Child Care and Development Fund
Supporting Families and Providers Across Montana
2022-2024 CCDF State Plan Public Comment Period and Public Hearing
- The draft Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Plan for Montana is available for public review.
- The public comment period closed on May 7, 2021.
- A report of the public comments received, and the state’s responses will be available on the Montana CCDF Website.
- A public hearing was held May 12, 2021, as a webinar from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. A recording of the public hearing will be available soon.
What is the Child Care and Development Fund?
The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the primary Federal funding source devoted to providing low-income families that are working or participating in education and training with help paying for child care and improving the quality of care for all children. It provides child care financial assistance for 1.4 million children each month throughout the United States, U.S. Territories and Tribal Nations. A majority of these children are under the age of five, allowing CCDF to support early childhood education and care for hundreds of thousands of young children. Additionally, CCDF investments in improving the quality of care benefit millions more of the nation’s children who do not receive a child care subsidy but participate in child care programs that benefit from these quality investments, such as teacher training.¹
¹ Office of Child Care, Child Care and Development Fund Reauthorization
CCDF in Montana
The Early Childhood Services Bureau administers the CCDF. Through the CCDF, families and providers are supported in many ways:
- Equal access for families through the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship Program
- Reliable complaint process for families and providers
- Child Care Resource and Referral agencies across the state
- STARS to Quality, Montana’s Quality Rating and Improvement System
- Health and safety standards met by all licensed providers
- Transparent licensing inspection and monitoring information
CCDF State Plan
The CCDF State Plan is the primary mechanism that the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) uses to determine state and territory compliance with the requirements of the law and rule. States and territories use the plan to describe to ACF their progress on the following sections:
- Define CCDF Leadership and Coordination With Relevant Systems
- Promote Family Engagement Through Outreach and Consumer Education
- Provide Stable Child Care Financial Assistance to Families
- Ensure Equal Access to Child Care for Low-Income Families
- Establish Standards and Monitoring Processes To Ensure the Health and Safety of Child Care Settings
- Recruit and Retain a Qualified and Effective Child Care Workforce
- Support Continuous Quality Improvement
- Ensure Grantee Accountability
These sections reflect key functions of an integrated system of child care for low-income working families. Although the state plan is divided into sections for reporting and accountability purposes, ACF encourages states to approach the Plan in a cross-cutting, integrated manner. The intention is that grantees and the federal government will be able to use this information to track and assess progress, determine the need for technical assistance (TA), and determine compliance with specific requirements and deadlines.
The Montana CCDF Plan is effective for the period of June 1, 2019, through September 30, 2021.
Child Care and Development Fund Reauthorization
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 US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care
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- Best Beginnings Childcare Scholarship
- Best Beginnings STARS to Quality
- Child and Adult Care Food Program
- Child Care Licensing
- Montana Milestones