The Child Care State Research Capacity cooperative agreements have three main goals:
- To improve the collection, analysis, and interpretation of CCDF data. Improving data collection, analysis and interpretation is essential for providing research-based evidence to inform policy and programmatic decision-making at the State and local levels.
- To develop or improve analytic linkages with other State and local data systems (e.g., CCDF and TANF). Building data capacity across programs that serve similar families is important for understanding the interactions between programs including coverage, gaps in services and the cycling on and off programs. Such linkages can inform how to best direct multi-program policies most efficiently to support the needs of low-income families and children.
- To encourage collaboration among State policymakers and research institutions. States are expected to establish or expand a child care research, analysis and coordinating function, either as a unit within State government or through a contractual relationship with an outside research organization or university. Because most States do not have the resources to conduct detailed policy research, these projects encourage partnerships between researchers and State lead agencies to most effectively conduct the child care policy research critical for making program decisions.