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Child Care and Development Fund Reauthorization

Child Care and Development Fund Reauthorization

Background

On November 19, 2014, President Obama signed the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 into law.  This reauthorizes the child care program for the first time since 1996 and represents an historic re-envisioning of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program. The new law makes significant advancements by defining health and safety requirements for child care providers, outlining family-friendly eligibility policies, and ensuring parents and the general public have transparent information about the child care choices available to them

[1] US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/occ/ccdf-reauthorization

The Reauthorization of CCDF and the supporting State Plan covers the following categories: 

  1. CCDF Leadership and Coordination with Early Childhood Systems
  2. Promoting Family Engagement through Outreach and Consumer Education
  3. Providing Stable Child Care Financial Assistance
  4. Ensure Equal Access to High Quality Child Care for Low Income Families
  5. Establish Standards and Monitoring Processes to ensure Health and Safety of Child Care Settings
  6. Recruit and Retain Qualified and Effective Child Care Workforce
  7. Support Continuous Quality Improvement
  8. Ensure Grantee Accountability and Program Integrity

CCDF State Plan

In general, there are significant changes which not only include moving from a two-year plan to a three-year plan, but many other detailed provisions within the above categories.  Changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Significant requirements related to public notice related to child care licensing inspections, complaints, etc.
  • Increased expectations related to consumer education for parents and providers
  • Increased compliance with licensing requirements and rationale for why license exempt providers do not endanger health, safety, and development of children
  • Enhanced training and professional development requirements and strategies 
  • Enhanced expectations for health and safety standards as well as monitoring practices
  • Targeted outreach and service to specific populations such as children in underserved areas, infants and toddlers, children with disabilities, and non-traditional hours
  • Changes in subsidy administration and continuity of care policies as well as payment practices
  • Increasing quality care
  • Stronger background check expectations

2016-2018 CCDF State Plan

The Montana CCDF Plan is effective for the period of June 1, 2016, through September 30, 2018.