The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014: Reauthorizing the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Program


Overview and Background

In 2014, former President Barack Obama signed into law the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014, the first comprehensive reauthorization for the CCDBG in nearly 20 years.

At the federal level, these child care funding streams are jointly administered by HHS–and are commonly referred to as the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). The funds are allocated to states, according to separate formulas, and are used to subsidize the child care expenses of low-income working families with children under age 13 (and sometimes older children in special circumstances). 

Federal law stipulates that eligible families are those with a family income below 85 percent of the state median income, but in practice most states set income levels below the federal threshold. Child care services are provided to families on a sliding fee scale basis and parents may choose to receive assistance through vouchers or certificates, which can be used with a provider of the parents’ choice, including religious providers and relatives.

In addition to supporting direct services for children, states must use a portion of their CCDBG funds (both mandatory and discretionary) to improve the quality and availability of child care (e.g., by supporting training and professional development). 


CCDBG Reauthorized

The CCDBG Act of 2014 amended the goals of the program and created six new goals which strengthened requirements related to health and safety, licensing enforcement, and quality of care. For instance, under the reauthorized CCDBG Act:

  • States must establish and enforce minimum health and safety standards covering 11 broad areas, such as the prevention and control of infectious diseases, building and premises safety, and emergency preparedness,
  • All providers receiving CCDF funds must compete pre-service and ongoing training on health and safety topics;
  • States must set age-specific standards for group size limits and child-to-provider ratios,
  • States must conduct pre-licensure and annual unannounced licensing inspections for all licensed CCDF providers, as well as annual inspections for unlicensed (or “license-exempt”) CCDF providers,
  • States must establish qualifications and training for licensing inspectors and set inspector-to-provider ratios,
  • States must conduct criminal background checks on applicable child care providers and staff members, and
  • Minimum state spending on general quality activities increases incrementally from 4 percent of CCDF spending under prior law to 9% by FY2020, plus states must spend an additional 3% on quality activities for infants and toddlers.


States must have in place requirements to protect the health and safety of children applicable to all CCDF providers relating to the following topics:

(1) prevention and control of infectious disease;

(2) prevention of sudden infant death syndrome and use of sleeping practices;

(3) administration of medication, consistent with standards of parental consent;

(4) prevention and response to emergencies due to food and allergic reaction;

(5) building and physical premises safety, including identification of and protection from hazards that can cause bodily injury such as electrical hazards, bodies of water, and vehicular traffic;

(6)prevention of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma;

(7) emergency preparedness and response planning for emergencies resulting from a natural disaster, or man-caused event (such as violence at a child care facility);

(8) appropriate precautions in transporting children, if applicable; and

(9) first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.


SG Classes Online has many classes to help meet these requirements:

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