2022–2024 CCDF Plan Preprint Training Guide Section 3: Provide Stable Child Care Financial Assistance to Families

In Section 3, Lead Agencies will identify how they define eligible children and families and how the Lead Agency improves access for vulnerable children and families. This section also addresses the policies that protect working families and determine a family’s contribution to the child care payment.

In providing child care assistance to families, Lead Agencies are required to implement a minimum 12-month eligibility and redetermination period.  Lead Agencies are not prohibited from establishing policies that extend eligibility beyond 12 months to align program requirements. For example, Lead Agencies can allow children enrolled in Head Start, Early Head Start, state or local Prekindergarten, and other collaborative programs to finish the program year or, similarly, parents enrolled in school can have eligibility extended to allow parents to finish their school year. This type of policy promotes continuity for families receiving services through multiple benefit programs

In addition, Lead Agencies are required to implement a process to account for irregular fluctuations in earnings, a policy ensuring that families’ work schedules are not disrupted by program requirements, policies to provide for a job search of no fewer than 3 months if the Lead Agency exercises the option to discontinue assistance, and policies for the graduated phase-out of assistance. In addition in Section 3, the Lead Agency is also required to describe procedures for the enrollment of children experiencing homelessness and, if applicable, children in foster care.

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