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Additional Focus Areas for Professional Development

In addition to the required health and safety trainings, Lead Agencies must spend funds on training and technical assistance for child care providers in two key areas: identifying and caring for children experiencing homelessness, and strengthening providers’ business practices.

Children and Families Who Are Experiencing Homelessness [1]

States must use CCDF allocations for activities to improve the quality and availability of child care, including training and technical assistance to providers on identifying and serving children and families experiencing homelessness.

While there is some flexibility in this area, in addition to making such trainings accessible, Lead Agencies must ensure that the trainings are being used to the extent necessary to meet the requirements in the regulations to serve children experiencing homelessness. Section 98.51 of the CCDF regulations requires that Lead Agencies expend funds on activities that improve access to quality child care services for children experiencing homelessness, including “training and technical assistance for providers and appropriate Lead Agency (or designated entity) staff on identifying and serving children experiencing homelessness and their families.” [2] CCDF regulations do not specify that all providers and appropriate Lead Agency (or designated entity) staff must receive the training, so Lead Agencies have flexibility in the implementation of this requirement. However, CCDF Administrators should consider how trainings are made widely available and are utilized by enough providers and relevant staff to effectively meet needs and serve children and families experiencing homelessness.

Provider Business Practices

States must implement strategies that strengthen the providers’ business practices, including providing technical assistance. These may include practices related to fiscal management; budgeting; recordkeeping; hiring, developing, and retaining qualified staff; risk management; community relationships; marketing and public relations; and parent-provider communication. [3]

Improving Program Integrity within the Subsidy Program

To improve program integrity and accountability, all providers serving children receiving CCDF funds must be informed and trained regarding CCDF requirements and integrity. Strategies Lead Agencies might employ include the following:

  • Issuing policy change notices
  • Issuing new policy manual
  • Conducting staff training
  • Providing orientations for providers
  • Conducting onsite training
  • Conducting online training
  • Conducting regular check-ins to monitor the implementation of CCDF policies

     

     


    [1] CCDBG Act of 2014 658(c)(3)(B)(i); Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98.51(b) (2016).

    [2] Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98.51(b) (2016).

    [3] Office of Child Care. (2015). Section 6: Recruit and retain a qualified and effective child care workforce. In Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Plan preprint. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families..