Early Childhood Integrated Financing Toolkit

Child Care and Development Fund [CCDF]also known to state lead agencies as Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)

Federal Funding Streams: Requirements and Detailed Information
Federal Agency: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Office of Child Care
Federal Funds for VA: $161.7 M federal
$63.7 M required state match and maintenance of effort funds in FY18
What Are the Main Requirements?
How do Federal Funds Flow?
When first created, CCDF was intended to help parents in work or education/training to pay for child care. The 2014 bipartisan reauthorization expanded its purpose to improve child care and development of participating children. While the majority of CCDF funds support Virginia’s Child Care Subsidy program, CCDF funds are also used for quality improvement.
CCDF Child Care Subsidy (also known in Virginia as DSS Subsidy): operates under regulations approved by the State Board of Social Services and under a CCDF State Plan reviewed by stakeholders and approved by the federal Office of Child Care.


Quality Improvement:
In FFY20, lead agencies must expend no less than 9% of CCDF funds to improve the quality of child care services for all children, and no less than 3% related to quality of care for infants & toddlers.


Subsidy Eligibility:
Children living in low-income families with parent(s) working or
in education or training.
Children under age 13, or up to 19 with special needs, may be
Children in need of protective services.
Virginia has four different eligibility levels depending on where a
family lives in the state, ranging from 38-64% of State Median
Income (SMI) for a family of three.
Once found eligible, the child qualifies for a minimum of 12
months, regardless of a temporary change in parents’ status as working or attending job training or education, as long as family
income does not exceed 85% of SMI.
Adult citizenship is not relevant for eligibility, only the citizenship
of the child.
When determining the number of hours of child care a
family qualifies for, the state must take child development into
consideration and is not limited to covering only hours the parent
is working.
If a family is above the state set initial eligibility level at
redetermination, but still under 85% of SMI, then, the state must
offer graduated phase-out of child care assistance.
Eligible families must be referred to and cooperate with the
Division of Child Support Enforcement unless one of the
specified exceptions is met.
Cost to Family:
States must establish a sliding fee scale for family copayment, with
flexibility to waive copayments for families under the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), children in protective services, other special populations.
Federal guidance recommends families pay no more than 7% of
income for child care. States may waive copays for families under
100% of the federal poverty level.
Virginia co-payments range from 5-10% of a family’s gross
monthly income. Co-payments are waived for TANF recipients,
SNAP Education & Training program participants, and Head Start
families (when all eligible children are in a Head Start) whose
gross monthly income is below Federal Poverty guidelines.


VA DSS must conduct a survey of what child care providers
are charging in the state every 3 years. The federal government
encourages states to pay providers at the 75th percentile of
market rate, meaning a family could access 75% of care.  VA
reimburses at the 70th percentile as of fall 2018 for licensed
May pay for care in centers, family child care homes, or Head Start
whose gross monthly income is below Federal Poverty guidelines.


High Quality Standards:
None federally required. Participating programs must meet state
licensing rules and exceptions.
All providers paid by the Child Care Subsidy Program must:
complete federally-mandated training on basic health and safety
topics prior to, or within 3 months of, being approved to provide care, undergo annual inspections, obtain fingerprint
criminal background checks and a search of child protective
services records, and have current first aid training and CPR
certification appropriate for the age of the children served.

Note: Applicants must complete the required health and
safety training prior to approval.
In Virginia, the Department of Social Services (VDSS) is the designated lead agency.


State block grants provide parameters for how funds may be used, but provide significant leeway to the state lead agency.


For child care subsidy, states set eligibility levels, determine intake processes, copayment sliding fee, provider payment practices, and payment levels within federal parameters. For example, states may use a mix of contracts/grants direct to providers and certificates/vouchers to help families pay for child care.


Subsidy funds flow from VDSS to 120 local department of social services offices where families go to apply and receive case management services.


For quality improvement in Virginia, programs activities include but are not limited to Virginia Quality (quality rating and improvement system); Infant & Toddler Specialist Network (training and technical assistance for providers serving infants and toddlers); child care licensure; IMPACT professional development registry; training through the Community College Workforce Alliance, PSU Better Kid Care and Child Care Aware;  Virginia Child Care Provider Scholarship Program; Child Care Provider Low Interest Loan Program; consumer education; and child care resource and referral.


Federal CCDF regulations:


The VA state CCDF plan: