The CCDBG Act of 2014 continues to require the CCDF Lead Agency to certify in its State Plan that payment rates for CCDF subsidies are sufficient to ensure equal access to child care services that are comparable to parents not eligible for CCDF. One way that states can support access to child care for low-income families is ensuring that the family co-payment portion is affordable.
There are currently 275 EHS-CC Partnership (EHS-CCP) grantees, which will serve approximately 32,000 infants and toddlers. The continued development of EHS-CC Partnerships is occurring as states implement new provisions of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act enacted by the law’s 2014 reauthorization. This most recent reauthorization of the CCDBG Act represents an opportunity for states to enact new policies that align Early Head Start and child care, and support the EHS-CCP goals of improving capacity and quality across programs that serve low-income infants and toddlers and their families in order to enhance child well-being and school readiness outcomes.
The CCDBG Act of 2014 established a minimum 12-month eligibility period for subsidy, regardless of a temporary change in parents’ status as working or attending job training or education, if family income does not exceed 85% of SMI. In addition, existing Federal CCDF policy guidance allows states to align subsidy eligibility periods for children in Early Head Start (see Policy Interpretation Question on Eligibility Determination for Head Start Collaboration, ACYF-PIQ-CC-99-02). Several states now allow children participating in EHS-CCP to remain authorized for subsidy for the duration of the partnership without redetermining eligibility, a period which may exceed 12 months.
The CCDBG Act of 2014 encourages states to blend and braid funding in order to support quality improvement efforts. Because subsidy rates alone often fall short of supporting the delivery of high-quality, year-round and full-day infant and toddler programs, the layered funding model is particularly critical to EHS-CCP. EHS-CCP Grantees and child care partners rely on this shared resource base in order to meet the full range of scheduling and service needs children and families may have.