Welcome to the Fundamentals of CCDF Administration

Welcome to the Fundamentals of CCDF Administration Resource Website. This website has been revised to reflect the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG)of 2014 and the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) final rule—including its expanded purposes and impact on child care and on Lead Agencies’ administration of CCDF grants.

The website addresses the requirements of the law and final rule and provides as much clarification as possible, which can be complex and highly technical. The website 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. These dates allowed time to put new requirements in place:

  • Monitoring, including annual inspections of CCDF providers, became effective on November 19, 2016.
  • Posting results of monitoring and inspection reports became effective on November 19, 2017.
  • Criminal background checks became effective on September 30, 2017 (further clarification provided in Section 6).
  • Where no date was specified, the statutory requirements became effective on November 19, 2014. States had until September 30, 2016 to implement them.

The final rule provided more details and clarification on the law’s requirements. Though some provisions had a delayed statutory effective date. States were expected to be in full compliance by October 1, 2018.

Primary Users

The Fundamentals of CCDF Administration website was created for CCDF Administrators, especially those who are new to their positions. CCDF Administrators, which is the term used throughout this document, are often referred to as State Administrators and Territory Administrators. In some states, the CCDF Administrator is responsible for all components of the CCDF program; in others, co-administrators are designated or interdepartmental agreements are established with other agencies for key components such as licensing administration.

The contents are also applicable to administrators and fiscal staff of Lead Agencies who need a basic understanding of the implementation of the CCDBG Act of 2014.

New CCDF Administrators—as well as more seasoned CCDF Administrators—will find the Fundamentals of CCDF Administration website helpful for the following:

  • Providing introductory or refresher training, including as a part of an onboarding process for CCDF Administrators as well as for Lead Agency staff and administration as applicable
  • Training other Lead Agency staff; for example, quality, licensing, or subsidy staff
  • Understanding and planning for required CCDF activities, for example market rate survey, quality performance report, and public hearing
  • Searching for information on a specific CCDF administration topic
  • Shared training with collaborative partners such as those in the State Advisory Council and agency staff in state departments of health, education, or the lead agency for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Note: Separate resources are available to support the work of American Indian and Alaska Native CCDF grantees. These are available on the Child Care Technical Assistance Network (CCTAN) website.

Organization of Content

The following broad areas of focus comprise the major sections of the CCDF Fundamentals guide (displayed as main navigation, which appears below the search bar and above the sub-navigation menu):



Part 1. Introduction to the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)

Provides an overview of the basics of CCDF administration including CCDF history and purposes, key statutory provisions, federal contacts and regional map, terms, and acronyms. Responsibilities of Lead Agencies and the New CCDF Administrator Checklist are included in this section.

Part 2. Define CCDF Leadership and Coordination with Relevant Systems

Includes information to support the management of the various components of CCDF-funded activities and requirements, as well as coordination with other public and private partners. Emergency preparedness is also covered in this section.

Consumer Education and Child Development information

Part 3. Promote Family Engagement through Outreach and Consumer Education

Provides an overview of the requirements related to consumer and provider education information and interactions with parents to help them make the best child care choice for their families, including the requirement for a state consumer education website. Developmental assessments are included in this section.

Subsidy, Access and Accountability information

Part 4. Provide Stable Child Care Financial Assistance to Families

Contains an overview of CCDF requirements to provide more stable child care financial assistance to families on their path to financial stability, including extending children’s eligibility for child care regardless of temporary changes in parents’ earnings and work, training, or school schedules. Eligibility, parent fees, and increasing access are outlined in this section.

Subsidy, Access and Accountability information

Part 5. Ensure Equal Access to Child Care for Low-Income Children

Includes an overview of grants and contracts, market rate survey requirements, setting payment rates, and timely payments to providers.

Health and Safety and Continuous Quality Improvement information

Part 6. Establish Standards and Monitoring Processes to Ensure the Health and Safety of Child Care Settings

Contains information about licensing child care providers, including requirements, exemptions, and child-to-provider ratio and group size. This section includes information about monitoring, the child abuse reporting requirement, and criminal background checks. In addition, information is included about how families and providers can access the results of monitoring, inspections, and background checks.

Professional Development and Workforce information

Part 7. Recruit and Retain a Qualified and Effective Child Care Workforce

Describes requirements related to the professional development of the child care workforce and a discussion of early learning and development guidelines.

Health and Safety and Continuous Quality Improvement information

Part 8. Support Continuous Quality Improvement

Provides an overview of the requirements to improve the quality of child care services at the program level. Includes key elements of quality improvement, description of the funding requirements, and the options states and territories have for quality activities.

Subsidy, Access and Accountability information

Part 9. Ensure Grantee Program Integrity and Accountability

Includes information about funding and the use of funds, required reporting, accountability and program integrity, and waivers.