State and Territory Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Investments in Early Care and Education Quality

Publication Date: June 4, 2021
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  • Pages: 19
  • Published: 2021

Introduction

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 and the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Final Rule approved in 2016 outlined major policy changes in four areas: (1) health and safety, (2) consumer education, (3) equal access to high-quality care for children in families with low-incomes, and (4) quality improvement and support for the workforce. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 approved a significant increase in CCDF funding to support the implementation of these changes.

States and territories are required to report to the federal government descriptions of how they plan to invest in these quality activities and how they are measuring progress . This report provides information on planned and actual investments before the CCDBG Act of 2014, immediately following it, and a few years after its passage.

Key Findings and Highlights

  • Over time, almost all states and territories planned to make investments and then reported investments in workforce training and professional development, their Quality, Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS),  infant and toddler supply and quality, and compliance of health standards.
  • The fewest number of states and territories reported investing in supporting accreditation with just about half of them planning to and then reporting investments in this quality activity.
  • When looking at the number of states and territories that used at least one  of the two CCDF funding sources reported in the Quality Progress Report (QPR) to invest in a quality activity, at least three quarters of states and territories reported investing CCDF funds for workforce training and professional development, QRIS, infant and toddler supply and quality, and compliance of health standards. Half or more of states and territories utilized both sources of CCDF funding to support workforce training and professional development and QRIS.
  • States and territories reported the lowest percentage of CCDF quality set-aside investments for early learning and development and supporting accreditation.

Methods

To understand state and territories’ approaches to investing in at least one of ten quality activities, we analyzed information reported by states and territories about their plans to invest and their reported investments from three time periods. First, we analyzed data from CCDF Plans to understand states and territories’ plans to invest in quality activities.

  • Fiscal Year 2016-2018 CCDF Plan. In September 2015, states and territories provided plans for administering CCDF between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2018. They reported whether they planned to invest in eight of ten quality activities. These data illustrated states and territories’ planned investments in quality immediately following reauthorization. These responses were coded as Yes (the lead agency planned to invest CCDF or non-CCDF funds) or No (the lead agency did not plan to invest CCDF or non-CCDF funds).
  • Fiscal Year 2019-2021 CCDF Plan. In September 2018, states and territories provided plans for administering CCDF between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2021. They reported whether they planned to invest in ten quality activities over the three-year period. These responses were coded as Yes (the lead agency planned to invest CCDF or non-CCDF funds) or No (the lead agency did not plan to invest CCDF or non-CCDF funds).

Next, we analyzed data from Quality Progress Reports (QPR) to compare states and territories’ reported investments with their planned investments.

  • Fiscal Year 2018 QPR. In May 2019, states and territories reported in the FY 2018 QPR about activities conducted between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018. These data described reported investments in quality for each of the ten quality activities. States reported whether they used CCDF quality set-aside funds (and the estimated percentage of set-aside funds spent), increased CCDF funds from the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2018, and/or non-CCDF funds for each of the ten quality activities. These responses were coded as either Yes (the lead agency used this funding source) or No (the lead agency did not use this funding source), or Not Applicable.

Citation

Lin, V. & Maxwell, K. (2020). State and Territory Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Investments in Early Care and Education Quality, OPRE Report #2020-XXX, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Glossary

CCDBG:
Child Care and Development Block Grant