Program Instruction: CCDF-ACF-PI-2013-02
Final State and Territorial Child Care and Development Fund Preprint for FY 2014-2015
TO: State and Territorial Lead Agencies administering child care programs under the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 1990, as amended, and other interested parties.
Subject: This Program Instruction (PI) transmits the revised State/Territory Plan Preprint (ACF-118) for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-2015 biennium, and provides guidance for completing and submitting the Plan. This Plan is required by Section 658E of the CCDBG Act.
References: The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 9858 et seq.; Section 418 of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 618; 45 CFR Parts 98 and 99.
Purpose: The CCDF Plan serves as the Lead Agency’s application for CCDF funds by providing a description of the child care program and services available to eligible families. The Plan includes certain assurances and certifications required by CCDBG statute and provides information about the overall management of CCDF services, including:
- income eligibility guidelines,
- provider payment rates,
- parental rights and responsibilities,
- program integrity and accountability.
The Lead Agency also describes goals for administration of the subsidy program and quality improvement activities that include assurances of health and safety and continuous improvement strategies for child care programs as well as career pathways for child care providers and staff. The CCDF Plan also presents an opportunity for States and Territories to demonstrate the activities and services they are providing to meet the needs of low-income children and families. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) makes Plans publicly available to many users including members of Congress, Congressional committees, State and local child care administrators, advocacy groups, researchers, and the general public.
CCDF Plan Revisions: The FY 2014-2015 Plan Preprint includes revisions in each of the three sections of the Preprint, including
- the CCDF coordination and re-determination periods with other programs,
- payment rate ceilings in the lowest and highest rate areas for licensed family child care and center-based care for selected age groups,
- licensing requirements,
- effective enforcement of health and safety requirements, and
- goals for the next biennium and sections in the Quality Performance Report (Appendix 1).
Quality Performance Report (Appendix 1)
This annual report will be submitted to ACF no later than December 31, 2014 and will reflect the period from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014. Lead Agencies will leave this report blank when the initial plan is submitted.
Guidance: State and Territorial Lead Agencies are required to submit a CCDF Plan for the FY 2014-2015 biennium (October 1, 2013-September 30, 2015) by July 1, 2013. The State and Territory CCDF Plan Preprint (ACF-118) for FY 2014-2015 is included as Attachment A for reference purposes only. Lead Agencies will continue to use the online submission tool to enter their Plan information and submit it to ACF via the Web. While this Program Instruction provides brief guidance and clarification in a few areas, the electronic submission (“e-submission”) process has allowed ACF to embed more guidance and definitions directly into the Plan Preprint document and in the e-submission site. Lead Agencies must complete and submit the attached ACF-118 CCDF Plan Preprint via e-submission by July 1, 2013.
Lead Agencies’ Responsibilities – Section 658D(b)(1)(A) of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990, as amended, (the “Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 9858b(b)(1)(A), requires the Lead Agency to “administer, directly or through other State governmental or non-governmental agencies…” the funds received. The regulations at 45 CFR 98.11 provide that, in addition to retaining overall responsibility for the administration of the program, the Lead Agency must also (among other things) promulgate all rules and regulations of the CCDF program; ensure compliance with the approved Plan and all Federal requirements; oversee the expenditure of funds by subgrantees and contractors; and ensure that any local or non-governmental entities through which the State administers the program operate according to the rules established for the CCDF.
Preparing the Biennial Plan – ACF reminds Lead Agencies that in preparing their biennial Plans, the Act requires Lead Agencies to:
(1) Consult with appropriate representatives of local governments;
(2) Coordinate the provision of services with Federal, State, and local child care and early childhood programs;
(3) Provide statewide notice of at least one public hearing before the Plan is submitted to ACF to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the child care services to be provided under the Plan (Section 658D(b)(1) and (2) of the Act; 45 CFR 98.14); and
(4) Complete a local Market Rate Survey (MRS) no earlier than 2 years prior to the effective date of the Plan (no earlier than October 1, 2011) and no later than June 30, 2013 (45 CFR 98.43(b)). The MRS must be completed prior to the submission of the CCDF Plan (see Program Instruction CCDF-ACF-PI-2009-2). Lead Agencies must include a summary of the results of the survey and a copy of the MRS instrument.
Submitting the Plan – ACF reminds Lead Agencies that section 658D(a) of the Act requires the chief executive officer of a State to designate the Lead Agency in its application. The Lead Agency, in turn, develops and submits the Plan and administers the program, either directly or through other entities pursuant to section 658D(b) of the Act (see also 45 CFR 98.10). Anyone submitting the Plan must be legally authorized to act on behalf of the Lead Agency.
Attachments – Unless otherwise specified, all required attachments must be submitted along with the Plan Preprint to provide supplemental information for corresponding questions. These attachments must be uploaded through the e-submission site. Lead Agencies should not submit attachments that are not required.
Deadlines and Effective Dates: Lead Agencies must submit their Plans for ACF review no later than July 1, 2013. Upon approval by ACF, Plans are effective on October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2015.
Plan Amendments: Any substantial change to the CCDF program requires an amendment to the approved Plan pursuant to 45 CFR 98.18(b) of CCDF regulations. Lead Agencies should submit the Log and amendment within 60 days of the effective date of the change. ACF will make determinations on amendments no later than 90 days following the date on which the amendment is received, unless a written agreement to extend that period has been secured. Program Instruction, CCDF-ACF-PI-2009-01, provides additional clarification regarding Plan amendments and is available on the Office of Child Care’s website.
General Resources for Completing the CCDF Plan:
Inquiries: Direct all inquiries to the ACF Regional Offices (see Attachment B).
Shannon L. Rudisill
Office of Child Care
Attachment A: FY 2014-2015 CCDF Plan Preprint (ACF-118)
Attachment B: ACF Regional Child Care Program Managers