Information about Child Care Financial Assistance Program Availability and Application Process

In their CCDF Plans, states must describe how they inform eligible parents, the general public, and, where applicable, child care providers about how they can apply for, and potentially receive, child care services. Lead Agencies can inform families about available services in a number of ways, such as the following: [2]

  • Needs assessments through state planning agencies
  • Community outreach
  • Partnerships with state or local agencies and organizations
  • Public service announcements
  • Websites

In addition to providing information about the availability of services, Lead Agencies can help families by accepting child care applications through multiple avenues. For example, Lead Agencies can accept applications submitted in person, online, by mail and email, and at child care sites.

Consumer Statement

Parents receiving assistance under CCDF must be given a consumer statement with easily understandable information about the provider they choose, including the following:

  • Provider-specific information that addresses health and safety requirements and other licensing requirements—including those met by the provider and any history of violations
  • Date of last inspection
  • Voluntary quality standards met by the provider

The statement must also include general information about the following topics:

  • How subsidies are designed to promote equal access
  • How to submit a complaint via the state hotline
  • How to contact local child care resource and referral agencies or other community-based organizations that can assist with finding and enrolling in quality child care

The consumer statement may be presented as a hard copy or electronically. Lead Agencies may provide the statement by referring to the consumer education website. In such cases, the Lead Agency should ensure that parents have access to the Internet or provide access onsite in the subsidy office. Also, information on consumer statements should be accessible to individuals with limited English proficiency and individuals with disabilities.

[1] CCDBG Act of 2014 658E(c)(2)(E) and Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98.33(b) (2016).

[2] CCDF regulations define state as follows: “any of the states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, and includes tribes unless otherwise specified” [Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98.2 (2016)]. For ease of reading, the term state is used inclusively throughout this resource unless otherwise specified.