On October 2, 2019, the Administration posted in the federal register a solicitation for comments on the current childcare system. The comments which are due December 2, classify comments by Improving Access to Affordable High Quality Care and Transforming Financing of Child Care and Early Education Programs. The solicitation asks for targeted comments regarding supply, child care regulations, improving the child care workforce, developing better child care business models, and more effective use of existing federal and state funding.

Last week Child Trends released a survey of states on how they are using or planning on using the $2.3 billion increase in child care funding that was included in a 2018 budget agreement. The National Women’s Law Center will be releasing their annual report of state actions and decisions in the next few weeks. It will be the first report that will show how funds are being spent—beyond the initial planning strategies.

The 2018 budget agreement that covered fiscal years 2018 and 2019 increased child care funding from approximately $2.8 billion to $5.2 billion. That $5.2 billion is combined with matching funds from a child care fund housed under the TANF section of the Title IV-A law. That child care funding adds in an additional $2.9 billion, which requires state maintenance of effort and matching funds. Between the two, there is now over $8.2 billion in federal child care funds. The House-passed Appropriations bill would increase the discretionary total of $5.2 billion to $7.6 billion while the Senate Appropriations will increase to only $5.3 billion. The funding disparity between the House and Senate bills will be a major point of contention in the coming appropriations debate in the coming weeks.