High-Quality Child Care

The CCDBG Act and the CCDF final rule establish minimum standards, training, and monitoring requirements to ensure that child care for children receiving CCDF financial assistance protects their health and safety.

There are also several provisions to improve child care settings for all children across the country. For example, the law requires that all states use the same set of comprehensive background checks for all child care teachers and staff. In addition, states must develop professional development systems to improve the knowledge and skills of the individual teachers and staff working with children in child care. Finally, the law targets funding for investments in improving quality of child care, including a percentage specifically for care of infants and toddlers.

In addition, the law and final rule include several provisions aimed at improving the quality of child care and supporting the early childhood workforce. Some of these provisions are:

  • Using 9 percent of the funds for quality activities, and describing allowable quality activities (e.g., training and professional development, quality rating and improvement systems, etc.).
  • Using at least 3 percent of funds on infants and toddlers to improve the supply and quality of providers serving the youngest children.
  • Helping parents make informed consumer choices, access information to identify and choose high-quality care, and access other services that will benefit their children’s development. States are required to collect and share information on child development, family engagement, developmental screenings for young children, and quality child care with parents, providers, and the public. [1]
  • Requiring states to take the cost of quality into account when setting rates.
  • Requiring states to have training and professional development requirements and a progression of professional development for CCDF providers, including caregivers, teachers, and directors. [2] States are required to have professional development systems that can help those working with young children promote their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development, and to address behavioral challenges.


[1] CCDBG Act of 2014 658E(E); Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98.33 (2016).

[2] Office of Child Care. (2016). Child Care and Development Fund final rule frequently asked questions. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/faq/child-care-and-development-fund-final-rule-frequently-asked-questions