Figure 1. Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Eligibility and Receipt in Connecticut
Sources: Urban Institute simulations and state administrative data reported to the Child Care Bureau.
- 398,000 children under age 13, (or under age 19 if disabled), live in families where the family head (and spouse if present) is working or is in an education or training program, as shown in Figure 1. Children across all family income levels are included in this estimate. Most of these children (380,000) are under age 13 and living with working parents.1
- 103,000 of these children, and 63,000 families, are estimated to meet Connecticut’s income guidelines for child care assistance under the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) October 1997 state plan. The eligibility estimate would be even higher — 188,000 children — if Connecticut raised income eligibility limits to 85 percent of State Median Income, the maximum level allowed under Federal law.2
- To be initially eligible under Connecticut’s October 1997 state plan, a family of 3 had to have income below $26,112, or 50 percent of State Median Income. A family could continue to receive subsidies until its income reached $39,168 or 75 percent of State Median Income.
- Most eligible children (84 percent) live in families with annual income below 200 percent of the Federal poverty threshold and more than two-fifths (41 percent) are living in poverty. About 23 percent live in families that report receiving cash welfare.
- Most (89,000) eligible children are under age 13 with working parents; the remaining children have parents in education/training programs or are disabled youth under 19.
- 12,000 children in Connecticut received child care subsidies funded by CCDF in an average month in 1998. This estimate suggests that 12 percent of the eligible population under state limits (and 6 percent of children who would be eligible under the Federal maximum limits) were served with CCDF funds. In addition, Connecticut's state administrative data system indicates that 14,600 children were served with other Federal and state funds.3
- The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the major source of Federal funding allocated to states to subsidize the child care expenses of low- and moderate-income families so they can work, or attend education or training programs. Using CCDF dollars along with state funds, Connecticut has designed its own child care program within broad parameters specified under federal law. CCDF-funded subsidies, and the number of children that the state reported were served with these subsidies, are highlighted in this report because CCDF is a primary source of funding in most states. Also, CCDF administrative data is the most comparable source of child care data across states. It should be noted, however, that Connecticut may, like many other states, also use other funding sources to provide child care subsidies.
- There is no waiting list for government subsidies in Connecticut. The United Way of Connecticut/Child Care Infoline, a statewide child care resource and referral agency, reports that the state only takes new applications for subsidies when the funds are available. Connecticut has not had to stop taking applications for at least 12 months. However, staff from the United Way of Connecticut/Child Care Infoline believe that there are eligible families that do not apply for subsidies.4