Child Care and Development Fund

Case Studies: Child Care and Development Fund Lead Agencies’ Consumer Education Strategies

NHSA submitted comments regarding a Health and Human Services (HHS) qualitative research effort they will be undertaking regarding how parents make decisions when choosing the child care or early learning placement for their child. Our comments detailed examples of Head Start programs that use CCDF funds to extend their days and have engaged in innovative or promising strategies in reaching out to parents in the community as those parents embark upon choosing an appropriate early learning placement.

Executive Director, Yasmina Vinci, states:

“NHSA supports efforts to gather additional qualitative data about how and why parents make specific child care and early education (CCEE) choices for their children. The proposal presents an important opportunity to analyze consumer education strategies aimed at parents, and the additional data will add important context that can help programs and policymakers understand and reach families from diverse backgrounds and with differing needs. We are writing to request that at least one of the six planned case studies includes a Head Start program that also utilizes CCDF funding. In order to have a full understanding of how parents choose a particular early learning setting for their children, it is important that a complete set of their options is examined. This includes Head Start and Early Head Start (“Head Start”) for children ages birth to five. With a federal budget of $12 billion per year, Head Start serves 822,000 children in every corner of the country. As currently drafted, the proposal appears to be overlooking Head Start as one of the most widely-utilized early learning options that parents consider when making their CCEE decisions. It is important to note that many Head Start programs leverage CCDF funding to expand their hours and days of service to better meet the needs of working parents.”

Child Care Development Funding can be used to extend the day and stabilize child care costs, just like this example from Minnesota.