Supporting High Quality Services for Children and Families


Operating on national and regional levels, the federal early childhood training and technical assistance (T/TA) system will support high quality services for children and families. All entities will:

  • Target services for children birth to age 5, and their families, with supports for expectant families and school-age children;
  • Promote the provision of comprehensive services and school readiness with strategies that are age, developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate;
  • Provide high-quality, evidenced-based, practical resources and approaches that build capacity and create sustainable early childhood practices at the regional, state, and local levels;
  • Scaffold timely and relevant guidance, training, materials and professional development activities to account for different stakeholder needs and levels of readiness;
  • Emphasize use of data for continuous quality improvement, coordination, and integration across the broader early childhood sector;
  • Build upon previous evaluations and lessons learned from the Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care T/TA; and
  • Include evaluation of the quality of the assistance provided and the degree to which early care and education programs, staff, children and family’s needs are met.

Source: Early Childhood Development, Administration for Children and Families

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America’s Children 2015 – Introduction


Twenty-one years ago, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) joined with six other Federal agencies to create the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. Formally chartered in April 1997 through Executive Order No. 13045, the Forum’s mission is to develop priorities for collecting enhanced data on children and youth, improve the communication of information on the status of children to the policy community and the general public, and produce more complete data on children at the Federal, state, and local levels. Today the Forum, with participants from 23 Federal agencies, continues to collaborate in the collection, production, and publication of policy-relevant Federal statistics about children and their families.

America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2015 is a compendium of indicators depicting the condition of our Nation’s young people. The report, the 17th in an ongoing series, presents 41 key indicators on important aspects of children’s lives. These indicators are drawn from our most reliable Federal statistics, are easily understood by broad audiences, are objectively based on substantial research, are balanced so that no single area of children’s lives dominates the report, are measured often to show trends over time, and are representative of large segments of the population rather than one particular group.

The report continues to present key indicators in seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. As in prior years, the report incorporates data modifications that reflect the Forum’s efforts to improve its quality and breadth. In addition to updating data sources and expanding several indicators, this year’s report presents a special feature on health care quality among children in the United States. As is our practice, we periodically revise indicators, data sources, and features to maintain the relevance of the report.

Each volume of America’s Children also spotlights critical data gaps and challenges Federal statistical agencies to address them. Forum agencies meet that challenge by working to provide more comprehensive information on the condition and progress of our Nation’s children. This year, the immunization indicator has been aligned with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 standards, and the health insurance indicator was changed to the child’s health insurance coverage at the time of interview as measured in the National Health Interview Survey.

The value of the America’s Children series and the extraordinary cooperation that these reports represent reflect the Forum’s determination to help better understand the well-being of our children today and what may bring them a better future. The Forum agencies should be congratulated once again for developing such a comprehensive set of indicators and ensuring they are readily accessible in both content and format. The report is an excellent reflection of the dedication of the Forum agency staff members who assess data needs, strive to present relevant statistics in an easily understood format, and work together to produce this substantial and important publication. Nonetheless, suggestions of ways we can enhance this volume are always welcome.

No work of this magnitude and quality would be possible without the continued cooperation of the millions of Americans who provide the data that are summarized and analyzed by Federal statistical agencies. This report is, first and foremost, for you and all of the American public. We thank you for your support, and we hope the volume will continue to be useful to you.

Katherine K. Wallman
Chief Statistician
Office of Management and Budget


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CCDF Reauthorization Frequently Asked Questions 


On November 19, 2014, the President signed the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 into law.  The law reauthorized the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program for the first time in 18 years and made expansive changes to protect the health and safety of children in child care, promote continuity of access to subsidy for low-income families, better inform parents and the general public about the child care choices available to them, and improve the overall quality of early learning and afterschool programs.  Collectively, these changes reflect a new era for child care in this country and an opportunity to improve the learning experiences of millions of children every day.

Since passage of the law, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has received many questions about its specifics. Below are responses to frequently asked questions about CCDF reauthorization organized by key implementation objectives.  Please note that ACF will be providing guidance on a rolling basis and may issue additional guidance and FAQ’s on these topics in the future.  In addition, ACF plans to release a notice of proposed rulemaking to further clarify guidance.  The interim responses below are intended to provide preliminary information for the general public and timely direction for States and Territories as they prepare to submit their FY2016-2018 CCDF Plans1.

Please visit the CCDF Reauthorization page to view the CCDF Plan pre-print (ACF-118) and other ACF guidance related to reauthorization and its implementation.  We also continue to welcome feedback and you can send any questions or comments to us by email.

Source: Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families

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Creating Opportunities for Families


For many American families, every day is a juggling act involving work, child care, school and conflicting schedules. But for low-income families, the balls are more likely to fall, and the consequences can be dire when they do. A lack of reliable child care can mean fewer work hours or even a lost job. Weekly or daily shift changes require repeatedly stitching together a patchwork of care. Just getting to work is tough without dependable transportation. And for children in these families, early educational opportunities and extracurricular activities tend to be unaffordable luxuries as parents stretch pennies to keep the lights on.

Source: Kids Count, Annie E Casey Foundation

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Parents and the High Cost of Child Care 

January 5, 2014

Eleven million children younger than age five are in some form of child care in the United States. The Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2014 Report summarizes the cost of child care across the country, examines the importance of child care as a workforce support and as an early learning program, and explores the effect of high costs on families’ child care options. This year’s report continues to expose child care as one of the most significant expenses in a family budget, often exceeding the cost of housing, college tuition, transportation or food.

Source: Child Care Aware® of America

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Children in Early Head Start and Head Start: A Profile of Early Leavers

November 20, 2014

This brief explores the child- , family- , and program-level factors that may be associated with whether children leave Early Head Start or Head Start before their eligibility ends. The brief utilizes data from the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) and from the 2009 cohort of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES 2009). Analyses show that most families who enrolled stayed for as long as they were eligible. However, some families left early: 35 percent in Early Head Start and 27 percent in Head Start. Early leaving was only related to a few of the child, family, and program characteristics examined.

Source: Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Toolkit: Resources for Community Partners

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is the process that offers relief from removal for undocumented residents who meet certain conditions. When parents and families are approved through DACA, they are able to work legally. They also do not need to worry about being immediately deported. Those who received DACA approval in 2012 will need to reapply for another two-year period.

Use this toolkit from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to learn more about DACA eligibility. It outlines the process new and current DACA recipients need to follow to apply. Agencies who work with undocumented residents can use this toolkit to raise awareness about DACA and its process. It offers tips around the critical reapplication process for people who were DACA-approved in 2012. Select this link for the complete version of the DACA Toolkit: Resources for Community Partners [PDF, 969KB]

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

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Raising Young Children in a New Country: Supporting Early Learning and Healthy Development Handbook

This handbook provides families with information on six themes: family well-being, health and safety, healthy brain development, early learning and school readiness, guidance and discipline, and family engagement in early care and education. Programs serving refugees families, newly arrived immigrant families, and others may use this resource with parents to help ease their transition to a new country.

Source: National Center for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness

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Meeting the Child Care Needs of Homeless Families: How Do States Stack Up?


Without safe and reliable care for their children, homeless parents cannot search for or sustain employment or access the job training, education, and other services essential to resolving their homelessness. Federal and state subsidized child care, designed to support low-income families’ self-sufficiency, should be a resource for these families. Yet, ICPH’s analysis of each state’s Child Care and Development Fund plan for federal Fiscal Years 2014–15 found that the majority of states do not have policies in place that ease and encourage homeless families’ use of child care subsidies.

Source: Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness

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State Early Care and Education Updates 2014


A number of states made notable progress on early care and education this year, expanding investments and improving policies to increase families’ access to child care assistance and prekindergarten programs. However, additional federal and state investments are needed to ensure families in all states have access to high-quality child care and early education that enables parents to work and children to enter school ready to succeed. This fact sheet highlighs some of the key developments in state early care and education policies from the past year.

Source: National Women’s Law Center

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