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Federal Child Care Legislation

This information is current as of August 9, 2021.

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American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) is the latest in a historic series of stimulus packages authorized by Congress to help states, local governments, and families address the challenges of COVID-19. The ARP provided stimulus checks of $1,400 to most Americans and expanded the Child Tax Credit, in addition to making increased investments in child care. 

  • ~$1.9 Trillion
    • Child Tax Credit: $3,600 for each child ages 0-5; $3,000 for each child ages 6-17.
    • $130B: K-12 school reopening assistance.
    • $633M: Ongoing funding for the Child Care Entitlement to States. 
    • $15B: One-time funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
    • $24B: One-time funding for states to create a Child Care Stabilization Fund. 
    • $1B: One-time funding for Head Start programs.

Additional Resources:

Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provided significant funding to state and local governments to meet costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act provided $600 stimulus to most Americans and offered a historic $10B in support to the child care industry. 

  • $2.3 Trillion
    • $10B to support child care providers and programs with COVID-19 related expenses.

Additional Resources:

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act

The CARES Act, passed in April, 2020, was the first in a series of stimulus bills allocated by Congress to help address the costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It provided most Americans with $2,000 stimulus checks and a small increase to child care funding levels.  

  • $2.2 Trillion
    • $31B: K-12 Schools
    • $3.5B: Child Care Development Block Grant
    • $750M: Head Start
  • Status: Passed

Additional Resources:

Federal Funds Supporting California Child Care Workers

Assembly Bill 82 (February 2021)

  • Provides a $525 stipend for each child in subsidized care to support COVID-19 related costs.
  • Waives family fees until July 2021.
  • $80M to reimburse providers for COVID-19 costs, including increased costs associated with providing care for school-age children.
  • $80M to fund additional emergency child care vouchers for the children of essential workers.
  • Provides 16 additional paid non-operational days for Alternative Payment providers who close for COVID-related reasons, such as quarantine following an exposure or provider illness and recovery.


SEIU Bargaining Agreement (April 2021)

  • Provides a $600 stipend per subsidized child enrolled in a Family Child Care home for all state-subsidized programs.
  • Waives family fees and reimburses providers in full for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22.
  • Provides a $3,500 stabilization stipend for all licensed providers, including those temporarily closed.
  • Provides 16 additional paid COVID-19 closure days for all subsidized providers for FY 2021-22.
  • Continues child care subsidy policies to stabilize child care:
      • Reimburses providers based on enrollment, not attendance, including providers serving families on variable schedules and exempt providers providing part-time care.
      • Waives signatures for families sheltering in place (until public health declaration ends).
      • Invests $25M in the Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP) to expand child care capacity and address unmet child care needs in geographies and with infants and toddlers. Funds will support new providers opening and assist closed providers in reopening.
      • Funds mental health supports designed to support the expertise, best practices, and well-being of providers and the families they serve who are impacted by COVID-19.


Assembly Bill 131 (June 2021)

  • COVID-19 Provisions
    • Continues “hold harmless” provisions for direct contractors through the 2021-22 year.
    • 16 additional paid non-operational days for Alternative Payment providers
    • Extends child care for children of essential workers through June 30, 2022.
    • $80M for additional emergency vouchers for children of essential workers or children with special needs.
    • One-time stipends for child care workforce:
      • $1,125 per child enrolled in a subsidized child care program.
      • One-time stipend of $3,500 to $6,500 for all licensed child care programs in the State.
  • Family Child Care Providers
    • $289M to provide reimbursement rate supplements to family child care providers.
    • $40M to establish a Training Partnership Fund, to expand and strengthen training opportunities for family child care providers of all family child care providers.
    • $3M to provide a one-time $500 incentive payment to previously unlicensed individuals to obtain a family child care home license.
  • Reimbursement Rates
    • Increases reimbursement rates to the 75th percentile of the 2018 regional Market Rate Survey.
    • Provides a cost of living increase of 4.05% to all subsidized child care providers.
    • Provides that all license-exempt providers shall be reimbursed at 70 percent of the family child care rate.
    • $840M to support provider rate increases over three years.


American Families Plan

The American Families Plan, proposed by the White House, is a historic investment in children and families. The Plan will help lower the cost of child care, increase supports to child care providers, and decrease child poverty.

  • $1.8 Trillion over 10 years
    • $225B: Expand access to affordable, high-quality child care delivered in a mixed-delivery system.
    • $225B: Provide up to 12 weeks of paid family leave.
    • $200B: Make Universal Preschool available for all three- and four-year-olds.
    • $45B: Expand access to healthy food through expanded school lunch programs, including summer programs.
    • $400B: Expand child tax credit of $3,600 per child ages 0-6 and $3,000 for older children to 2025.
  • Paid for by increasing top marginal tax rate and capital gains tax for high earners.

Additional Resources:

Fiscal Year 2022 Discretionary Funding Request

Every year the President sends an outline of his proposed budget expenditures to Congress. The FY 2022 Discretionary Funding request includes significant increases for the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services, which manages most child care programs.

  • $19.8B for Health and Human Services
    • $7.4B: Child Care and Development Block Grant, an increase of $1.5 billion over 2021. 
    • $11.9B: Funding for Head Start, a $1.2 billion increase.
    • $450M: Increases funding for the Preschool Development Grant.
    • The Administration would also work with States to ensure that these resources support increased wages for early educators and family child care providers.
  • $102.8B for Department of Education
    • $36.5B: Title I grants for schools serving the highest percentages of disadvantaged students, a $20 billion increase. 
    • $1B: Increase the number of counselors, nurses, and mental health professionals in schools.
    • $732M: Early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities or delays, a $250M increase.
    • $443M: Support community schools, which provide comprehensive wrap-around services to students and their families.
  • $27.9B for Department of Agriculture
    • $6.7B: Supports $1B increase to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food program.

Additional Resources:


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