Discretionary Funds are awarded to States via a block grant, which, through their appointed Lead Agencies, make many of the decisions about priorities, policies, and expenditures in achieving goals related to improved family access to quality child care.
States are required to commit at least four percent of their Discretionary Funds to activities such as consumer education, resource and referral services, provider training, and caregiver recruitment designed to improve child care availability and quality.
Targeted funds designated for quality, infant and toddler care, resource and referral, and school-age care, further support State efforts to improve child care access and quality.
The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.
In FY 07, 317 grants were awarded. In FY 08, 317 grants were awarded. It is anticipated that 317 grants will be awarded in FY 09.
Uses and Use Restrictions
In the Fiscal Year 2008 Appropriations Act, Congress directs that funds appropriated for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (Discretionary Funds) must be used to supplement, not supplant, State general revenue funds for child care assistance for low-income families.
Lead Agencies must use Discretionary Funds for child care services on a sliding fee scale basis, activities that improve the quality or availability of such services, and other activities that realize the goals of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act.
Certain amounts of Discretionary Funds must be used for specific purposes: quality expansion; infant and toddler quality improvement; and child care resource and referral, including a national toll-free hotline, and school-age child care activities.
A portion of the Discretionary Funds is also designated for the U.
Department of Health & Human Services to carry-out research, demonstration, and evaluation projects.
Not more than five percent of the aggregate amount of CCDF Funds expended by the State or Territory (15 percent for Tribes or tribal organizations) may be expended for administrative costs incurred by the State or Territory to carry out all of its functions and duties.
The term "administrative costs" does not include the costs of providing direct services.
A State or Territory shall use not less than four percent of the CCDF Funds to improve child care quality and availability including comprehensive consumer education, activities to increase parental choice, and other activities such as resource and referral services, provider grants and loans, monitoring and enforcement of requirements, training and technical assistance, and improved compensation for child care staff.
Except for approved construction of child care facilities by tribal grantees, no Discretionary Funds may be used for the purchase or improvement of land, or for the purchase, construction, or permanent improvement of any building or facility (other than for minor remodeling and for upgrading facilities to meet State and local child care standards).
No Discretionary Funds provided directly to child care providers through grants or contracts may be expended for any sectarian purpose or activity, including sectarian worship or instruction; however, Grantees must give parents the option of receiving vouchers or certificates to allow parents the choice of faith-based or community child care providers.
No Discretionary Funds may be provided for any services provided to students enrolled in grades 1 through 12 during the regular school day; for any services for which such students receive academic credit toward graduation; or for any instructional services which supplant or duplicate the academic program of any public or private school.
Lead Agencies shall assure that a substantial portion of the Discretionary Funds will be used to provide assistance to low-income working families who are not receiving assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, attempting through work activities to transition off of temporary assistance programs, nor at risk of becoming dependent on temporary assistance programs.
All States, the District of Columbia, Territories (Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, U.S.
Virgin Islands, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), federally recognized Tribal Governments, and tribal organizations, including Alaska Native organizations.
Children under age 13 (or, at the option of the grantee, up to age 19, if physically or mentally incapable of self-care or under court supervision), who reside with a family whose income does not exceed 85 percent of the State median income for a family of the same size, and who reside with a parent (or parents) who is working or attending job training or educational program; or are in need of, or are receiving protective services.
Grantees must operate under a CCDF plan approved by the Administration for Children and Families, and must provide assurances that the grantee will comply with the requirements of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act and all applicable Federal law.
Aplication and Award Process
Each grantee must designate a Lead Agency to which grants are awarded and that is accountable for the use of the Discretionary Funds provided, the duties of which shall include developing a CCDF plan.
In conjunction with the development of the CCDF plan, the Lead Agency must hold at least one public hearing no earlier than nine months before the CCDF plan becomes effective and after at least 20 days of statewide public notice, to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the provision of child care services under the plan.
In advance of the hearing, the lead agency must make the content of the plan available to the public.
The Lead Agency must also coordinate the provision of services under the program with other Federal, State, and local child care and early childhood development programs.
Also, the Lead Agency must consult with appropriate representatives of local governments.
This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.
A Lead Agency desiring to receive an allotment for a fiscal year is required to submit a two-year CCDF plan to the Administration for Children and Families, as well as, financial and other information necessary for the grants process. Each plan must contain certifications and assurances by the Lead Agency that it will comply with the requirements of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act. The plan must also include: the designation of a Lead Agency; the provision of assurances regarding policies and procedures as stated in Section 658E(c)(2) of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act; an outline of the intended use of block grant funds in compliance with Section 658E(c)(3) of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act; the provision of certification regarding payment rates as stated in Section 658E(c)(4) of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act; and the establishment of a sliding fee scale. Additional requirements are specified by 45 CFR Parts 98 and 99. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.
Grants are awarded after the receipt and approval of the plan by the Administration for Children and Families.
Contact the Child Care Bureau's Headquarters Office listed below for deadline dates.
Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990, as amended (Public Law 101-508, 42 U.S.C. 9858 et seq); Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193); Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-33); Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-161).
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
The Administration for Children and Families will review the plans for approval and will act on the plans within 90 days.
Guidelines for appeals of disapprovals of CCDF plans are specified in regulations (45 CFR Part 99).
CCDF plans must be submitted every two years.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Allocations for States are based on a formula that takes into account the number of children below the age of five, the number of children receiving assistance through the School Lunch Program in the State and per capita income. Not less than one percent, but not more than two percent of the total Discretionary Funds are reserved for Tribes and tribal organizations, and not more than one-half of one percent of the total Discretionary Funds is reserved for the Territories. Puerto Rico is treated as a State for allotment purposes.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Grant awards are made to Lead Agencies with approved CCDF plans. Grantees must obligate all Discretionary Funds in the fiscal year in which they are granted or in the succeeding fiscal year. Those funds must be liquidated in the third year.
Post Assistance Requirements
As specified in 45 CFR Part 98, States must report to the Administration for Children and Families annually aggregate data on families, children in care, providers, payment methods, and consumer education.
Quarterly case-level reports are required to provide data on families, children, and providers, and payment information.
States must also submit quarterly expenditure reports.
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Further auditing may be necessary.
Proper grant accounting records must be maintained.
(Grants and Contracts) FY 07 $2,051,200,000; FY 08 $2,062,100,000; and FY 09 est $2,062,100,000. (These figures do not include CCDF Mandatory Funds and Matching Funds under 93.596.)
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
For States, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the range of grants in FY 08 is: $8,303,222 to $532,337,832; average grant is approximately $93,194,746. For 260 Tribal grantees, the range of grants in FY 08 is: $22,845 to $10,368,025; average grant is approximately $383,006. For the four Territories, the range of grants in FY 08 is $1,864,552 to $4,022,522; average grant is approximately $2,577,601. (These figures are inclusive of funds received through 93.575 and 93.596.)
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature
These funds are subject to the Child Care and Development Fund regulations at 45 CFR Parts 98 and 99.
Regional or Local Office
Persons are encouraged to communicate with the Child Care Bureau Regional Program Managers (RPM). A list of the RPM's and their contact information is available at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ccb/ta/raaddr/program_managers.htm. You may also contact the Child Care Bureau, Office of Family Assistance at (202) 690-6782 or by Fax at (202) 690-5600.
Child Care Bureau, Office of Family Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 901 D St. S.W., 5th Floor East, Washington, DC 20047. Telephone: (202) 690-6782, Fax: (202) 690-5600.
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