Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Guidance Document Change: The overarching goal of the Child Care Subsidy Program is to improve equitable access to high quality affordable child care options for eligible families, ultimately improving children’s school readiness for kindergarten. Virginia will accomplish this implementing policies and processes that: 1. Are flexible and responsive to families’ needs and realities; 2. Prioritize higher levels of support to families with the fewest resources; and 3. Ensure families have equal access to the broad array of child care options. Child care services are child-centered, family-focused services that support the family goals of economic self-sufficiency and child development by providing for the supervision, protection and well-being of the child while the parent is participating in an approved activity. The purpose of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is to increase the availability, affordability, and quality of child care services. Toward this end, guidance and service strategies are designed to meet the following goals: 1. To provide low-income and otherwise eligible families with the financial resources to find and afford quality child care. 2. To ensure that the child care program contributes to the broader objective of self-sufficiency. 3. To provide child care to children with parents who are trying to achieve independence from public assistance. 4. To promote parental choice in the selection of child care. 5. To empower working parents to make their own decisions regarding the child care that best suits their family’s needs. 6. To provide consumer education to help parents make informed choices about child care. 7. To ensure that subsidy dollars are provided to the neediest families. 8. To enhance the quality as defined by VQB5, Virginia’s new statewide measurement and improvement system, and increase the supply of child care for all families. 9. To improve the coordination among child care programs and early childhood development programs in partnership with Virginia’s Ready Regions. 10. To design a flexible program that provides for the changing needs of recipient families and engage families in their children's development and learning. 11. To provide uninterrupted services to families and providers, to the extent of available funding, to support parental education, training, job search, and employment and continuity of care that minimizes disruptions to children's learning and development.
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9/8/22  3:14 pm
Commenter: Anonymous

Child Care Subsidy Guidance

Good Afternoon!

There are three changes that I feel are necessary to offer all Virginia's access to quality child care.

  1. Individuals determining eligibility are looking at gross income, not take home income.  This can be a significant difference.  Families may qualify if a worker looked at net income instead of gross income.  My suggestion is to mirror this with SNAP benefits where each family is allowed a standard deduction off their gross pay.
  2. The definition in the Guidance manual for job search is "a structured, time-limited period during which the participant is required to search for and/or obtain employment".  What is the time limit period? An individual can self-certify they are job searching and receive essentially free child care based on the fact they have no income.  At redetermination, they certify again they are job searching and get essentially free child care for another year.  Where are the time limits?  A person is required to search for and/or obtain employment.  There is no checks or balances, just a word that I am job searching.  A person does not have to provide any type of verification they are job searching.  Where is the accountability?  
  3. Expanded eligibility only applies if a family has one child who is five years of age or younger and has not yet started kindergarten.  A family who is over the initial income limit would still qualify, if and only if, they are under the 85% SMI and have a child under 5.  No child younger than 5 and over the initial income limit, sorry, you don't qualify.  How is this fair?  To me, this is discrimination against families who have children older than five.

Thanks for you time, energy, effort and all you do behind the scenes for the program!

CommentID: 128528