Trump Administration Officials Tour Oklahoma HOPE Centers; Highlight Child Care Flexibilities to Help Families During School Closures

October 5, 2020

Today, Trump administration officials toured two Oklahoma City Community HOPE Centers, highlighting new flexibilities that are available to states in the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) block grant program. CCDF provides federal funding to states to support child care services for low-income working families.

HHS’s Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan and Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Lynn Johnson joined Governor and First Lady Stitt, state officials, and other leaders today to tour Oklahoma’s Community HOPE Centers, launched last month using CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds. HOPE centers use a community-based model to meet critical needs of children and parents and prioritize areas most affected by the closure of certain K-12 schools to in-person instruction. The centers provide support for children engaged in remote instruction, in addition to other services and supports for families.

“We applaud the work of Oklahoma in creatively addressing the needs of children and families who need support, especially where in-person school is not available,” said Hargan. “The flexibilities we’re offering from HHS will help Oklahoma, and states nationwide, to continue pioneering new ways of ensuring that the needs of low-income children and families remain prioritized when schools are closed to in-person instruction.”

The HHS flexibilities available to states allow states, territories, and tribal grantees to use CCDF funds—totaling $8.7 billion in FY2020, as well as $3.5 billion in supplemental CARES Act funding to:

1) Subsidize child care services for school-age children (up to age 13) while they receive remote instruction provided by schools that are closed to in-person instruction;

2) Subsidize academic supportive services as a feature of care that supplements or enhances remote instruction, but that does not duplicate or supplant the academic program of schools.

3) Subsidize child care services that provide care and supervision for school-age children (up to age 13) in situations where schools are not otherwise providing in-person instruction and an non-CCDF source pays for in-person instructional services delivered in a child care setting.

These flexibilities aim to:

1. Provide more options, and relief, for low-income working parents with school-age children who need care and supervision in order to work;

2. Support the educational advancement of children whose instruction is disrupted by the closure of certain schools to in-person learning;

3. Offer states maximum flexibility to respond to issues caused by the move to partial or total remote learning;

4. Leverage existing child care capacity, including other small providers who may have interest, in helping meet the need created by transitions to remote learning.

“The Trump administration understands the needs of children and families who have struggled this year due to the closure of schools to in-person learning,” said HHS Assistant Secretary Lynn Johnson. “This is why we are doing everything we can to give states more flexibility, especially on child care, so states can be as creative as possible in helping families succeed through difficult situations. We have been particularly impressed by the action the Stitt administration has taken to meet the needs of Oklahoma children and families.”

Background

ACF, through its Office of Child Care (OCC), administers the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), the largest dedicated federal funding source to states for child care. The CCDF federal block grant to states, territories, and tribes totaled $8.7 billion in FY2020, as well as supplemental CARES Act funds for CCDF totaling $3.5 billion. CCDF subsidizes the cost of child care for low-income working families, for children through age 12. In FY2018, CCDF subsidies supported subsidies for more than 1.3 million children nationwide. More information about OCC and CCDF can be found here.

Families receiving CCDF subsidies must still meet the eligibility criteria established by each state’s child care agency, providers of care must continue to follow each state’s regulatory apparatus, and CCDF does not pay for parental care.

Quick Facts

  • CCDF subsidizes the cost of child care for low-income working families, for children through age 12.
  • The HHS flexibilities available to states allow states, territories, and tribal grantees to use CCDF funds—totaling $8.7 billion in FY2020, as well as $3.5 billion in supplemental CARES Act funding
  • ACF, through its Office of Child Care (OCC), administers the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), the largest dedicated federal funding source to states for child care.

Quotes

“The Trump administration understands the needs of children and families who have struggled this year due to the closure of schools and in-person learning."
— HHS Assistant Secretary Lynn Johnson
“This is why we are doing everything we can to give states more flexibility, especially on child care, so governors can help families dealing with difficult situations. "
— HHS Assistant Secretary Lynn Johnson
"We have been particularly impressed by the action the Stitt administration has taken to meet the needs of Oklahoma children and families.”
— HHS Assistant Secretary Lynn Johnson
“We applaud the work of Oklahoma in creatively addressing the needs of children and families who need support, especially where in-person school is not available."
— HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan
“The flexibilities we’re offering from HHS will help Oklahoma, and states nationwide, to continue pioneering new ways of ensuring that the needs of low-income children and families remain prioritized when schools are closed to in-person instruction.”
— HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan
"Now, thanks to President Trump’s leadership, states like Oklahoma have new tools to support working families during the crisis, and allowing children to safely resume their education."
— HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan

Contact

Administration for Children & Families
Office of Communications
330 C Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Phone: (202) 401-9215
Fax: (202) 205-9688
Email: media@acf.hhs.gov