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Administration for Children and Families US Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Public Affairs (OPA)
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Child Care Bureau (CCB)


The Child Care Bureau is dedicated to enhancing the quality, affordability and availability of child care for all families. The Child Care Bureau administers federal funds to States, Territories, and Tribes to assist low-income families in accessing quality child care for children when the parents work or participate in education or training.

Child Care and Development Fund - CCDF

The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) provides resources to States, Territories, and Tribes for child care assistance and quality improvement activities. This program, authorized by the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, and Section 418 of the Social Security Act, assists low-income families, families receiving temporary public assistance, and those transitioning from public assistance in obtaining child care so they can work or attend training/education.

— In FY 2006, $5 billion is available for the CCDF.


Child Care Services Funded by CCDF
Subsidized child care services are available to eligible families through certificates (vouchers) or contracts with providers. Parents may select any legally operating child care provider. Child care providers serving children funded by CCDF must meet basic health and safety requirements set by States and Tribes. These requirements must address prevention and control of infectious diseases, including immunizations; building and physical premises safety; and minimum health and safety training.

Quality Activities
A minimum of four percent of CCDF funds must be used to improve the quality of child care and offer additional services to parents, such as resource and referral counseling regarding the selection of appropriate child care providers to meet their child's needs. Consistent with prior years, the fiscal year 2006 appropriation includes additional funding for specific purposes: nearly $170 million for quality expansion, $98 million to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers, and $19 million to improve school-age care and Child Care Resource and Referral Services.

To improve the health and safety of available child care, many States have provided training, grants and loans to providers, improved monitoring, compensation projects, and other innovative programs. Tribes may use a portion of their funds to construct child care facilities provided there is no reduction in the current level of child care services.

Coordination of Resources

The CCDF allows States to serve families through a single, integrated child care subsidy program under the rules of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act. States can also transfer a portion of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) dollars to CCDF, or spend TANF directly for child care.

State and Tribal Child Care Plans
All States, Territories and Tribes must submit comprehensive plans every two years and conduct public hearings to invite public comment. Plans include a section asking States to describe efforts to promote children’s early learning through the President’s Good Start, Grow Smart initiative.


Fiscal year 2006 funding includes $10 million for child care research, demonstration, and evaluation activities. These funds are increasing the capacity for child care research at the national, State, and local levels while addressing critical questions with implications for children and families. Funds have been awarded to support individual project areas, including field-initiated research, research partnerships, research scholars, a web-based archive called Child Care and Early Education Research Connections, a provider evaluation initiative, and an evaluation of child care subsidy policies.

Technical Assistance
One fourth of 1 percent of the total CCDF is used by the Child Care Bureau to provide technical assistance to grantees. Its technical assistance network is designed to address the needs of States, Territories and Tribes administering the Child Care and Development Fund. The network includes the following projects:


Administration for Children, Youth and Families
Child Care Bureau
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
330 C Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447
Phone Number: 202.690.6782
Fax Number: 202.690.5600
National Child Care Information: 1.800.616.2242
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Updated October 2006
Office of Public Affairs (OPA)