What We Do

The Office of Child Care (OCC) 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.

Child Care and Development Fund

The Child Care and Development Fund is a multibillion-dollar federal and state partnership administered by OCC to promote family economic self-sufficiency and to help children succeed in school and life through affordable, high-quality early care and afterschool programs. Read the CCDF Fact Sheet.

Who Benefits from CCDF-Funded Child Care Programs

Children from birth through age 12 in vulnerable families have access, through CCDF, to child care settings that meet their needs, from full-day early care to afterschool care for school-age children. All children in child care benefit from CCDF investments to help programs meet higher standards and improve the quality of teachers.

Parents in eligible low-income families receive help paying for child care at a provider of their choice. Parents also may receive consumer education on such topics as what to look for in a quality child care provider. All parents with children in child care benefit from CCDF quality investments and from the peace of mind that comes from knowing CCDF funds are being used to improve child care facilities all over the country.

Child care providers receive reimbursement for serving low-income families and can draw on networks of training and technical assistance resources to help them provide high-quality child care services. OCC is committed to building a well-educated, fairly compensated, cohesive child care workforce with jobs built on intentional training and education.

States, territories and tribes administer CCDF and use it to leverage additional early education investments to serve their children and families. States, territories and tribes receive technical assistance from OCC and use our research to guide their policy and programmatic decisions. Learn more about Tribal CCDF.

Promoting Quality Child Care

States and territories are required to spend at least 4 percent of their CCDF allocation on quality activities. In addition, CCDF also includes targeted funds for quality enhancement, initiatives to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers, initiatives to improve school-age care and child care resource and referral services. States, territories and tribes use CCDF dollars to fund a variety of innovative efforts to improve the quality of care. Quality activities include provider staff training, grants and loans to providers, health and safety improvements, the monitoring of licensing requirements and other initiatives.

Last Reviewed: August 19, 2016