The Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the primary federal grant program that allows states to provide child care assistance to low-income working families with children under age 13. The majority of these funds serve children 6 years or younger, with the remainder supporting care for older children during out-of-school time. CCDBG was also the primary mechanism for providing relief to child care providers and ensuring access to child care for thousands of working families during the pandemic through CARES, CRRSA, and ARPA.
Subsidies help remove barriers to affordable, high-quality child care, whether in center- or home-based settings. They give working parents the ability to access quality care and choose the type of care that works best for them.
The majority of funds go directly to providing early learning experiences, but states can also use the funding to:
- Recruit and retain a well-qualified, fairly compensated, and effective workforce
- Support continuous quality improvement
- Meet the child care needs of families working nontraditional hours
CCDBG has been integral to providing more families with access to child care, yet, too few eligible children are able to access care due to insufficient federal funding. Congress must come together to strengthen and invest in our federal early learning and care programs so families can access the reliable, high-quality, affordable child care they depend on. The fact sheets linked below explain how CCDBG funding is foundational in every state and why increased federal funding is necessary to reach all eligible families who need care.