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Summary of Child Care Provisions of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or “CARES Act”

Published: April 6, 2020
Categories:
Program Administration
Topics:
States/Territories, Tribes
Types:
Regulations

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act” (Public Law 116-136) passed into law on March 27, 2020.  


CCDBG Language from Bill
 

PAYMENTS TO STATES FOR THE CHILD CARE AND DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT

For an additional amount for ‘‘Payments to States for the Child Care and Development Block Grant’’, $3,500,000,000, to remain available through September 30, 2021, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, including for federal administrative expenses, which shall be used to supplement, not supplant State, Territory, and Tribal general revenue funds for child care assistance for low-income families within the United States (including territories) without regard to requirements in sections 658E(c)(3)(D)(E) or 658G of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act: Provided, That funds provided under this heading in this Act may be used to provide continued payments and assistance to child care providers in the case of decreased enrollment or closures related to coronavirus, and to assure they are able to remain open or reopen as appropriate and applicable: Provided further, That States, Territories, and Tribes are encouraged to place conditions on payments to child care providers that ensure that child care providers use a portion of funds received to continue to pay the salaries and wages of staff: Provided further, That the Secretary shall remind States that CCDBG State plans do not need to be amended prior to utilizing existing authorities in the CCDBG Act for the purposes provided herein: Provided further, That States, Territories, and Tribes are authorized to use funds appropriated under this heading in this Act to provide child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential during the response to coronavirus by public officials, without regard to the income eligibility requirements of section 658P(4) of such Act: Provided further, That funds appropriated under this heading in this Act shall be available to eligible child care providers under section 658P(6) of the CCDBG Act, even if such providers were not receiving CCDBG assistance prior to the public health emergency as a result of the coronavirus, for the purposes of cleaning and sanitation, and other activities necessary to maintain or resume the operation of programs: Provided further, That payments made under this heading in this Act may be obligated in this fiscal year or the succeeding two fiscal years: Provided further, That funds appropriated under this heading in this Act may be made available to restore amounts, either directly or through reimbursement, for obligations incurred to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, prior to the date of enactment of this Act: Provided further, That such amount is designated by the Congress as being for an emergency requirement pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

Key takeaways regarding CARES Act Funds for Child Care:

 

Funds

  • Have been provided to State, Territory, and Tribal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Lead Agencies.
  • May be used to provide continued payments and assistance to child care providers in the case of decreased enrollment or closures related to coronavirus, and to assure they are able to remain open or to reopen.
  • Can be used to provide child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential during the response to the coronavirus, without regard to the income eligibility requirements.
  • Shall be available to eligible CCDF providers (e.g., meeting health and safety requirements, or eligible relative providers), even if such providers were not receiving CCDF assistance prior to the public health emergency as a result of the coronavirus, for the purposes of cleaning and sanitation, and other activities necessary to maintain or resume the operation of programs.
  • May be used for any other allowable CCDF uses.
  • Are exempted from  the quality and direct services spending requirements.
  • Can be used for pre-award costs incurred from January 20, 2020 through the Public Health Emergency Period and prior to the effective date of the CARES Act (March 27, 2020).
  • Can be obligated by CCDF Lead Agencies in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, FY 2021, or FY 2022.

Comments

1. 658E(c)(3)(D) requires that a substantial portion be used for assistance for certain families.  This requirement does not apply to these funds.

2. 658(c)(3)(E) requires that 70% of the remainder (after quality and administration) be used for direct services.  This requirement does not apply to these funds.

3. 658G requires that certain percentages be spent on quality improvement activities.  This requirement does not apply to these funds.

4. 658P(4) includes the definition of “eligible child” for purposes of CCDF subsidies, including age, income, and work activity requirements.

5. 658P(6) includes the definition of “eligible child care provider” for purposes of CCDF subsidies, which includes: licensed, regulated and registered providers; providers meeting health and safety requirements; and certain relative providers.

Last Reviewed: April 30, 2020