Quality Progress Report (ACF-218) for the CCDF Program for the Fiscal Year 2018


Publication Date: April 4, 2019
Administration for Children and Families
  1. Log No: CCDF-ACF-PI-2019-01
  2. Issuance Date: April 4, 2019
  3. Originating Office: Office of Child Care
  4. Key Words: Child Care and Development Fund, CCDF, Quality Progress Report, ACF-218



State and Territorial Lead Agencies administering the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program, as amended, and other interested parties.


This Program Instruction (PI) transmits the Quality Progress Report (QPR) (ACF-218) for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, and provides guidance for completing and submitting the QPR.


The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act (42 U.S.C. § 9858 et seq.), as amended by the CCDBG Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-186); section 418 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 618); 45 CFR Parts 98 and 99; 81 FR 67438-67595.


The purpose of the annual QPR is to capture State and Territory progress on how CCDF quality funds were expended, including the activities funded and the measures used by States and Territories to evaluate progress in improving the quality of child care programs and services for children from birth to age 13. The annual data provided will be used to describe State and Territory priorities and strategies to key stakeholders, including Congress, Federal, State and Territory administrators, providers, parents, and the public.

Specifically, this report will:  1) Ensure accountability for the use of CCDF quality funds, including a set-aside for quality infant and toddler care; 2) Track progress toward meeting State- and Territory-set indicators and benchmarks for improvement of child care quality per what they described in their CCDF Plans and those that are of interest to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in measuring CCDF program performance; 3) Summarize how the Lead Agency is building a progression of professional development for child care providers as envisioned in the CCDBG Act of 2014; and, 4) Inform federal technical assistance efforts and decisions regarding strategic use of quality funds.

The data collected in the QPR, including estimated amounts spent on each quality activity, will not be used to determine compliance with minimum quality expenditure requirements included in the CCDBG Act and CCDF Final Rule. Compliance with spending requirements is determined using expenditure data reported in the ACF-696 CCDF Financial Reporting Form.

Because State and Territorial activities vary based on each Lead Agency’s system, we recognize that the data may not be comparable across States and Territories.  OCC intends to work with the States and Territories to gather any additional contextual information necessary in order to fully understand these data.


Lead Agencies are required to spend a certain percentage of their Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) awards on activities to improve the quality of child care and the supply and quality of care for infants and toddlers. They are also required to invest in at least one of 10 allowable quality activities included in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014. In order to ensure that States and Territories are meeting these requirements, the CCDBG Act and the CCDF Final Rule require Lead Agencies to submit an annual report that describes how quality funds were expended, including what types of activities were funded and measures used to evaluate progress in improving the quality of child care programs and services. States and Territories are also required to report on quality improvement investments through the CCDF Plan, which collects information on the proposed activities for a three-year period; and through the ACF-696 financial report, which collects quarterly expenditure data on quality activities.

The Quality Progress Report (QPR) replaces the Quality Performance Report that was previously an appendix to the CCDF Plan. The QPR was introduced in FY2012 to increase transparency on quality spending and will continue to gather detailed information on how States and Territories are spending their quality funds, as well as more specific data on the quality requirements in the CCDBG Act and the CCDF final rule.

In the QPR, Lead Agencies are asked about the State’s or Territory’s progress in meeting its goals as reported in the CCDF Plans, and provide available data on the results of those activities. Because of the flexibility in administering the CCDF program, it is expected that Lead Agencies may not have information and data available to respond to all questions.  Lead Agencies may provide narrative updates in the data sections, including any plans for reporting data in the future, if actual data is not currently available.


State and Territorial Lead Agencies are required to complete and submit the QPR (ACF-218) for FY 2018 (October 1, 2017-September 30, 2018) by May 10, 2019.  Lead Agencies will use an online submission tool to enter and submit their QPR to ACF via the Web.  This electronic submission (“e-submission”) process has allowed ACF to embed the guidance and definitions directly into the QPR document and in the e-submission site.  

The QPR gathers basic data on the State and Territory goals for quality improvement and on the number of programs and providers benefiting from quality improvement investments. The report is organized according to the 10 authorized activities for the use of quality funds specified in the CCDBG Act of 2014, as included in Section 7 of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Plan:

  1. Support the training and professional development of the child care workforce (as described in Section 6 of the CCDF Plan).
  2. Improve the development or implementation of early learning and development guidelines (as described in Section 6 of the CCDF Plan).
  3. Develop, implement, or enhance a quality rating and improvement system for child care providers.
  4. Improve the supply and quality of child care for infants and toddlers.
  5. Establish or expand a statewide system of child care resource and referral services.
  6. Support compliance with State or Territory requirements for licensing, inspection, monitoring, training, and health and safety.
  7. Evaluate the quality of child care programs in the State or Territory, including how programs positively impact children.
  8. Support providers in the voluntary pursuit of accreditation.
  9. Support the development or adoption of high-quality program standards related to health, mental health, nutrition, physical activity, and physical development.
  10. Carry out other activities to improve the quality of child care services supported by outcome measures that improve provider preparedness, child safety, child well-being, or kindergarten entry.

All sections of the QPR cover the federal fiscal year activities (October 1 through September 30), unless otherwise stated. Data should reflect the cumulative totals for the federal fiscal year being reported unless otherwise stated. In cases where point in time data is used, Lead Agencies should provide an explanatory note. For questions about the use of the increased funding awarded in FY 2018, Lead Agencies should focus on expenditures made during FY 2018.

Lead Agencies may use data collected by other government or nongovernment agencies (e.g., child care resource and referral agencies or other technical assistance providers) as appropriate. The scope of this report covers quality improvement activities funded at least in part by CCDF, or if other funds are used, activities to support CCDF requirements or allowable quality activities (e.g., early learning and development guidelines). Lead Agencies must describe their progress in meeting their stated goals for improving the quality of child care as reported in their FY 2016-2018 CCDF Plan. OCC recognizes that the data requested in the QPR will provide only part of the picture of State and Territory activities to improve the quality of child care because there are many factors that affect the data being collected here.

The form and instructions includes a glossary section for uniform reporting. For any term not defined in the glossary, Lead Agencies will use their own definition of terms to complete the QPR.

Submission Deadline:

The State and Territory deadline for the submission of the FY 2018 QPR was extended from December 31, 2018 to May 10, 2019. We expect the site to be available for the FY 2018 QPR submissions on April 12, 2019. OCC will issue additional guidance when the site is ready.


Lead Agencies will submit the QPR via electronic submission (“e-submission”) at:  https://extranet.acf.hhs.gov/stplan/STPLAN_Login.jsp Visit disclaimer page .  This online tool reflects the approved QPR (ACF-218), which was sent for reference purposes only to Lead Agencies on January 18, 2019.  In addition to this guidance, OCC will provide additional technical assistance for completing the QPR via the e-submission website.

General Resources for Completing the QPR:


Please direct any questions to the Child Care Program Manager in the appropriate ACF Regional Office.

Shannon Christian
Office of Child Care

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