Issue brief

Trends in Child Care Spending from the CCDF and TANF

This report reviews the legislative history behind the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding streams. It explores the sources of CCDF and TANF expenditures and the key trends in federal and state level decisions on child care spending.

Making Summer Last: Integrating Summer Programs into Core District Priorities and Operations

This issue brief examines how three cities worked to sustain summer programs by integrating them into core district priorities and operations. The recommendations are based on interviews with more than 60 school personnel on how to build awareness and connect to district goals, create planning structures, and capitalize on existing experts and systems. 

CCDF Family Co-Payments

This issue brief provides guidance for how states and territories can ensure that they meet Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) requirements that co-payments are affordable and do not act as a barrier to families seeking child care subsidy. It includes a series of questions for lead agencies to consider when designing sliding fee scales, what states may exclude as countable income, an example of a sliding fee scale from Michigan, and a list of how 22 states and two territories have set dollar amounts.

Guidance on Estimating and Reporting the Costs of Child Care

This issue brief provides guidance to support Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) agencies and their partners on using cost estimates to inform rate setting. It outlines factors that influence the cost of care, both at base costs and at higher levels of quality. This brief can be helpful for school-age networks or providers participating in the CCDF requirement that states consider cost information to set payment rates and write a report. 

Four Important Things to Know About the Transition to School

This issue brief identifies four important things to know about the transition to school, and it also mentions the transition that children and families experience to out-of-school programs: (1) transition is a matter of equity; (2) a smooth transition to school makes a difference for children's outcomes; (3) families play an important role in the transition to school; and (4) it's all about relationships--among families, early childhood programs, schools, and community.

Transition Best Practices

This issue brief provides an overview of the research and promising practices on the transition to kindergarten. It provides extensive examples of transition programs that focus on building relationships, alignment, and collaboration among families, preschool, and school. Transition activities described include home visiting; familiarizing children with the kindergarten setting, expectations, and people; and ways to involve community resources.

Delivering on the Promise of Effective Early Childhood Education

This issue brief provides a review of best practice strategies for creating inclusive early learning settings. It also identifies system-level reforms that can reduce disproportionate suspensions and expulsions for Black children. It is part of the National Black Child Development Institute's campaign, Eliminating Exclusionary Discipline and Concentrating on Inclusion. Although the data are focused on ages birth to five, the strategies included are relevant for school-age.

Aligning Out-of-School Time Services for Children Experiencing Homelessness

The National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE) is pleased to share a practice brief on Aligning Out-of-School Time Services for Children Experiencing Homelessness. This brief is the fifth in a periodic series published by NCASE to build awareness of promising practices in the field of school-age child care.

Investment in Staff Yields Summer Success for Students

This issue brief is an interview with researcher Jessica Manta-Myer about an evaluation of the Summer Science Project in 10 elementary school sites in CA. The programs were provided with hands-on curriculum, training, and coaching in STEM. Evaluation showed increased knowledge, skills, and confidence for students, and staff confidence in leading STEM, as well as staff retention. This support model is relevant for both afterschool and summer learning. 

Defining and Measuring Access to High-Quality Early Care and Education: A Guidebook for Policymakers and Researchers

This guidebook provides a definition of access and how to measure access across different types of settings. It also describes indicators of access, how to measure the indicators, and what data sources exist. While it is primarily designed for birth to age 5, the model can be adapted for use in studying access for school-age care.