State Child Care Subsidy Policies that Support Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships A Tool for States


Early Head Start (EHS)-Child Care Partnerships present an opportunity to extend access to high-quality comprehensive services to children eligible for and receiving child care subsidies. To make the most of this, states can review child care subsidy policies to identify opportunities to simplify and align policies in ways that support EHS-Child Care Partnerships by offering greater continuity for families and that make it easier for programs to administer such partnerships.

About this Tool. This tool offers a menu of key subsidy policies that would help children in partnerships get and keep child care assistance and support child care providers in the provision of high- quality infant toddler care. It can be used to identify a state’s current child care subsidy policies and strategize what state child care subsidy policy changes could be made, whether to work toward those changes in the short- or longer-term, and whether those changes need state gubernatorial action, legislative action, or an administrative or regulatory change. As states anticipate changes to the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG, also known as the Child Care and Development Fund or CCDF)1 program—either through new rules promulgated by the federal Office of Child Care (OCC) or through a Congressional reauthorization of CCDBG2–this tool also helps forecast how state policies may be required to change as compared to current law.

This tool is not meant to capture all state child care subsidy policies that improve continuity for infants and toddlers. It is also not intended as a complete guide to the content of the CCDBG reauthorization bill or proposed regulations. Rather, it identifies policies most relevant to supporting partnerships. While some policies are very specific to children in partnerships, others may be implemented to benefit all families receiving subsidies more broadly, including those in partnerships. This tool is divided into two sections. The first addresses helping families get and keep child care subsidies through policies related to enrollment, eligibility determination, and ongoing eligibility. The second section addresses how to support families and providers through payment policies including parent co-payments and provider payment rates and practices.

Assistance in using this tool is available from CLASP. Please contact Hannah Matthews at (202) 906- 8006 or

Source: CLASP

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