WEBINAR: New Rule to Improve Child Care Access, Affordability, and Stability in CCDF - Thu Mar 7

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Child Care (OCC) announced a new rule that will lower costs for families that receive child care subsidies, improve payment practices to child care providers, and increase families’ child care options. The changes make much needed updates to the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), which is the nation’s largest funding stream to help families afford child care and improve quality in child care settings.

Key updates to CCDF include:

Reducing costs to families: The rule limits the amount that families pay to no more than 7 percent of their household income and makes it easier for Lead Agencies to eliminate co-payments for many more families.

Improving payments to providers: The rule requires Lead Agencies to make on-time payments to child care providers and better cover the cost of providing care, common business practices that will make it easier for child care providers to participate in CCDF and will better stabilize their operations.

Expanding choices for families:  The rule will make it easier for families to find child care that meets their needs.

Cutting red tape: The rule clarifies flexibilities for presumptive eligibility to allow more families to start child care assistance right away so they do not lose out on a job opportunity. It also encourages Lead Agencies to streamline enrollment processes to make it easier for families to apply for and receive child care assistance if they have already demonstrated eligibility for another benefit program.

The rule strengthens key policies in the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 and builds on the guidance provided in the 2016 CCDF final rule. OCC commends CCDF Lead Agency recent efforts to stabilize and strengthen the child care sector across the country and looks forward to partnering with Lead Agencies to continue to build a child care subsidy program that meets families’ needs and supports a more stable child care sector. The rule published today addresses programmatic and systemic challenges in the child care system.

  • OCC is hosting a webinar for all interested parties outlining the final rule on March 7, 2024 from 12 to 1pm (Eastern Standard Time).
  • OCC is hosting a second webinar with a specific focus on the impact of the rule for Tribal CCDF programs on March 7, 2024 from 3:30 to 4:30pm (Eastern Standard Time).
  • The recordings for both webinars will be posted on the new OCC rule resource page for those unable to attend. OCC will post additional resources related to the rule and encourages you to check the resource page regularly.