Working parents need childcare, but low-income families often can’t afford the high cost of quality child care. This leaves low-income families with fewer options. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) helps with this issue, providing states with financial assistance for childcare for low-income working families. The childcare assistance helps families pay for quality childcare despite their low income.
How Does the Child Care and Development Block Grant Work?
The federal government distributes funds from the CCDBG federal fund to individual states. Each state then distributes the funds to low-income families that need assistance with child care. The funds are provided in the form of a certificate that families can use to pay for quality childcare. The funds come from the Child Care and Development Fund, which the CCDBG funds.
The average fee for full-time childcare is between $3,500 and $16,500 per year. The exact amount depends on the area, age of the child, and the facility. Families that qualify for the grant will pay a co-pay for the childcare based on their income. The co-pay typically doesn’t cover the cost of childcare, which is where the grant comes in. The grant subsidizes that copay to help keep daycares in business while allowing low-income families access to quality child care assistance.
Who Qualifies for the CCDBG?
You must be a parent of a child ages 13 or younger and be the primary caregiver in order to qualify. In addition, you must:
- Prove that your income is low or very low compared to the average income in the area
- Be employed or enrolled in a professional training program
If you have a child older than 13 years old but younger than 19 that is disabled and/or incapable of self-care, you may also qualify. Each state has different income requirements based on the poverty level in that state. You can find your state’s poverty levels through the Family and Social Services Administration.
How to Apply for CDDBG
As stated above, each state administers its CCDBG funds through its Family and Social Services Administration. Locate your local office and inquire about how you should apply for the financial assistance for childcare. Most states require you to get in touch with an intake coordinator to start the process.
Once you are approved, you must choose a childcare facility that meets the CCDF eligibility standards. If you are unsure which daycares in your area are eligible, contact your Family and Social Services Administration to find out which options you have.
The Benefits of Childcare and Development Fund
The CCDF not only provides low-income families with access to quality childcare, but it helps promote proper child development and learning by giving children access to quality care. The programs that participate in the fund meet the state’s standards for training and education, providing children with the quality education they need.
The Child Care and Development Block Grant helps both the economy and low-income families by providing access to quality and affordable childcare at prices low-income families can afford while still paying the daycares their standard fees. It’s a great way to ensure your child’s care while you work or undergo professional training.