Harrisburg PA- With an end of the year deadline approaching, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), advocates for children and a local family pushed to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) that helps thousands of Central Pennsylvania families pay for childcare each month. The program currently helps 55,000 Pennsylvania families each month pay for childcare for 93,000 children. If the bill fails to pass by the end of the year important reforms contained in the bill that helps families pay for childcare will have to start over in a new Congress.
“Investing in child care and early education for children helps them earn more now so they earn more later,” Senator Casey said. “This program helps thousands of families across Central Pennsylvania go to work and still afford childcare. It’s critical that Congress come together and pass this legislation before the end of the year.”
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) provides subsidies to assist low-income families in obtaining child care so that parents can work or participate in education or training activities. Discretionary funding for this program is authorized by the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (as amended), which is currently due for reauthorization. Mandatory funding for child care subsidies authorized in Section 418 of the Social Security Act (sometimes referred to as the "Child Care Entitlement to States") is also due for reauthorization. In combination, these two funding streams are commonly referred to as the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). The CCDF is the primary source of federal funding dedicated solely to child care subsidies for low-income working and welfare families.
The CCDF is administered by the Office of Child Care at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and provides block grants to states, according to a formula, which are used to subsidize the child care expenses of working families with children under age 13. In addition to providing funding for child care services, funds are also used for activities intended to improve the overall quality and supply of child care for families in general. The CCDF is the primary source of federal funding dedicated solely to child care subsidies for low-income working and welfare families.
CCDBG in Pennsylvania
According to preliminary FY 2013 data from the Administration of Children and Families, the most recent year available, Pennsylvania served an average of 54,700 families per month in CCDBG, totaling an average number of 92,800 children. This helped support 22,019 childcare providers each month. In total, with mandatory and discretionary funds, Pennsylvania received $187.3 million in FY 2014.