Thursday, October 17, 2013

Federal government approves DEL's plan for spending child care grant

DEL's 2014-15 plan for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) was recently approved by the federal Office of Child Care. 
CCDF is a federal grant administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children & Families. CCDF block grants are awarded to states, territories and Tribal Nations to help ensure families—particularly low-income families—have access to high-quality child care choices.
CCDF pays for:
  • Subsidized child care for families. DEL sets policy for Working Connections Child Care subsidy program, while the Department of Social and Health Services determines eligibility and makes payments to providers.
  • Activities to improve the quality of child care and offer additional services to families, such as child care referral services and training for child care providers.
  • Other research and technical assistance at the state and national levels.
As the lead state agency for the CCDF block grant, DEL must submit a plan every two years for how the funding will be used to improve accessibility and quality of child care in our state.
The 2014-15 plan builds upon goals we set and accomplished for prior years' plans, including moving to 12-month child care subsidy authorization, development of a career lattice and strengthening Washington's professional registry system, called the Managed Education and Registry Information Tool (MERIT). The goals for 2014-15 include:
  • Allowing child care licensing to focus on the providers' strengths and allowing DEL child care licensors to focus on high-risk indicators.
  • Continued work to improve the quality of child care through Early Achievers, Washington's quality rating and improvement system. 
  • Adding resources and supports for child care providers to our online professional development training library.
  • Aligning and streamlining Washington early learning systems, including subsidized child care, to better support high-quality programming that gets children ready for success in school. 
Read the entire CCDF plan

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