PROJECTBuilding Child Care Research Capacity

Project Navigation
  • Project Home
  • Capacity Building Tools
  • Webinars
  • COVID-19
  • Administrative Data
  • Data Collection
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • About the Centers
  • Grantee Reports

  • With the right tools, resources, and supports, Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Lead Agencies in states, tribes, and territories can better evaluate their programs and use data to make informed policy decisions. Using and conducting high-quality, rigorous research is a growing part of CCDF Lead Agencies’ work as they seek to improve services for children, families, and providers. 

    With funding from the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, the Urban Institute operates two centers that develop resources to help CCDF Lead Agencies build their research and evaluation capacity. These resources cover a range of topics, including basic tools for capacity building, administrative data, data collection, stakeholder engagement, the COVID-19 pandemic, and grantee reports.

    For more information, sign up for our email list or contact us at [email protected].

    Featured Content

    • Products from the Child Care Policy Research Partnership (CCPRP) 2019 Grant Teams – as of September 2022 (bibliography)
      • This bibliography includes all public-facing products published by the 2019 cohort of the CCPRP grant teams, as of September 2022. These reports, briefs, fact sheets, and other products cover diverse topics related to the efficacy of child care subsidy policies and quality improvement initiatives. Many also cover the experiences of child care providers and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • Three-part series on narrow cost analysis:
      • Defining Narrow Cost Analysis (brief) aims to support CCDF Lead Agencies in considering cost information when setting payment rates. It defines narrow cost analysis, defines and discusses child care costs and prices, and explains how narrow cost analysis helps inform payment rates.
      • Approaches to Narrow Cost Analysis (research report) offers examples and expert advice on how to conduct a quality narrow cost analysis using three of the most widely used approaches. These approaches are building a cost model, conducting a cost survey, and building a cost model informed by a limited cost survey.
      • Using a Narrow Cost Analysis to Inform Payment Rates (brief) draws on state examples and expert advice to describe steps to consider when analyzing gaps between child care costs and payment rates. It also discusses strategies for closing those gaps and improving child care access based on narrow cost analysis information.
    • Research and Evaluation Capacity Building: A Resource Guide for Child Care and Development Fund Lead Agencies
      • This guide provides a concise, curated list of written and online resources to support CCDF Lead Agencies seeking to build research and evaluation capacity.
    • Engaging Stakeholders in Research: Tips for CCDF Lead Agencies (brief)
      • This brief explains how to engage stakeholders in your research and the benefits of doing so.
    • Procuring Research and Evaluation Services (research guide)
      • This guide aims to help CCDF Lead Agencies understand some basics about procurement. It defines key procurement terms, reviews key steps for procuring research and evaluation services, and provides a checklist for easy reference.

    The Center to Support Research and Evaluation Capacity of CCDF Lead Agencies is supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the United States (US) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award (Grant #: 90YE0293) totaling $7,278,368, with 100 percent funded by ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, ACF/HHS or the US Government. For more information, please visit the ACF website, Administrative and National Policy Requirements.

    Research Areas Children and youth
    Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population