Optional Use of Combined Funds

Lead Agencies have the option to combine CCDF funds with the funding for any of the programs with which coordination is required (as previously described).

If a Lead Agency elects to do this, consideration should be given to how the funds will be combined and used, as well as to the expected outcomes of combining them. Outcomes may include extending the day or year of services available, smoothing transitions for children, enhancing and aligning quality services, linking children in child care to comprehensive services, or developing the supply of quality care for vulnerable populations.

Combining funds could include blending multiple funding streams, pooling funds, or layering funds together from multiple funding streams to expand and enhance services for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children and families to allow for the delivery of comprehensive quality care that meets the needs of children and families. Examples are listed below:

  • State agencies may use multiple funding sources to offer grants or contracts to programs to deliver services.
  • A state may allow a county or local government to use coordinated funding streams.
  • Policies may be in place that allow local programs to layer CCDF funds with additional funding sources to pay for full-day, full-year child care that meets Early Head Start or Head Start Program Performance Standards or state Prekindergarten requirements in addition to state child care licensing requirements.

As a reminder, CCDF funds may be used in collaborative efforts with Head Start programs to provide comprehensive child care and development services for children who are eligible for both programs. In fact, the coordination and collaboration between Head Start and CCDF is strongly encouraged within the Head Start Act in the provision of full working day, full calendar year comprehensive services. To implement such collaborative programs, which share, for example, space, equipment, or materials, grantees may layer several funding streams so that seamless services are provided. See the Policy and Program Guidance for the Early Head Start—Child Care Partnerships for further information.


[1] CCDBG Act of 2014 658E(c)(2)(O)(ii); Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98.14(3) (2016).