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Website Overview

The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Fundamentals website has been reengineered and revised to reflect the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014and its expanded purposes and impact on child care and on Lead Agencies’ administration of CCDF grants. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act is the lawthat, along with Section 418 of the Social Security Act, authorizes the federal child care subsidy program known as the Child Care and Development Fund.

A set of gears was chosen as the graphic icon for the website to illustrate the critical work of creating a collaborative system that is dependent on several partners to fully implement the CCDF in each state and Territory. The term state is defined in both the CCDBG Act and CCDF final rule as including states, territories, and tribes; therefore, for ease of reading, state will be used inclusively throughout this guide unless otherwise specified.[2],[3]

Look for the gear icon throughout the guide! As you hover over a gear, additional text will appear to help show the interconnectedness of different parts of CCDF administration—such as subsidy, health and safety, licensing regulations and monitoring, quality rating and improvement systems (QRISs), and other quality initiatives. Gears may also provide information about the connections between CCDF administration and Head Start, Early Head Start–Child Care partnerships, prekindergarten, early intervention, and health partners in state.

Welcome to the Fundamentals of CCDF Administration Resource Guide. This guide reflects the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 and the CCDF final rule. The guide addresses the requirements of the new law and final rule, which can be complex and highly technical. The guide provides as much clarification as possible, especially for newer CCDF Administrators and Lead Agency Administrators. However, its focus is on describing the basics of the law rather than interpreting the legal language..

The CCDBG Act of 2014 specified dates when certain provisions were effective and allowed time to implement the new requirements:

  • Monitoring, including annual inspections of CCDF providers—effective November 19, 2016
  • Posting results of monitoring and inspection reports—effective November 19, 2017
  • Comprehensive background checks—effective September 30, 2017
  • Where the Act did not specify a date, the statutory requirements became effective upon the date of enactment (November 19, 2014) and states had until September 30, 2016 to implement them

In September 2016, the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services published a final rule based on the Act that provided additional details and clarification on the law’s requirements. Provisions of this final rule generally became effective on November 29, 2016, 60 days after the final rule’s publication in the Federal Register, except for the provisions with a delayed statutory effective date. States are expected to be in full compliance by October 1, 2018, which marks the beginning of the next triennial CCDF Plan period. In the meantime, states must comply with the Act itself based on a reasonable interpretation of the law.


[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)].

[3] Note that separate resources are available to support the work of tribal grantees. They are available on the Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance System website at