High-Quality Child Care

The CCDBG Act and the CCDF final rule establish minimum standards, training, and monitoring requirements to ensure that child care for children receiving CCDF financial assistance protects their health and safety.

There are also several provisions to improve child care settings for all children across the country. For example, the law requires that all states use the same set of comprehensive background checks for all child care teachers and staff. In addition, states must develop professional development systems to improve the knowledge and skills of the individual teachers and staff working with children in child care. Finally, the law targets funding for investments in improving quality of child care, including a percentage specifically for care of infants and toddlers.

In addition, the law and final rule include several provisions aimed at improving the quality of child care and supporting the early childhood workforce. Some of these provisions are:

  • Gradually increasing (over a 5-year period) the proportion of funds states must use for quality from 4 percent to 9 percent, and describing allowable quality activities (e.g., training and professional development, quality rating and improvement systems, etc.)
  • Adding a new 3 percent infant and toddler set-aside to improve the supply and quality of providers serving the youngest children
  • Helping parents make informed consumer choices and access information to identify high-quality care
  • Requiring states to take the cost of quality into account when setting rates
  • Requiring states to have training and professional development requirements and a progression of professional development for CCDF providers, including caregivers, teachers, and directors[1]

Improving the development and school readiness of participating children is now a key purpose of the CCDBG Act. The law and regulations require states to have professional development systems that can help those working with young children promote their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development, and to address behavioral challenges. There are also requirements for consumer education that will help parents seeking information on how to choose care and access other services that will benefit their children’s development. The law and final rule require states to collect and share information on child development, family engagement, developmental screenings for young children, and quality child care with parents, providers, and the public.[2]


[1] Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2016). Child Care and Development Fund final rule frequently asked questions. Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/ccdf-final-rule-faq

[2] CCDBG Act of 2014 658E(E); Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98.33 (2016).