OCC Fact Sheet

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Mission Statement

The Office of Child Care supports low-income working families by providing access to affordable, high-quality early care and afterschool programs. OCC administers the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and works with state, territory, and tribal governments to provide support for children and their families juggling work schedules and struggling to find child care programs that will fit their needs and that will prepare children to succeed in school.

CCDF also improves the quality of care to support children’s healthy development and learning by supporting child care licensing, quality improvements systems to help programs meet higher standards, and support for child care workers to attain more training and education. To support CCDF services, we establish and oversee the implementation of child care policies, and provide guidance and technical assistance to states, tribes and territories as they administer CCDF programs.


Brief Description

 

  • Child Care Services Funded by CCDF: Subsidized child care services are available to eligible families through certificates (vouchers), or grants and contracts with providers. Parents may select a child care provider that satisfies any applicable state and local requirements, including basic health and safety requirements. These requirements must address prevention and control of infectious diseases, including immunizations; building and physical premises safety; and minimum health and safety training. Nearly 1.7 million children receive a child care subsidy from the CCDF program every month.
  • Quality Activities: A minimum of four percent of CCDF funds must be used to improve the quality of child care and other additional services to parents, such as resource and referral counseling regarding the selection of child care providers. Consistent with prior years, the fiscal year 2012 appropriation includes funding for targeted purposes: approximately $291 million for quality expansion activities of which almost $107 million is 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 health and safety 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 are making systemic investments, such as developing quality rating and improvement systems and professional development systems. Tribes may use a portion of their funds to construct child care facilities provided there is no reduction in the current level of child care services.
  • Coordination of Resources: The CCDF 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 CCDF with Head Start, pre-k, and other early childhood programs. States can also transfer a portion of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families dollars to CCDF, or spend TANF directly for child care.
  • State and Tribal Child Care Plans: All states, territories and tribes must submit comprehensive plans every two years and conduct public hearings to invite public comment.
  • Research: Fiscal year 2012 funding includes approximately $10 million for child care research, demonstration and evaluation activities. These funds are increasing 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 awarded to support individual project areas, including policy research, research partnerships, research scholars and a web-based archive called Child Care and Early Education Research Connections.
  • Technical Assistance: One-fourth of one percent of the total CCDF is used by the Child Care Bureau to provide technical assistance to grantees. Its technical assistance network is designed to address the needs of states, territories and tribes administering CCDF.

Brief History of Program

CCDF is authorized under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) which was enacted under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation act of 1990. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 amended and reauthorized the CCDBG and consolidated three federal childcare programs previously serving low-income families under the program formerly known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children. CCDF made $5.2 billion available to states, territories, and tribes in fiscal year 2012.


Leadership

Shannon Rudisill, Director of the Office of Child Care, ACFShannon Rudisill is the director of the Office of Child Care, where she has focused on raising the bar on quality in child care across the country, particularly for low-income children. From 2000 to 2007, Rudisill served as director of the Division of Technical Assistance at the CCB. As director, she initiated new projects in the areas of infant and toddler care, the social and emotional development of young children, and school readiness. In addition, she built bridges between these early childhood programs and programs at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to that, she was a special assistant to ACF Assistant Secretary Olivia Golden and worked extensively on the Clinton Administration’s child care initiative.

During her tenure as OCC director, Rudisill has promoted child care policies and practices that are child-focused, family-friendly, and fair to providers. Her accomplishments include putting forward a reform agenda for reauthorization, overhauling the state, territory and tribal child care planning process, and restructuring the OCC technical assistance network. This work has resulted in a CCDF program concentrated on improving health and safety in child care programs, strong professional development and workforce initiatives, quality rating and improvement systems that set standards of excellence for child care providers, and a subsidy system that balances the importance of program integrity with child care access for vulnerable families. Rudisill also works closely with the Department of Education to build a high-quality, integrated early learning system through the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge.

She is a graduate of Duke University and has a Master of Social Work degree from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.


General Information

Director/Commissioner in Charge of Program
Shannon Rudisill

Physical Address
Office of Child Care Administration for Children & Families
370 L’Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447

Main Phone Number
(202) 690-6782

Fax Number
(202) 690-5600

Website Link
www.acf.hhs.org/programs/occ


Download PDF of Fact Sheet (112kb)