Overview & Background
President Barack Obama signed into law the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-186) on Nov., 19, 2014, the first comprehensive reauthorization for the CCDBG in nearly 20 years.
The reauthorization amended the goals of the program and created six new goals that strengthened requirements related to health and safety, licensing enforcement and quality of care. It also changed the plan cycle for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) from a biennial to a triennial plan period. As a result, the fiscal year (FY) 2016–2018 plan will cover a three-year period.
A final rule implementing the CCDBG Act and updating the CCDF regulations for the first time since 1998 were published on September 23, 2016. The rule applies to states, territories and tribes administering CCDF and incorporates and clarifies changes made through the bipartisan CCDBG Act. Prior to the new law, health and safety standards varied widely across states. The majority of the CCDF regulations were last revised in 1998 (with the exception of some more recent updates related to state match and error reporting).
The Act and rule establishes a baseline for health, safety, and quality through requirements which include, but are not limited to:
- Annual monitoring for CCDF licensed and license-exempt providers and a pre-licensure inspection for licensed CCDF providers,
- Health and safety requirements and training on ten basic topics (such as first aid and CPR), to which the final rule adds “reporting and recognition of child abuse and neglect” and “child development training” and points to Caring for Our Children Basics as a recommended baseline for minimum health and safety standards,
- Background checks for child care staff members (including prospective child care staff members and individuals with unsupervised access to children) of all licensed and CCDF-eligible providers (which includes licensed providers who do not receive CCDF fund), and
- Offers allowances for provisional hiring under certain conditions, aligned with Head Start provisional hiring requirements that include important protections for children.
States are permitted to exempt child care providers from the health and safety requirements if the providers are only serving children to whom they are related.
Frequently Asked Questions
OCC has posted answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the plans and includes and explanation of how the plans are organized, their approach to reviewing waiver requests, and other important deadlines involved in implementing the new provisions.
NCSL State Federal Relations staff contact: Haley Nicholson, senior committee director, Health Human Services Committee.
Office of Child Care Resources