This section features links to sites that provide information about major federal policies and programs related to child care and early education. These resources are useful in providing a context for understanding child care research.
Early Head Start's mission is to promote healthy prenatal care for pregnant women, enhance development of very young children, and promote healthy families.
Head Start provides grants to local public and private agencies to provide comprehensive child development services to children and families, primarily for pre-schoolers from families at or below the federal poverty level.
CCDF provides funding to states to assist low-income families, families receiving temporary public assistance, and those transitioning from public assistance in obtaining child care so they can work or pursue education/training.
SSBG funds a broad range of social services aimed at promoting the well being of adults and children, including child care.
TANF provides assistance and work opportunities to poor families by granting states federal funds and flexibility to develop their own welfare programs. States may spend TANF funds directly on child care and also have the flexibility to transfer up to 30 percent of TANF funds to CCDF for child care.
The purpose of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is to provide expanded academic enrichment opportunities for children attending low performing schools.
Title I, Part A of the ESEA provides financial assistance through state educational agencies to local educational agencies and public schools with high numbers of poor children to help ensure that all children meet challenging academic achievement standards.
The Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program seeks to improve the knowledge and skills of early childhood educators who work in communities with high concentrations of children living in poverty.
Even Start is a program designed to improve the academic achievement of young children and their parents through early childhood education, adult literacy, parenting education and interactive literacy activities between parents and children.
The Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities assists states in implementing a coordinated and comprehensive system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth through age 2) and their families.
The Special Education Preschool Grants program provides formula grants to states to assist them in meeting the costs of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities, aged 3 to 5 years old, so that they are ready to enter and succeed in school.
Through grants to the states, CACFP provides support for serving nutritious meals and snacks in child care centers, family child care homes, Head Start, after-school programs, shelters and adult day care centers. The program provides reimbursement for food and meal preparation costs, ongoing training in the nutritional needs of children, and onsite assistance in meeting the program's nutritional requirements.
For more in-depth information about any of these policies, we recommend that you also visit the following Web sites:
The Economic Success Clearinghouse is a clearinghouse for information, policy analysis, and technical assistance related to welfare, workforce development, and other human and community services.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children promotes national, state and local public policies that support a system of well-financed, high quality early childhood education programs.
The Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) is a virtual portal of research on low-income and TANF families and an online hub for professional networking among researchers, policymakers and practitioners who serve these populations.