The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) requires that states develop consumer education information for Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) parents, providers, and the general public on the following topics:
- The availability of child care assistance
- The quality of child care providers (if available)
- Research and best practices in child development
- State/territory policies related to the social-emotional, behavioral, or mental health of young children (e.g., policies about the use of PBIS or suspension/expulsion policies for early childhood programs)
- The following government-funded assistance programs:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Head Start and Early Head Start
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program
- Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
- Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
- Programs and services available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
In a state and territory scan of state agency and select Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) websites conducted in March and April of 2016, Child Care Aware® of America found that most states had implemented some, but not all, of the CCDBG consumer education website requirements. There is wide variation in how—and how well—states and CCR&Rs have presented consumer education information to families online.
For years, CCR&Rs have been at the forefront of connecting children and families to child care services, other community services, and programs that foster the growth and development of children. They have done so via face-to-face meetings, telephone hotlines, and the internet. Now CCR&Rs (and states) must either launch new, or enhance existing, websites to meet the requirements of CCDBG.
While there is movement at the federal level on developing the national childcare.gov website, we also know that states must continue to play an important role in providing consumers with information on federally funded programs that have state-specific eligibility requirements. For this reason, we support states in their efforts to meet CCDBG requirements by developing content that is localized and meaningful.