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Child Care and Development Fund Program Fact Sheet

Published: July 15, 2014
Fact Sheet

The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program made available $5.3 billion to States, Territories, and Tribes in fiscal year (FY) 2014. The CCDF program is authorized by the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act and Section 418 of the Social Security Act and assists low-income families in obtaining child care so that they can work or attend training and/or educational activities. The program also improves the quality of child care and promotes coordination among early childhood development and afterschool programs.

Woman playing with child Child Care Services Funded by the CCDF Program

Subsidized child care services are available to eligible families through certificates (vouchers) or grants and contracts with providers. Parents can select a child care provider that satisfies any applicable State and local requirements, including basic health and safety requirements. These requirements must address the prevention and control of infectious diseases, including immunizations; building and physical premises safety; and minimum health and safety training.

Quality Activities

Teacher at computer with studentsA minimum of 4 percent of CCDF program funds must be used to improve the quality of child care and other services to parents, such as resource and referral counseling regarding the selection of child care providers. Consistent with prior years, the FY 2014 appropriation includes additional funding for targeted purposes—$296 million for quality expansion activities, of which $109 million is provided to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers and $19 million to improve school-age care and child care resource and referral services.

To improve the quality of available child care, CCDF lead agencies provide training, grants, and loans to providers; improved monitoring; compensation projects; and other innovative programs. Many lead agencies make systemic investments, such as developing quality rating and improvement systems and professional development systems. Tribes can use a portion of their funds to construct child care facilities provided that there is no reduction in the current level of child care services.

Coordination of ResourcesWomen with kids eating fruit

The CCDF program allows States to serve families through a single, integrated child care subsidy program under the rules of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act. States coordinate the CCDF program with Head Start, Early Head Start, prekindergarten, and other early childhood programs and can also transfer a portion of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program dollars to the CCDF program or can spend TANF program funds directly for child care needs.

State, Territory, and Tribal Child Care Plans

All States, Territories, and Tribes must submit comprehensive plans every 2 years and must conduct public hearings to invite public comments.


FY 2014 funding includes about $10 million for child care research, demonstration, and evaluation activities. These funds will increase the capacity for child care research at the national, State, and local levels while addressing critical questions with implications for children and families. Funds have been used to implement the National Survey of Early Care and Education; assess evidence on the effectiveness of quality improvement initiatives; support Child Care & Early Education Research Connections, a Web-based archive; and sponsor other research and evaluation efforts.

Technical Assistance

One-fourth of 1 percent of the total CCDF program funds are used by the Office of Child Care (OCC) to provide technical assistance (TA) to grantees. OCC’s TA network is designed to address the needs of States, Territories, and Tribes in administering the CCDF program. The network includes the following projects:

  • Child Care & Early Education Research Connections
  • Child Care Aware
  • Child Care Communications Management Center
  • Child Care State Systems Specialist Network
  • Healthy Child Care America
  • National Center on Child Care Data and Technology
  • National Center on Child Care Professional Development Systems and Workforce Initiatives
  • National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement
  • National Center on Child Care Subsidy Innovation and Accountability
  • National Center on Tribal Child Care Implementation and Innovation