our nation’s child care crisis, last year we were able to get the biggest increase in child care funding ever,” said Senator Murray. “I’m pleased to see states are using the increased funding to provide assistance to more kids and families in need, improve the quality of care, give teachers and caregivers a much-needed raise, and more. But too many families are still struggling, and that’s why I’m going to keep fighting to ensure every family has access to high-quality, affordable child care, no matter where they live.”
CCAoA applauds both Senators for their leadership and working in a bipartisan way to strengthen the CCDBG program.
Prior to last year’s budget deal strong investment in CCDBG had been waning, taking a toll on the program. For example, in 2000 CCDBG funding served a historic high of 1.8 million children per month. That number has since declined to a low of 1.32 million in 2017, the most recent year in which data is available from the Department of Health and Human Services. Currently, fewer than 1 in 6 children eligible for child care assistance receive it, according to the Office of Child Care.
“The lack of affordable and accessible options for child care has created a financial emergency for working families,” said Dr. Lynette Fraga, Executive Director of CCAoA. “The child care conundrum is a systemic problem that must be addressed collectively through increased public and private investment, and deeper engagement at the community level with Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) and business alike. Congress took an important step in enacting the historic increase to CCDBG funding, but we need additional investment on both the federal and state level to create and sustain quality programs and services so that all children and families can thrive.”
Even with recent historic increases, federal funding for child care still remained $1 billion less than what it was in FY2001, when adjusting for inflation. For this reason, advocacy organizations are requesting another increase in discretionary funding for FY2020 in order to help states meet CCDBG requirements and ensure all children eligible for child care assistance are served.
To learn more about Child Care Aware® of America’s advocacy efforts, visit childcareworks.org or follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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About Child Care Aware® of America
Child Care Aware® of America is our nation’s leading voice for child care. CCAoA works with state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) and other community partners to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. CCAoA leads projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, offers comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertakes research, and advocates for child care policies that improve the lives of children and families. To learn more, visit usa.childcareaware.org. Follow CCAoA on Twitter @USAChildCare and on Facebook at facebook.com/usachildcare.