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CCDF Reauthorization: State Success Stories

Washington

A woman studying in a library

The Department of Early Learning (DEL), the Center for Excellence for Careers in Education, and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges have partnered to release the Early Childhood Education Career Planning Portal.

The Early Childhood Education Career Planning Portal supports the goals and priorities of CCDF reauthorization by increasing access to high-quality, progressive educational opportunities for early childhood professionals. One of the most innovative features of the Early Childhood Education Career Planning Portal is its advanced search function. This function allows for a map-based view of all educational programs throughout the State, including online programs. Support services available on the portal include scholarship information, links to early learning partners, and the professional development division at DEL.

 

Oklahoma

Implementing Reauthorization through Stronger Licensing Standards

A girl in playset outside

Oklahoma engaged in an extensive revision of licensing requirements. The updates, which meet reauthorization requirements, went into effect in January 2016. Provider engagement and training are in progress and licensing staff have conducted onsite reviews using new Web-based technology to help providers understand and meet the new standards. Oklahoma staff value and intentionally build collaborative relationships with providers, the State Advisory Council and the Head Start State Collaboration Office, and the Oklahoma Tribal Child Care Association.

Arkansas

Connecting Families with Quality Providers

A mom and her child

Arkansas has focused its efforts on fragile families, including teen parents, parents in homeless and domestic violence shelters, children in protective services and foster care, extended families raising children, and English-language learners. Through a case management approach, eligibility staff provide outreach and consumer education across the Child Care and Development Fund program, connecting families using subsidies to providers participating in quality improvement, particularly the Arkansas quality rating and improvement system, Better Beginnings.

Colorado

Revising Subsidy Rules to Improve Educational Experience for Children and Eligibility Processes for Families

A teacher seated with students at a table as they draw

Colorado is in the process of completing a full review and rewrite of its state subsidy rules. This work is being completed in collaboration with counties, which administer the program, and with state staff. The rewrite is partially in response to Child Care and Development Fund reauthorization, with the goal of ensuring compliance with the new law. The first draft is expected in early 2016, with a goal of implementation in June 2016. Some of the changes include allowing Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) children to get care outside the exact hours of a parent's work schedule to improve their educational experience, establishing tiered reimbursement rates for providers and tiered parent copay reductions for families who contract with programs that rate higher on Colorado Shines, and streamlining the eligibility and redetermination processes. The rewrite also aims to mitigate the "cliff effect"—when families become ineligible for CCCAP because of an increase in income that does not cover the increased cost of child care—through county pilot programs.

Kansas

The Addition of the Complaint Inspection Module

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In Kansas, the Department of Health and Environment’s work on the online complaint inspection module is ongoing and expected to be implemented in December 2015. To date all inspection results are available online, with the exception of a complaint inspection. This enhancement will allow the public to review all inspection findings, which will enable parents to make better-informed decisions when selecting a child care provider. The complaint inspections conducted through the CLARIS (Child Care Licensing and Registration Information System) Inspection Module will meet the requirements of Lexie’s Law and the reauthorization bill. The online complaint inspection will be available for all facility types, including licensed and group day care homes, child care centers, preschools, school-age programs, and drop-in programs. Each quarter, the portal is used more frequently. Currently the portal has an average of 10,000 monthly “View Findings” hits. In addition, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Web site includes consumer information, current bureau forms and regulations, and links to related Web sites, including the Department for Children and Families and Child Care Aware of Kansas.

California

Workgroups Convene to Address Reauthorization Requirements

A teacher an her children clapping while sitting at a table

California has taken a collective-impact approach toward addressing some of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) reauthorization requirements. The Health and Safety Regulatory Workgroup, which consists of individuals from state agencies, advocacy groups, resource and referral agencies, First 5 California, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among other groups, will be addressing several parts of CCDF reauthorization through cross-systems workgroups. These workgroups will develop white papers and provide followup from experts on the following topics: expulsion policy, emergency preparedness and response, medication administration, continuing professional development, annual inspections, license-exempt monitoring, and safe sleep. The white papers will make recommendations to the Early Education and Support Division and the Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division on regulatory reform that might be needed to meet CCDF reauthorization requirements.

Connecticut

Addressing the Needs of Families Experiencing Homelessness

A woman and infant playing at a table

The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood has been working with the Head Start Collaboration Director and Department of Education McKinney-Vento Coordinator to establish a detailed, inclusive plan of action to address the needs of families experiencing homelessness. A group of stakeholders has examined current practices; identified outreach, service, and training gaps; and articulated a plan to move forward. This topic is part of the Connecticut governor’s 2015 priorities.

 

 

 

 

 

Examining Expulsion Policy

A mom and her child

A focus of reauthorization work is to create a policy on restrictions for out-of-school suspension and expulsion. This legislative proposal will allow all children to access early childhood education without being removed from the classroom setting as a result of the inclination to over-discipline specific subgroups. Connecticut’s new policy aligns with research showing that suspension and expulsion can have a negative impact on young children and their families. In addition, the policy addresses the root cause of disruptive behaviors by solidifying a partnership with early childhood mental health professionals who will assist with screenings and provide early intervention through trauma-informed intervention services.

New Mexico

Understanding Costs, Achieving Quality

A young girl using a play kitchen

New Mexico requested support from the National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement in examining its financial supports for programs rated in the state quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). During an onsite consultation and stakeholder participation in a topical learning table, it used the Provider Cost of Quality Calculator to project provider payment rates that would allow for improved teacher salaries and benefits. On September 30th, New Mexico increased tiered payment rates at the 4- and 5-star levels in licensed centers. By better understanding the cost of increased quality, the State was able to differentiate its rates not only by quality level but also by the age of the child, so that programs will have the financial support necessary to achieve high levels of quality.

Arizona

Improving the Subsidy System to Better Assist Children and Families

Woman and child at a table

Arizona is reorganizing its Child Care and Development Fund governance structure, creating a new division that will remain in the Department of Economic Security. The reorganization reflects a shift to a more child-oriented, rather than welfare-oriented, focus. It will combine child care and Part C Early Intervention, both already housed in the Department of Economic Security. Arizona’s vision for child care subsidies includes a progressive approach to reporting. The State proposes asking families to report an income change only if their income hits 85 percent of state median income, or if they lose income and would be eligible for a lower copayment. The proposal has already been submitted to the legislature for a statutory change. Currently, subsidies can be paid only up to 165 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

Maine

The Maine Department of Human Services has completed a detailed revision of the child care licensing system, including addressing key components of CCDF Reauthorization – licensing staff case load, licensing staff training, consumer education for families to choose child care, and a family-friendly website to search for high quality child care.

www.ChildCareChoices.me is Maine’s consumer-friendly website that includes information on:

  • Search For Child Care – Find a suitable Child Care provider
  • Parent Resources contains information about Child Care facilities
  • Quality Rating and Improvement System is a rating tool that provides parents with a way to easily identify high quality early childhood programs