This brief was updated on May 7, 2019. Text was adjusted in the “Patterns for All Families, Including Families Receiving TANF” section (page 3), in all the figure titles and notes, and in note 8 to clarify that the listed percentages are of families receiving child care subsidies, not percentages of all families. For example, “Nationally, 13.2 percent of families received CCDF subsidies for any education and training” was changed to “Nationally, 13.2 percent of families receiving CCDF subsidies did so to support any education and training.”
Access to affordable child care can be a major barrier for low-income parents who want to participate in education and training activities to gain skills or obtain employment (Adams, Spaulding, and Heller 2015). Child care assistance from the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), the federal block grant that funds states to provide child care assistance to low-income families, can help alleviate this barrier and make it easier for low-income parents to participate in activities that improve their skills and lead to stable employment with adequate pay. However, the CCDF eligibility requirements and priorities for service are set at the state level, and states make different decisions about how to allocate scarce CCDF resources, so access to and use of CCDF subsidies for parents seeking education and training varies across states (Minton et al. 2019). This brief provides an overview of the proportion of families who receive CCDF subsidies, and the extent to which they receive subsidies to support education and training, in each state in fiscal year 2016. Specifically, it examines the data states provided about families receiving CCDF subsidies for either education and/or training only or both employment and education and/or training, as well as for a category that combines these two groups. It also examines the data separately for families who are reported to be receiving payments from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.