The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) provides
subsidies to assist low-income families in obtaining child care so that
parents can work or participate in education or training activities.
Discretionary funding for this program is authorized by the Child Care and Development
Block Grant Act of 1990 (as amended), which is currently due for
reauthorization. Mandatory funding for child care subsidies authorized in
Section 418 of the Social Security Act (sometimes referred to as the “Child
Care Entitlement to States”) is also due for reauthorization. In
combination, these two funding streams are commonly referred to as the Child
Care and Development Fund (CCDF). The CCDF is the primary source of
federal funding dedicated solely to child care subsidies for low-income
working and welfare families.
The CCDF is administered by the Office of Child Care at the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS), and provides block grants to states,
according to a formula, which are used to subsidize the child care
expenses of working families with children under age 13. In addition to
providing funding for child care services, funds are also used for activities
intended to improve the overall quality and supply of child care for
families in general.
Discretionary child care funds are subject to the annual appropriations
process. Full-year appropriations for FY2013 have yet to be enacted.
However, a six-month government-wide continuing resolution (CR) for FY2013
(H.J.Res. 117) was signed into law on September 28, 2012 (P.L. 112-175).
The CR generally maintains funding for discretionary programs at their FY2012
levels, increased by 0.612%. (In FY2012, the discretionary CCDBG was funded at $2.278
billion, per P.L. 112-74.) Prior to the enactment of the CR, both chambers had
initiated action on FY2013 appropriations bills for the Departments of
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
(L-HHS-ED). Both the Senate Appropriations Committeereported bill (S.
3295, S.Rept. 112-176) and the draft bill approved by the House Appropriations L-HHS-ED
Subcommittee called for increases in discretionary CCDBG funding for FY2013.
The Senate committee-reported bill called for $2.438 billion (+7% from
FY2012) in discretionary CCDBG funds for FY2013, while the House
subcommittee-approved bill called for $2.303 billion (+1% from FY2012).
Mandatory child care funds are not typically included in annual appropriation
bills. Mandatory funds were directly appropriated (or pre-appropriated)
for fiscal years 1997 through 2002 by the 1996 welfare reform law (P.L.
104-193), which created the mandatory component of the CCDF. Temporary
extensions provided mandatory CCDF funding into FY2006. On February 8, 2006, a budget
reconciliation bill was enacted into law (P.L. 109-171), increasing mandatory
child care funding by $1 billion over five years (for a total of $2.917
billion for each of FY2006-FY2010). The authorization and
pre-appropriations for mandatory child care funding were set to expire at the
end of FY2010, but a series of six short-term extensions maintained mandatory
child care funding at the same level ($2.917 billion) for FY2011 and
FY2012. For FY2013, mandatory child care
funding has been extended through March 27, 2013, by a special provision
included in the FY2013 CR (P.L. 112-175). .
Date of Report: December 7, 2012
Number of Pages: 41 Order Number: RL30785 Price: $29.95
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