Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Last reauthorized in 1996, the Child Care and Development Block Grant is a cornerstone of federal assistance in early childhood education. Most funding for early education and care in Massachusetts comes from CCDBG and other federal sources. It is therefore critical for CCDBG to reflect high-quality program standards, including health and safety standards.
An analysis by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) shows this reauthorization makes the following improvements:
- Raises the floor for health and safety by requiring any provider who receives CCDBG funds (except relatives) to be subject to licensing, annual inspections and criminal background checks; providers who are license-exempt would be inspected for health and safety;
- Requires more transparent information for families who are seeking child care options and assistance;
- Prohibits the use of child assessments for high stakes purposes for children and programs;
- Raises the minimum states must use for quality from the current 4 percent to 9 percent over the next five years; places additional focus and resources toward quality infant and toddler care; continues to allow states flexibility in the types of innovations and systems work for which they can use CCDBG quality funds with explicit recognition of quality rating and improvement systems, professional development, and support for programs to become accredited;
- Requires eligibility at minimum of twelve months, regardless of any changes that may occur to a family’s income or work, training, or education status.
While Massachusetts continues to make progress advancing state-level early education policy, this reauthorization is a critical federal component in advancing access for all families to high-quality early education and care.
For more information on CCDBG reauthorization, visit EdCentral.