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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9/15/22  12:50 pm
Commenter: Anonymous

Effects of Expanded Eligibility

After observing the effects of expanded eligibility for over a year, the most noticeable outcome observed is that unstructured, unlimited job search as an approvable activity for child care eligibility is now preventing employed parents/caretakers from accessing care for their children. This is occurring even in areas with a relatively plentiful supply of providers.  Continued eligibility, into a second year of job search, is a wasteful use of taxpayer funded public resources and is not “responsive to families’  needs and realities,” which is a stated goal of the subsidy program.

Prolonged job search also undermines other foundational program goals. It does not “ support the family goals of economic self-sufficiency ,”   “ensure that the child care program contributes to the broader objective of self-sufficiency” or “ provide child care to children with parents who are trying to achieve independence from public assistance”

because subsidy applications from employed parents are now being denied due to their inability to find child care.

The emerging goal of universal Pre-K to support school readiness and child development is not compatible with the VDSS Child Care subsidy program in its current form.

Universal Pre-K calls for a different program configuration, with simplified policy and fewer eligibility criteria. Competition for a limited supply of child care spots will likely worsen, as

a number of providers say they intend to discontinue participation in subsidy when VQB5 becomes mandatory due to the additional demands it imposes.









CommentID: 128673