Giving Compass’ Take:
• In this story from Urban Institute, the authors discuss policy differences regarding federal child care subsidies in each of the 50 states and U.S. territories.
• Which states and territories are seeing the most success with their child care policies? What can others learn from these examples?
• To learn about how a funding overhaul brought about early childhood education integration in New York City, click here.
Accessing consistent, high-quality, and affordable child care is difficult for many families, and low-income families often have the additional burden of unpredictable work schedules and fluctuating incomes, which can make maintaining regular child care arrangements challenging.
The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) provides child care subsidies to low-income families to make child care more affordable and to promote quality and consistency of care. Families receiving subsidies through CCDF must meet certain eligibility criteria, such as participating in an approved activity and meeting income requirements … Because CCDF is a federal block grant, states have the flexibility to set their own policies for their programs, as long as they fit into broad federal guidelines.
Through the CCDF Policies Database, we track these policy variations for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories and outlying areas.
Seasonal work, shift work, and other causes of unpredictable work schedules can lead to periods of unemployment for parents. Most states allow families to receive child care subsidies for up to three months during a gap in activities if the parent is searching for a new job.
In addition to meeting activity eligibility requirements, families must also qualify based on their income. In determining the CCDF eligibility of families who are newly applying for a subsidy, states and territories can set their income eligibility limits at or below the federal limit of 85 percent of the state median income (SMI). But once families receive CCDF, they may be able to keep receiving subsidies, even if their income goes above those initial limits.
Read the full article about federal child care subsidies by Kelly Dwyer, Sarah Minton, and Victoria Tran at Urban Institute.
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