Child Care Development Fund Quality Dollars

Child Care Development Fund Quality Dollars

Child Care Development Fund Quality Dollars

ELAA Quality and Access Retreat

June 2, 2011

Individuals preparing this report: Gary Burris and Karen Tvedt

Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)

Along with the state dollars required to earn Washington’s full federal CCDF grant, and TANF (welfare) dollars used for child care, CCDF is the major source of funding for child care and early learning services in Washington State. The chart below shows Washington’s final CCDF allocations for FY 2010 and FY 2011 including funds reallotted from other states[1].

Between FFY 2010 and FFY 2011, the CCDF Discretionary Fund increases by $2,031,493. This results in increases in the targeted funds because they are part of the CCDF Discretionary Fund. Washington is eligible for $356,131 additional in CCDF Matching Funds through the reallotment process with its state match increasing by $525,979 due to the re-allotted funds and an increase inits matching rate (FMAP).

Federal Fiscal Year / Mandatory / Federal Share of Matching Fund / State MOE
(Share)[2] / FMAP Rate / State Share of Matching Fund2 / Discretionary Including Targeted Funds / Targeted: School Age & R&R / Targeted: Quality Expansion / Targeted: Infant-Toddler / Discretionary Excluding Targeted / Total Federal-Only Funds
FY2010 / 41,883,444 / 35,469,885 / 38,707,605 / 50.12% / 35,300,037 / 35,254,230 / 299,635 / 2,930,341 / 1,697,060 / 30,327,194 / 112,607,559
FY2011 / 41,883,444 / 35,826,016 / 38,707,605 / 50.00% / 35,826,016 / 37,285,723 / 319,707 / 3,096,538 / 1,793,303 / 32,076,175 / 114,995,183
Difference / 0 / +356,131 / 0 / +525,979 / +2,031,493 / +20,072 / +166,197 / +96,243 / +1,748,981 / +2,387,624

The 2009-2011 Washington State CCDF Plan estimates that $104,551,000 in Federal TANF funds will be transferred to CCDF and $52,000,000 in TANF will be spent directly on child care. As shown in the chart below, at least 4% of the federal Mandatory, Matching, and Discretionary Funds (including targeted funds), TANF transfers to CCDF, and State Share of the Matching Funds must be spent on quality activities. As shown below, in FY 2011 Washington must spend at least $15,424,437 on quality including targeted funds.

FY 2011 Minimum Required Quality Expenditures

Mandatory / Matching (Fed.) / State MOE / State Share of Matching / Discretionary
(Total) / TANF
Transfers / TANF
Direct / 4% Required Quality Expenditures[3] / Total Quality with Targeted Funds
1,675,338 / 1,433,041 / 0 / 1,433,041 / 1,491,429 / 4,182,040 / 0 / $10,214,889 / 15,424,437

What do the CCDF regulations say about activities to improve the quality of child care (98.51)?

  • Not less than 4% of the aggregate funds expended by a state for a fiscal year, and including the amounts expended in the state shall be expended for quality activities. Activities may include but are not limited to activities to provide comprehensive consumer education, activities that increase parental choice and activities designed to improve the quality and availability of child care:
  • Operating directly or providing financial assistance for resource and referral,
  • Making grants or providing loans to child care providers,
  • Improving the monitoring of and enforcement of health and safety requirements,
  • Providing training and technical assistance,
  • Improving salaries and other compensation for staff who provide child care services for which assistance is provided, and
  • Any other activities consistent with the intent of this section.

How Does Washington State Spend its Quality Funds?

  • In FFY 08, Washington’s CCDF quality expenditures included:
  • Health & Safety($9,295,709): DEL Licensors ($7,845,104), Licensor Training ($76,550), Fire Marshall ($52,042), Nurse Consultants ($1,322,013)
  • Facility Improvement ($91,075): Child Care Advantages Facility Grants ($91,075)
  • Child Supports ($708,836): Nurse Consultants (see above), OSPI Food Program ($708,836)
  • Parent Supports ($301,673): Born Learning ($164,367), Resource & Referral (see below), Public Awareness/Consumer information ($137,306)
  • Quality Improvement ($5,716,008): Resource & Referral ($3,102,581), Schools-Out Washington ($287,637), Stars System/Scholarships ($1,193,594), Building Bridges ($809,983), Washington Scholars ($262,500), Tribal Contracts ($59,713).
  • While comparable quality expenditure information is not available for recent years, a number of the programs listed above have been cut significantly, e.g., Stars. The budget recently passed by the 2011 Legislature provisos $1,276,000 in state funds to the child care resource and referral network and $400,000 in state funds for culturally relevant supports for parents, family and other caregivers.

How are States using CCDF to Support Child Care Quality?

  • Office of Child Care (OCC) Perspective: In its FY 2012 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees, the federal OCC indicates thatstates reported spending approximately $988 million or 11% of their CCDF funds on quality improvement activities (FFY09).

In consultation with states, OCC is establishing new high priority performance goals to strengthen program oversight and accountability. The new measures include: increase the number of states that implement QRIS that meet high quality benchmarks; increase the number of states that implement professional development systems that meet benchmarks for providing a career path for early care and afterschool educators; increase the number of states that have implemented early learning guidelines across developmental domains…for children ages three to five that align with state K-12 standards and are linked to the education and training of caregivers, preschool teachers, and administrators; and increase the number of percentage of low-income children receiving CCDF subsidies who are enrolled in high quality care settings. This document is available at:

  • Reimbursement Rates: The CCDF regulations require that states certify that its payment rates for the provision of child care services are sufficient to ensure equal access for eligible children.The preamble to the regulations argues that a system of payments that does not reflect the realities of the market makes it economically infeasible for many providers to serve low-income children—undermining the statutory and regulatory requirements of equal access and parental choice. Payment rates established at least at the 75th percentile of the market are regarded as providing equal access. According to Washington’s most recent market rate survey, 89% of centers in King County say they charge more for full-time infant care than the state pays; in other regions of the state, from 48 to 80% of centers indicate that they charge non-subsidized families more than the state pays for infant care. Similarly, 90% of centers in King County say they charge more for preschool care than the state pays.
  • Tiered Reimbursement: In their FFY 2010-2011 CCDF Plans, 33 states said they had tiered/differential rates that resulted in reimbursing providers more for higher quality care.While Washington piloted tiered reimbursement in Spokane, it is not currently among the states with a system of tiered reimbursement.
  • Quality Rating and Improvement Systems: QRS’s are currently operating, under development or being piloted in over 25 states or local areas. A number of states have been implementing QRS for more than five years: Colorado (2000); DC (2000); Florida (2000); Indiana (2001); Kentucky (2001); Maryland (2001); Missouri (2003); New Mexico (1999); North Carolina (1999); Oklahoma (1998); Pennsylvania (2002); Tennessee (2001); Vermont (2003). States implementing QRS for three to five years include: Iowa (2006); Mississippi (2006, pilot); New Hampshire (2006); Ohio (2006); and Oregon (2006). The Early Learning Council recommended a system of QRIS for Washington State in 2006. Five years later, in collaboration with Thrive by Five, Washington is piloting QRIS in five sites around the state. The state is investing $1 million biennially in the pilot.
  • Encouraging and supporting child care providers to qualify to provide pre-kindergarten services. A May 2005 CLASP Policy Brief indicates that at least 29 states were operating at least one pre-k program using a mixed delivery model in which pre-k is delivered in community-based settings and schools. CLASP indicates that this is a significant trend because it has the potential to create a more integrated approach to early education and child care policies, address the needs of children in working families in a coordinated way, and strengthen the quality of community-based child care programs by requiring higher standards and providing additional resources and supports. CLASP provides a list of recommendations about using pre-k to strengthen quality, standards and resources for community-based child care programs including setting equivalent standards, investing in the child care workforce, providing resources and technical assistance, etc. Report is available at: .Many ECEAP programs are operated in schools and some include partnerships with community-based child care programs.

Can CCDF be used for State Pre-Kindergarten Programs?

  • The CCDF regulations (and preamble to the final rule) provide that a state may count pre-k expenditures toward 20% of its CCDF state Match and 20% of its Maintenance of Effort (MOE). (The maximum state match percentage was increased to 30% in recent years.)
  • To avoid loss of full day services, public pre-k expenditures may be used for MOE only if the state has not reduced its expenditures for full-day/full-year child care services. If a state intends to use pre-k expenditures for Match, it must demonstrate its efforts to ensure that pre-k programs meet the needs of working parents. If a state intends to use pre-k funds for more than 10% of either its MOE or Match, it must describe how it will coordinate its pre-k and child care services to expand the availability of child care.
  • In its draft FY 2012-2013 CCDF Plan, DEL indicates that ECEAP represents 19.72% of State Matching Funds and 13.28% of the State MOE.
  • The Plan also indicates that currently, 28% of ECEAP sites are licensed child care facilities, which makes child care available at the same location as half day pre-k. ECEAP staff work closely with families to address child care needs and assist them in accessing WCCC. An ECEAP child who needs care outside of ECEAP hours may also receive child care subsidies through the Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) program. Many additional ECEAP programs transport children to child care for the remainder of the day which supports availability.

What are the Emerging Opportunities?

  • Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC): Washington has been awarded approximately $1.7 million in federal ARRA funds (stimulus) over a three-year period to support its State Advisory Council (which is ELAC). The federal Head Start Act governs the requirements for the federally-funded state advisory councils and specifies the members that should be included (to the extent possible). In addition to any additional responsibilities designated by the governor, state advisory council responsibilities include: conduct periodic needs assessment of the quality and availability of early childhood programs; identify opportunities and barriers to collaboration and coordination; develop recommendations for increasing participation of children in child care and early education programs; develop recommendations regarding professional development and career advancement for early childhood educators; assess the capacity and effectiveness of higher education to support professional development (including articulation agreements, etc.); and make recommendations for improvements in early learning standards. SB 5389 (2011) modifies the ELAC membership to be in compliance with federal requirements. ELAA is in conversation with DEL and ELAC about ways ELAC might be re-energized to become a more effective force in furthering early learning programs.
  • Seeds to Success: Washington’s pilot Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) was evaluated by Mathematica Policy Research using a randomized controlled trial study in the East Yakima and White Center sites. The providers in the treatment group received coaching, quality improvement grants, professional development opportunities and access to funds. The providers in the control group received only professional development opportunities and access to funds. After the seven-month study period, differences were measured between the treatment and control groups. The study found that Seeds significantly improved observed quality in centers and family child care homes. The combination of high intensity coaching and quality improvement grants led to an increase of 1.5 on the rating scale (ERS) for centers and .88 for homes (FCCERS). More treatment group center teachers reported enrollment in education and training, but no differences were found for family child care providers. In addition to demonstrating positive outcomes from Washington’s approach to QRIS, this study suggests ways the model might be improved.
  • Revised State CCDF Plan Preprint and Reporting: In the 2011-2012 CCDF Plan, states are asked to address four components of quality: health and safety; early learning guidelines, program quality improvements; and professional development systems and workforce initiatives. For each component, the Department of Early Learning (DEL) was required to cover three areas: describing current status of efforts, using common practices and best practices to list characteristics; identifying goals for making progress during the biennium; and describing data, performance measure and evaluation capacity for each. DEL will be required to report progress in each of these areas in a Quality Performance Report. The first report is due December 31, 2012 and the first submittal will reflect the period October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.

Quality Program Activities include the following: 1. Program standards; 2. Supports to programs to improve quality; 3. Financial incentives and supports; 4. Quality assurance and monitoring; and 5. Outreach and consumer education. Professional Development and Workforce includes the following: 1) Core Knowledge and Competencies; 2) Career Pathways (or Career Lattice); 3) Professional Development Capacity; 4) Access to Professional Development; and 5) Compensation, Benefits and Workforce Conditions

  • Federal: Race to the Top: On May 25, 2011 U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that $500 million would be available in a competitive grant for Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge. Vice-President Biden and both Secretaries emphasized the importance of high quality early learning. States will need to have comprehensive plans for well coordinated early learning systems, clear standards and meaningful workforce development. The press release outlines the broad intention of the grant:

“States applying for challenge grants will be encouraged to increase access to quality early learning programs for low income and disadvantaged children, design integrated and transparent systems that align their early care and education programs, bolster training and support for the early learning workforce, create robust evaluation systems to document and share effective practices and successful programs, and help parents make informed decisions about care for their children.”


[1]These are the from the latest CCDF Final Allocations charts on the Office of Child Care website, The charts include funds reallotted from other states.

[2]Funds states must provide to earn its full share of CCDF dollars.

[3] In its draft CCDF Plan for FY 2012-2013, DEL estimates that it will spend $18 million annually for quality.