On February 3, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) awarded nearly $10 billion in supplemental Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program funding to address the needs of child care providers and families as they continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent economic effects. This supplemental funding was provided by the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and can be used to support a variety of activities including providing additional assistance to child care providers with decreased enrollment, supplying child care to essential workers and delivering technical assistance to state and local health departments. Alongside the newly released supplemental funding, ACF also published updated guidance, additional waiver information and FAQs for state and local governments.
While the supplemental funds will be directly allocated to state governments, counties will play a significant role in administering the CCDF funding and are directly responsible for administering the funds in eight states: Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. Counties also play a key role in licensing child care providers, offering child care assistance to low-income residents, referring families to child care resources and providing local funding to help build the supply of child care.
With 56 percent of open child care centers losing money each day, and nearly 200,000 of the nation’s child care workers laid off or furloughed, the child care sector is one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic. In order to reopen safely, many child care providers face steep costs associated with heightened sanitation measures, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and classroom size reduction. CCDF is a vital federal program that not only aims to increase the availability, affordability and quality of child care, but also relieves the financial burdens of providing adequate, safe child care for our residents during the pandemic.
NACo applauds Congress for providing additional assistance for our residents during the ongoing pandemic. We will continue to monitor federal actions that aim to bolster child care.
- NACo Legislative Brief: Proposals to address the COVID-19 child care crisis
- NACo Legislative Analysis for Counties: COVID-19 relief & omnibus spending package