Characteristics of Families Served by the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Based on Preliminary FY2018 Data

Office of Child Care

Mission Statement

CCDF child care subsidies help low-income families with children under age 13 pay for child care so that parents can wo rk or participate in training or education activities. Parents typically receive subsidies in the form of vouchers that they can use with a provider of their choice – such as a relative, neighbor, child care center, or after-school program. States and Territories have a great deal of flexibility to establish child care subsidy policies to meet their needs. Thus, national data on the characteristics of families served masks a large degree of variation across individual States as observed in the preliminary FY 2018 data tables.

  • Number Served. Approximately 1.32 million children and 813,200 families per month received child care assistance in FY 2018.
  • Income Level. Of the families served in FY 2018, 41 percent were below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), or $20,780 for a family of three; 27 percent had incomes between 100 and 150 percent of the FPL; and 15 percent had incomes above 150 percent of the FPL. The remaining families had invalid or unreported data (8 percent) or a child as the only recipient (8 percent).
  • Other Sources of Support. Nationally, the average monthly percent of families reporting income from TANF was approximately 12 percent in FY 2018. Most States give first priority for child care assistance to families currently receiving, at-risk of receiving, or transitioning off TANF. CCDF families also reported income from SNAP (36 percent) and Housing (3 percent).
  • Ages. Subsidies help pay for care for infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children. For children receiving CCDF subsidies in FY 2018:
    • 27 percent were infants and toddlers (younger than 3 years old)
    • 28 percent were preschoolers (3 & 4 years old)
    • 10 percent were kindergarten-aged (age 5 years)
    • 34 percent were school-aged (6 years & older)
  • Type of Care. CCDF subsidy program emphasizes parental choice; therefore, children are cared for in a wide variety of settings. Nationally, in FY 2018:
    • 73 percent of children receiving subsidies were cared for in a child care center
    • 20 percent were cared for in family child care homes
    • 2 percent were cared for in the child’s own home
    • 4 percent had invalid data or did not report any data
  • Regulated versus Non-Regulated Care. Nationally, in FY 2018:
    • 85 percent of children receiving subsidies were cared for in regulated settings
    • 10 percent of children were served in settings legally operating without regulation. Of those:
      • 44 percent were served by relatives in the child’s own home or in family child care homes
      • 19 percent were served by non-relatives in the child’s own home or in family child care homes
      • 37 percent were served in centers
  • Family Copayments. Of those families with reported income in FY 2018, approximately 75 percent paid a copayment; the remaining 25 percent of the families with reported income had $0 copay. For families that were assessed a copayment, the average copayment was 7 percent of family income.
  • Reasons for Care. In FY 2018, 88 percent of families cited either employment or education and training as the reason for needing child care. Another 11 percent cited protective services as reasons for care.
  • Providers Receiving CCDF Funds. Nationally, in FY 2018, 258,248 child care providers served children receiving CCDF subsidies:
    • 31 percent (79,262) were child care centers
    • 55 percent (143,089) were family child care home providers
    • 14 percent (35,897) were child home providers
  • Proportion of Regulated Providers Receiving CCDF Funds.
    • For 23 States and Territories, 85 - 100 percent of providers were regulated
    • For 22 States and Territories, 50 < 85 percent of providers were regulated
    • For 5 States and Territories, 25 < 50 percent of providers were regulated
    • For 3 States and Territories less than 25 percent of providers were regulated

Note: at the time of the preliminary aggregation, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands had not submitted data on provider type or regulation status, so these three Territories are not included in the counts.

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.