Child Care Subsidies under the CCDF Program: An Overview of Policy Differences across States and Territories as of October 1, 2016

February 27, 2018
Topics:
Child Care
Projects:
Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Policies Database, 2008-2018 | Learn more about this project
Types:
Reports
Child Care Subsidies under the CCDF Program: An Overview of Policy Differences across States and Territories as of October 1, 2016 Cover
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  • Pages 17
  • Published 2018

Introduction

If a child’s parents both work full-time and together earn $25,000 per year, can the family receive a subsidy to help pay for child care? What if one of the parents is a full-time student and not working? If the family does qualify for a subsidy, how much will they still have to pay out of pocket? The answers to these questions depend on a family’s exact circumstances, including:

  • the ages of the children
  • the number of people in the family
  • income
  • where they live

Child care subsidies are provided through a federal block grant program called the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF provides funding to the States, Territories, and Tribes. They use the money to administer child care subsidy programs for low-income families.

This brief provides a graphic overview of some of the CCDF policy differences across States/Territories. It includes information about eligibility requirements; family application, terms of authorization, and redetermination; family payments; and policies for providers.

Research Questions

  1. 1 How do CCDF policies vary across States and Territories?

Purpose

The CCDF Policies Database tracks State/Territory CCDF policies over time, with hundreds of variables tracking policies related to family eligibility, application and wait list procedures, family copayments, provider reimbursement rates, and other provider policies. This brief serves as a companion piece to the project’s 2016 annual report (the 2016 Book of Tables), providing selected information about State and Territory policy differences using maps and charts.

Key Findings and Highlights

Key findings for State and Territory CCDF policies in 2016 include:

  • Twenty-seven States/Territories require parents to work a minimum number of hours per week to be eligible for care based on work.
  • Initial income eligibility thresholds for a family of three range from $1,423 to $5,040 per month. Thirty-two States use higher eligibility thresholds for families who are already receiving subsidies.
  • Thirty States use higher tiered or accredited provider payment rates in addition to their base rates for care provided in child care centers.

Methods

The data in this brief are taken from the CCDF Policies Database, a longitudinal database of State and Territory CCDF policies. Data are collected primarily from the caseworker manuals and documents used to administer the CCDF program in each State and Territory. State/Territory administrators are also asked to review a subset of the policies annually to ensure accuracy of the data collection and coding.

Citation

Tran, Victoria, Sarah Minton, Sweta Haldar, and Linda Giannarelli (2018). Child Care Subsidies under the CCDF Program: An Overview of Policy Differences across States and Territories as of October 1, 2016. OPRE Report 2018-02, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Last Reviewed: December 18, 2018