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Child Care and Development Fund

Increasing availability, affordability and quality

The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the primary source of federal funding for child care subsidies, parent information and child care quality supports. Programs funded by the CCDF are administered by states, territories and Tribes, with funding and support from the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Child Care, through the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act. This funding helps states make improvements in their systems to better serve children, parents and child care providers. 

Serving families and providers

Funds are used to provide financial assistance to families with low incomes to help them pay for child care, so they can work, look for work or go to school. The CCDF program helps fund child care assistance for about 22,000 children and 11,000 families each month in Minnesota. 

Child Care and Development Fund dollars are used for:
  • Protecting the health and safety of children in child care through regulation and monitoring, as well as training and coaching support to support best practices.
  • Helping child care programs improve practices through Results-Based Professional Development coaching and consulting services, and achieving higher standards in Parent Aware, Minnesota's Quality Rating Improvement System.
  • Providing resources and information to help parents select child care that meets their family's needs.
  • Improving the skills and qualifications of child care providers. 
  • Helping families with low incomes get regular access to child care through the Child Care Assistance Program. 
  • Improving the overall quality of early learning and afterschool programs. 

Overview of Minnesota's CCDF Plan

Every three years, states must submit a Child Care and Development Fund plan to the federal Office of Child Care. The plan describes how funds are spent by the state and document compliance with federal laws.

Beginning September 15, 2021, Minnesota began a plan to ensure all study subjects were compliant with background studies. Noncompliant programs submitted a new enhanced background study using fingerprints. This allowed Minnesota to become fully compliant with federal background check requirements. 

Minnesota is currently operating under the Federal Fiscal Year 2022-2024 Child Care Development Fund Plan, effective October 1, 2021. Work being done includes:
  • Continuing to cover the enhanced child care background study fees until further notice.
  • Supporting the child care workforce by offering training, coaching, grants and scholarships to pursue degrees and credentials.
  • Offering early childhood mental health consultation in child care to fund training for consultants and quality coaches, providing mental health consultation to child care providers in Parent Aware-Rated programs, and evaluating the mental health consultation system.
  • Addressing shortages in child care in rural Minnesota communities by working with local partners to assess the gaps in child care in their regions.
  • Creating a plan for addressing the child care supply supply gaps and carrying out a plan for addressing them. 
  • Purchasing a Minnesota Supplement to the 2024 National Survey of Early Child Care and Education, building upon the information from the 2012 and 2019 studies, helping understand the changing landscape of child care in Minnesota.
  • Providing grants to enable local sites to develop or expand on whole family (child and caregiver) approaches. The focus is on changing policies, practices, programs, initiatives, funding, governance, data and communications, to increase access for children and families in communities with racial, ethnic, economic, health and education disparities. 

Funding sources

Child Care Development Fund (CCDF)
  • The federal government provided Minnesota $139,444,000 in CCDF funds for state year 2022.
  • States are required to contribute matching and other funds to maximize their federal allocation. State funding along with prior year CCDF funds support child care services.
  • States are also required to spend at least 9% of their funds on activities to improve the quality and availability of child care and 3% of the funds must be set aside to improve the quality of care specifically for infants and toddlers. In state fiscal year 2022, Minnesota spent $189,061,000 to improve the quality and availability of child care. This includes funding from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental and American Rescue Plan Act funds from prior years.   
  • States must spend at least 70% of the Child Care and Development Fund mandatory and matching funds on families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits, transitioning from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or at risk of becoming eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.  
  • The Minnesota Department of Human Services currently spends more than $171,361,000, including $57,355,000 transferred from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, in Child Care and Development Fund dollars on its Child Care Assistance Program each year.
Supporting and stabilizing Minnesota's child care industry
In addition to activities and services described in 2022-2024 Child Care Development Fund Plan, the Child Care Services (CCS) Division at DHS received significant federal stimulus funds from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) and the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Both bills provided significant funding to help states stabilize, support and build their child care industry and programs.   

In June 2021, the Minnesota Legislature created Minnesota's Child Care Stabilization Grant program, intended to support child care providers who were hit hard by low enrollment, low or reduced workforce and high costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This program is intended to support child care providers who were hit hard by low enrollment, low or reduced workforce and high costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about the  Child Care Stabilization Grant Program .
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