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Our Child Care 101 Blog Series focuses on informing and educating voters who want to support child care

Holy acronym! If you hear the term “CCDBG” or even if you haven’t heard of it, it refers to the Child Care & Development Block Grant. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) provides federal funding to states for child care subsidies for low-income families with children under age 13. Families with children from birth to age 13 whose income is below 85% of the state median income are eligible on the federal level. States can set income eligibility anywhere below that ceiling, and many do.

Why is CCDBG important? The majority of this funding serves children under 5, which is a big deal because for low-income families, child care expenses for children under five eat up 35 percent of their income, and in more than half of states, child care for an infant in a child care center costs more than in-state college tuition. The remainder of CCDBG funding goes to 
care for older children during out-of-school time, such as after school and summer programs.

CCDBG funding:

  • Helps families access affordable, high-quality child care across a variety of care settings
  • Allows the flexibility to pair state and federal funds, improving access and the  quality of child care available to families within existing state and local systems.
  • Plays a critical role in ensuring young children have quality early learning experiences that support their healthy development and prepare them for kindergarten

Even though an estimated 839,226 children aged five and under received these important child care subsidies monthly in FY 2021, only 14% of all children eligible under federal rules are served by this program.

CCDBG is a great program that Congress realizes is important for our families, but much more needs to be done. CCDBG serves a narrow portion of the families who need child care. It is important to support CCDBG while also pushing for electeds to prioritize supporting child care so ALL of our children can thrive!

MomsRising member Nicole’s CCDBG story:
Now that my daughter is three, we get some subsidy from our state to help pay for childcare. This enabled us to increase our childcare from three days a week to five. While this has been a very welcome step in the right direction in terms of helping our family and enabling me to look for work again, it is still a huge expense for our family that significantly impacts our budget at a time when the costs of groceries, gas, and basic things we need are increasing. Additionally, I serve on the board of my daughter's childcare center and am very aware of how difficult it is for the center to keep staff and ensure a safe, healthy environment for the children. Successful childcare centers should not be scraping by month to month! As much as parents pay out of pocket it's simply not enough to ensure a living wage and benefits for teachers and staff and thriving childcare centers and we need our government to step in and support early childcare at all levels.

Thanks to our friends at First Five Years Fund for their CCDBG overview and information!


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