State Plan Summary FFY 2016–18
Summary of the Child Care and Development Fund State Plan for the Period of 7/1/16 through 9/30/18 for California
The federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is an aggregate of several funding sources that is distributed in block grants by the federal government to the states and territories. The majority of the funds are to be used to provide child care services to families who meet certain income and need criteria. A portion of the funding (at least seven percent of the block grant amount) is to be used for activities to improve the quality of child care. Another portion (not to exceed five percent of the block grant amount) is to be used to pay for costs of administering the CCDF.
On November 19, 2014, President Obama signed the bipartisan-supported Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 1024 into law (Pub. L. 113-186) (PDF).
“The law reauthorizes and significantly revises the purposes of the CCDF program and requirements for State and Territory grantees. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) re-design [of] the CCDF Plan…includes a significant number of changes, the level of effort needed for implementation will vary across the country depending on the number of changes a State or Territory needs to make” (p.4 of the CCDF Plan, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, and the Office of Child Care).
This summary highlights the major provisions, activities, and services that are contained in California’s proposed CCDF State Plan for the period from July 1, 2016, through September 30, 2018.
Section 1: CCDF Leadership and Coordination with Relevant Systems provides information on how the CCDF program is administered. This includes funding information, the administrative structure, program integrity and accountability policies and strategies, coordination activities, and disaster/emergency preparedness and response plans.
Section 2: Family Engagement through Outreach and Consumer Education provides information about how the state works with critical partners to assist families in making informed choices regarding the services that best suit their needs. There is information on the application process, policies and procedures the possibility of a website for Consumer Education.
Section 3: Stable Child Care Financial Assistance to Families contains information on the CCDF subsidy program. There is information on the eligibility criteria, current law on the continuity of care, and access for vulnerable children and families. The coordination of services for improving access for homeless children and families is also included in this section. There is information on current statute addressing twelve-month eligibility. Lastly, this section contains information on the sliding fee scale, payment rate policies and procedures.
Section 4: Equal Access to High Quality Child Care for Low-Income Children describes the activities and services to improve the quality and availability of child care and development services. There is information on child care and development services provided either through direct service contracts with centers or family child care networks, or through a certificate system used by alternative payment programs and county welfare departments ensuring parental choice. This section also describes the goals and plans for implementation of child care quality improvement activities.
Section 5: Standards and Monitoring Processes to Ensure the Health and Safety of Child Care Settings includes information on how lead agencies currently meet the statutory and regulatory provisions related to licensing and health and safety requirements, monitoring and enforcement of policies and practices.
Section 6: California Recruits and Retains a Qualified and Effective Child Care Workforce includes training and professional development requirements, and how the CCDF Quality funds support the training and professional development of the child care workforce. Subsection 6.3 Early Learning and Developmental Guidelines: describes California’s research-based early learning and developmental guidelines.
Section 7: Support Continuous Quality Improvement describes the activities to improve the quality of child care services, including the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) in the state. Subsections 7.3–7.8 relate to supporting continuous quality improvement:
- Child Care Resource & Referral
- Facilitating Compliance with State Standards
- Evaluating and Assessing the Quality and Effectiveness of Child Care Programs and Services
- Accreditation Support
- Program Standards
Section 8: Ensure Grantee Program Integrity and Accountability includes the requirements of Lead Agencies to have accountability measures in place to ensure program integrity and to identify fraud or other program violations.
California Department of Education
Quality Improvement Budget for State Fiscal Year 2016–17
Typically, the California Department of Education (CDE) publishes the proposed budget for quality improvement activities with the draft CCDF State Plan. However, given the one-time change of the submission deadline for the CCDF State Plan due to the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 from July 1, 2015 to March 1, 2016; the actions of Congress; the CDE has not yet received California’s CCDF grant award letter. An omnibus budget bill was signed by the President on December 18, 2015, and the CDE anticipates it will take several months for states to receive their grant award letters. Upon receipt of the grant award letter the CDE will publish the quality improvement budget.