Letter to CCDF Administrators About the Legislation Guide
Dear CCDF Administrators,
On March 27th, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted. The CARES Act provides $3.5 billion and various flexibilities for State, Territory, and Tribal Lead Agencies to operate their Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) programs to prevent, prepare for, and respond to, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency and ensure the supply of child care after the emergency subsides.
The CARES Act includes additional provisions that, while not specific to child care, address the needs of child care providers and child care workers, as does the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Families First Act”), which was enacted on March 18th. States, Territories, and Tribal governments now face the complexities of blending COVID-19 funding programs across multiple agencies to best support children, families, and child care providers. To aid in these decisions, the Office of Child Care (OCC) has prepared the enclosed document listing the funding programs outside of CCDF that affect child care providers and staff (updates reflecting ongoing legislation will be posted at /occ/resource/occ-covid-19-resources).
As Lead Agencies plan how to use the CCDF-specific funds and flexibilities offered in the CARES Act, they should consider how the full range of COVID-19 provisions interact with or touch on child care. First, OCC recommends that Lead Agencies coordinate with their State, Territory, and Tribal leadership and corresponding agencies to strategically deploy these funding programs. Lead Agencies should communicate to their State, Territory, and Tribal leadership specific needs that the CCDF CARES Act funds are unable to meet that other COVID-19 funding programs may support. Some COVID-19 funding programs have flexibility using funds. For example, the Coronavirus Relief Fund provides $150 billion additional funding for State, Territory, and Tribal governments to cover COVID-19 expenditures. Supply grants (i.e., grants for child care providers to pay for fixed costs, like salaries and wages, even if the child care provider is closed) can be funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Second, OCC recommends that Lead Agencies communicate with child care providers, via child care resource and referral (CCR&R) centers and other stakeholders, the various COVID-19 funding programs available and how to access them. These funding programs can have complex application processes, and child care providers may need assistance accessing them. Lead Agencies are uniquely positioned to describe how their CCDF program is situated among the COVID-19 funding programs and to maximize available support.
We appreciate the work of CCDF administrators during the COVID-19 public health emergency to keep children, families, and child care providers safe and healthy. We admire the urgency and creativity of your response.
Director, Office of Child Care