CCDF’s Recent Proposal for Child Care Improvement: How Wonderschool Can Support

August 26, 2023

It’s no secret that the United States has been experiencing a child care crisis for years. Studies show that lack of care has cost US employees $78 billion in earnings every year, while employers have lost $23 billion in revenue. To create more child care openings and decrease this hit on families and businesses, the Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, and Office of Child Care have released a series of proposed changes to CCDF regulations. Most notably, they plan to provide grants to new child care providers in order to increase care. They will also strive to make child care assistance more accessible for low-income families.

Below, we will dive into each section of the report, sharing several vital segments. We’ll touch on how the programs we’ve built can make this process more effective and efficient as well.

Increasing targeted supply for infants, toddlers, children with disabilities, and non-traditional hours

The proposal states that the most challenging child care spots to find include placement for infants and toddlers, children with disabilities, and families who need care during non-traditional hours. These need to be strengthened more than traditional care.

How Wonderschool Can Help:

  • With a focus on creating and supporting family child cares, Wonderschool can increase supply where it is needed most, and enhance enrollment processes for infant needs, expecting parents, and children with disabilities.
  • We can help resource and referral agencies fill current gaps by efficiently connecting data to insights, revealing concerns such as local infant capacity and areas where child care needs are the highest.
  • We also equip new and existing providers with child care management tools to ensure stabilization and sustainability as well as improve communications between new and enrolled parents

Identifying child care supply shortages with improved data strategies

Current government methods of tracking child care shortage data are time-consuming and can sometimes be inaccurate. The proposal aims to combat this dilemma by giving local lead agencies more authority in identifying and targeting their own areas of concern.

How Wonderschool Can Help:

  • Our Government Platform offers valuable information that ensure funds from programs are allocated strategically and efficiently to target child care shortages.
  • Data includes child care search history, enrollment, tuition, and waitlist information.
  • These tools can be used to support local resource and referral agencies, aiding in efficiency and leaving time for other important tasks.

Simpler eligibility verification program enrollment for child care assistance

Enrollment in child care assistance programs will benefit from being simplified, comprehensive, and interactive. The proposal suggests allowing applications to use information from other government-funded programs that provide food assistance, medical coverage, or emergency support.

The child care assistance enrollment process is also in need of simplification, which may include online applications and the ability to upload documentation from home. The proposal goes further than suggesting agencies upload current applications to the internet and states that new, less burdensome online applications should be created.

How Wonderschool Can Help:

  • Our Coordinated Enrollment System is designed for this purpose and has been developed specifically for states and dedicated agencies
  • The system improves efficiency without requiring additional effort from RR&R staff.
  • The software is optimized for today’s parents with around-the-clock access from both computers and smartphones.
  • All aspects can be customized according to agency need.

Subsidy payments based on enrollment vs. attendance

This section of the proposal would ensure child care providers were paid as their contract states from families using assistance programs. Currently, many of these programs pay for the days the child attends care. Most centers and in-home providers require payment for enrollment, including days said child does not attend. This guarantees the income of the child care provider. By adjusting government assistance programs to follow child care policies regarding payment, less stigma and hesitation will present when families who utilize them apply for care.

How Wonderschool Can Help:

  • Our Subsidy Management Platform facilitates enrollment application review and acceptance, expediting payments through integrated invoicing and payment systems.
  • All our systems seamlessly integrate with existing platforms.
  • We conduct subsidy market research to ascertain true care costs and offer cost modeling for aligned adjustments.
  • Our services encompass user-friendly enrollment tracking, reporting, and coordinated enrollment for a range of enhancement needs.

In conclusion, the recent proposal created by the Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, and Office of Child Care will have a substantial impact on child care availability in the United States if put into effect. And with the help of Wonderschool’s government partnerships, local Resource and Referral agencies can implement the required changes with ease.

If you’re interested in learning more about Wonderschool or potential solutions to the child care crisis, contact our team today. We’d be happy to share more about what we’ve learned throughout our work in this field, as well as how you can join in our efforts today.

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