On July 13, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would strengthen the Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, which supports 1.5 million children and their families each month with child care assistance. This NPRM proposes a variety of changes to lower the costs of child care for families, improve child care provider payments and practices, streamline the eligibility and enrollment process for families, and make other technical changes to improve clarity and program implementation. Among others, a few key proposed changes include:
- Ensuring co-payments for child care are no more than 7% of a family’s income
- Paying child care providers prospectively and based on enrollment rather than attendance. These practices help support providers with financial stability, increase parental choice, and encourage new providers to enter the subsidy system.
- Allowing Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Lead Agencies to choose more easily to waive co-payments for families with incomes up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and for eligible families with children with disabilities
- Allowing states to extend presumptive eligibility to families, and encouraging states to allow all families to enroll for CCDF benefits online
While this NPRM doesn’t come with any new funding, it does expand upon Biden’s recent executive order to increase access to high-quality care and support caregivers. The public is encouraged to submit comments on these proposed rules by August 28th. FFYF will be submitting a comment and encourages others to make their voice heard by submitting to the NPRM.