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Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)


Child Care Bureau LogoThe Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) provides block grant funding to support early care and education services for nearly two million children each month. It funds programs that operate in the 50 States and the District of Columbia, four Territories, and 256 Tribal CCDF grantees. By subsidizing child care services to parents who are entering the labor force or are in job training and education programs, CCDF has played an important role in welfare reform. CCDF has helped low-income families become self-reliant and has helped children become ready for school. In addition to supporting families on the road to economic self-sufficiency, CCDF also has supported the social, emotional, and cognitive development of children to age 13 in a variety of early care and education settings, helping prepare a pathway to future success.

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) requires each participating State, Territory, and Tribe to submit a biennial plan outlining how it will implement its share of the CCDF block grant. Each State's CCDF Lead Agency prepares a plan to show how it will assist low-income families, families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and those transitioning from public assistance in obtaining child care so they can work or attend training/education.

Single Integrated Child Care System

The Child Care and Development Fund program has changed federally subsidized child care programs in States by allowing them to serve families through a single, integrated child care system. All child care funding is now combined under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act. Revised final Child Care Development Block Grant regulations for the combined Child Care and Development Fund program were issued on July 24, 1998. Each State, Territory, and Tribe has a single Child Care Lead Agency that is responsible for the development of a comprehensive State plan.

Child Care Services Funded by CCDF

Subsidized child care services are available to eligible families through certificates or contracts with providers. Parents may select any legally operating child care provider. Child care providers serving children funded by CCDF must meet basic health and safety requirements set by States and Tribes. These requirements must address prevention and control of infectious diseases, including immunizations; building and physical premises safety; and minimum health and safety training.

Quality Activities

A minimum of four percent of CCDF funds must be used to improve the quality of child care and offer additional services to parents, such as resource and referral counseling regarding the selection of appropriate child care providers to meet their child's needs. Previous funding has included additional funding for specific purposes such as quality expansion, improving the quality of care for infants and toddlers, and improving school-age care and Child Care Resource and Referral Services. To improve the health and safety factors related to available child care, many States have provided training, grants and loans to providers, improved monitoring, compensation projects, and other innovative programs. Tribes may use a portion of their funds to construct child care facilities provided there is no reduction in the current level of child care services.

Public Input For State And Tribal Child Care Plans

All States, Territories, and Tribes must submit comprehensive plans every two years. The new regulations have strengthened the requirements for conducting public hearings regarding these plans, and public comment is invited through this process. A list of State Child Care Home pages may be found on the National Child Care Information Center (NCCIC) website at:


Funding includes monies for child care research, demonstration, and evaluation activities. These funds are increasing the capacity for child care research at the national, state, and local levels while addressing critical questions with implications for children and families. Funds have been awarded to support individual project areas, including field-initiated research, research partnerships and research scholars, as well as a National Research Collaboration and Archive.

Technical Assistance

Subject to the availability of appropriations, one fourth of 1% of the total CCDF is used by the Child Care Bureau to provide technical assistance to grantees. Its technical assistance network is designed to address the needs of states, territories, and tribes administering the Child Care and Development Fund. The network currently comprises the projects listed below. See the Child Care Technical Assistance Network (CCTAN) topic for additional information about these projects:

               Child Care Administration Project (Child Care Development Block Grant)

               Child Care Aware (CCA)

               Child Care Information Systems Technical Assistance Project (CCISTAP)

               Child Care Bureau Conference Management Center (CCBCMC)

               Healthy Child Care America (HCCA)

               National Child Care Information Center (NCCIC)

               National Child Care Research Collaboration and Archive (NCCRCA)

               Tribal Child Care Technical Assistance Center (TriTAC)

Contact Information

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration of Children, Youth and Families
Child Care Bureau
Switzer Building, Room 2046
330 C Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447

Phone Number: (202) 690-6782
Fax Number: (202) 690-5600

Additional Information

The Child Care Bureau of the Administration on Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a website with complete information and news about CCDF at:

The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (42 USC 9801 et seq.), as amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193) and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Public Law PL 105-33), is available (requires Adobe Acrobat) at:

The official regulations for the Child Care and Development Fund are available (requires Adobe Acrobat) at:

A summary report of State CCDF plans is available on the NCCIC website at:

See Also

Child Care Acronyms and Abbreviations

Child Care Technical Assistance Network (CCTAN)

Child Care Lead Agency

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - Overview

Child Care TANF Definitions


Information for this topic was drawn from the Child Care Bureau website at:

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