The Office of Child Care (OCC) published a draft of the FY 2019-2021 Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Plan Preprint in December of 2017. A copy of the draft FY 2019-2021 CCDF Plan Preprint is attached at the bottom of this page along with a copy of the Federal Register announcement. This Preprint introduces the process and criteria for requesting additional time to complete background check requirements for inter-state check components and for addressing the backlog of completing background checks for existing providers.
Federal Register Comment Period
Due to clarifications needed on portions of the CCDBG reauthorization requirements before the Plan Preprint draft could be finalized, OCC is unable to utilize the regular Paperwork Reduction Act clearance process that requires two Federal Register notices and comment periods. To allow OCC to consult with the CCDF administrators and the general public as required, we have requested that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) grant approval under procedures for emergency processing of the FY 2019 – 2021 CCDF State/Territory Plan Preprint to ensure States and Territories have sufficient time to complete the OMB approved Plan Preprint.
The emergency clearance provides for a single 30-day comment period, which began on December 8, 2017 and closed January 8, 2018.
OMB will conduct its own review of the Plan Preprint and public comments prior to granting final approval. Once approval is granted, OCC will make the final document available to States and Territories.
Overview of FY2019-2021 CCDF Plan Preprint
The FY 2019-2021 CCDF Plan Preprint is the first Preprint to be developed to align with both the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) and the CCDF final rule, issued September 30, 2016. The FY 2019-2021 CCDF Plan Preprint is organized into the same 8 categories as the previous Preprint to support consistency. Areas of key changes include the new questions added related to consumer education and the website (Section 2); questions added related to financial assistance (Section 3); and a reorganization of the Health and Safety questions (Section 5) to improve alignment with the CCDF Rule.
A major change is that implementation questions have been removed, with the exception of background check requirements which will be discussed further below. As indicated in the preamble to the final rule at 81 FR, pages 67443-4, States must demonstrate compliance with all requirements of the final rule no later than October 1, 2018 (the effective date of the FY2019-2021 Plans). Therefore, this Preprint was developed with the expectation that all CCDBG statutory and CCDF regulatory requirements will be fully implemented by its effective date.
Time-Limited Waiver for Background Checks
In recognition of the significant challenges to implementing the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) background check requirements, the Office of Child Care (OCC) is committed to granting additional waivers of up to two years, in one year increments (i.e., potentially through September 30, 2020) for background check requirements only. In order to receive these time-limited waivers, States and Territories will have to meet milestones that ensure that they have requirements in place for a particular portion of the components, and that they are conducting checks for new staff on those components (FBI fingerprint and the three in-state checks). The details on the milestone prerequisite and how to apply for the waiver are included in section 5.4 of the FY2019-2021 CCDF Plan.
States and Territories will apply for the initial waiver for a one-year period as part of their Plan submission. If approved, States and Territories will have the option to renew these waivers for one additional year as long as progress is demonstrated during the initial waiver period. Additional guidance will be issued later on the timeline and criteria for requesting the second year option via a Plan Amendment.