Increasing Access for Vulnerable Children and Families

CCDF regulations requires Lead Agencies to target their efforts and funds toward specific populations of families and children who are vulnerable, at risk, and underserved. The CCDBG Act identifies many of those populations and provides states flexibility in determining approaches they might use to support these populations. There are several ways to include these families and children in the child care subsidy program:

  • Establishing priority groups for eligibility
  • Defining terms such as protective services
  • Conducting outreach and coordinating services
  • Setting differential rates or waiving copayments
  • Increasing the supply of child care targeted to an underserved population

When training staff to work with families who are seeking subsidized child care, consider this resource by the National Center for Parent, Family and Community Engagement supported by the National Center for Subsidy, Innovation and Accountability―Promoting Informed Child Care Choices: A Training Guide for Child Care Subsidy Staff.

This training guide consists of ten modules, which can be used by groups or individuals. Each module offers ways to enhance skills and knowledge related to consumer education and parent, family, and community engagement. These skills and knowledge are important because every interaction parents have with the subsidy system is an opportunity for subsidy staff to 

  • support families’ well-being and parents’ abilities to work help ensure that children from low-income households have the best possible early childhood and school-age care and education experiences, and
  • promote family engagement in children’s learning and development. 

The training modules may also help staff feel and be more responsive when a family cannot immediately be served with subsidy.


[1] CCDBG Act of 2014 658E(c)(3)(B)(i); Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. §§ 98.46, 98.51 (2016).