SWFI grantees are working to support job training students who are parents of young children, and this means incorporating child care as a support service. This is difficult because child care fees are expensive and public child care assistance funds are inadequate. However, there is some good news!
As part of the 2018 federal budget passed by Congress and signed by the President, the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) gained an historic $2.37 billion dollar increase in funding. This means more money for child care for all states!
Here is a link to a fact sheet provided by the National Women’s Law Center that summarizes the child care and education funding increases: https://nwlc.org/resources/final-federal-budget-for-fiscal-year-2018-makes-historic-investment-in-child-care-and-early-education/.
CCDBG is the federal block grant to states that offers child care assistance to low-income working parents. Most states use this funding to offer vouchers to eligible parents to off-set the cost of child care. These vouchers allow parents to choose the provider that best meets their needs, including covering their work and training hours.
States are now deciding how to use these new funds. To find out who in your state is in charge of CCDBG, ie., your state’s “Lead Agency.” take a look at this listing: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/ccdf-grantee-state-and-territory-contacts). Contact your state’s Lead Agency and urge those policy makers to give priority to parents in SWFI job training programs and to low-income working parents.
This fact sheet lists the amount states will receive from this increase in federal funding: https://www.clasp.org/sites/default/files/publications/2018/03/Child%20Care%20in%20the%20FY%202018%20Omnibus.pdf
For more information about CCDBG and how organizations in Mississippi are using CCDBG funds, contact the Mississippi Low Income Child Care Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, you can find Moore Community House’s practical guide on how to incorporate child care as a work support in job training programs here: www.moorecommunityhouse.org/childcareguide.