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States' Efforts to Expand Child Care Programs

Mark Nadel

Funds Provided for Child Care

    • $4.4 billion of federal and state CCDF available in FY 1997
    • About one quarter of federal funds require state match, including MOE
    • Up to 30% of TANF allocation can be used for CCDF

GAO Child Care Study

Welfare Reform: States= Efforts to Expand Child Care Programs (HEHS-98-27)

    • Objectives: Determine expenditures, supply building efforts, and changes in standards
    • Reviewed in depth California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin

States Expanding Child Care Subsidy Programs

    • Expenditures increased to meet current needs
      • The states are drawing down all available federal funds
      • Almost half of states planned to spend more state funds than required for full federal match
      • Caseload declines allow Wisconsin, Oregon and others to use TANF funds for child care
      • Number of children served has increased by average of 17%
      • States expect to meet needs of TANF families and those transitioning off welfare. Nonetheless, states still unable to provide subsidies for all families needing child care who meet eligibility criteria
      • Long run funding ability still unknown

 States Initiating Efforts to Ensure Adequate Supply of Providers

    • Demand Increases Under Welfare Reform
      • In 7 states, demand for transitional child care already increased 31% under previous reforms
    • Some Types of Child Care in Shorter Supply
      • Infants
      • Nonstandard hours
      • Rural areas
    • Supply Building Initiatives
      • Training and aid for child care workers
      • Assistance to child care businesses
      • Collaboration with early childhood development and education
    • Importance of Informal Providers

Regulatory Standards

    • States maintain or strengthen standards by incremental changes
    • Differential standards for different types of providers


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