Child Care State Reports . I. Child Care Subsidies


Figure 1.  Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Eligibility and Receipt in Delaware

Chart on children by family type

Sources:  Urban Institute simulations and state administrative data reported to the Child Care Bureau.

  • 89,000 children under age 13 (or under age 18 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 (84,000) are under age 13 and living with working parents.1
  • 22,000 of these children, and 12,000 families, are estimated to meet Delaware’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 — 51,000 children — if Delaware raised income eligibility limits to 85 percent of State Median Income, the maximum level allowed under Federal law.2
    • To be eligible under Delaware’s October 1997 state plan, a family of 3 had to have income below $20,124, or 56 percent of State Median Income.
    • Nearly all eligible children (98 percent) live in families with annual income below 200 percent of the Federal poverty threshold and over half (56 percent) are living in poverty. About 16 percent live in families that report receiving cash welfare.
    • Most (19,000) eligible children are under age 13 with working parents; the remaining children have parents in education/training programs or are disabled youth under 18.
  • 6,100 children in Delaware received child care subsidies funded by CCDF in an average month in 1998. This estimate suggests that 28 percent of the eligible population under state limits (and 12 percent of children who would be eligible under the Federal maximum limits) were served with CCDF funds. In addition, Delaware’s state administrative data system indicates that about 3,800 children were served with other Federal and state funds.3
    • In Delaware, over half (55 percent) of child care settings receiving funds from CCDF in 1998 were center-based settings, as shown in Figure 2. The next most common settings were family child care homes (35 percent). The remaining settings include care by relatives (8 percent), care in group homes (1 percent) and in-home care by non-relatives (less than 1 percent).4

Figure 2.  Child Care Settings Subsidized by CCDF in Delaware

Chart illustrating child care settings subsidized by CCDF in Delaware

Source:  State administrative data for April-September 1998 reported to the Child Care Bureau.

  • 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, Delaware 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 Delaware, like many other states, also uses other funding sources to provide child care subsidies.
  • No waiting list for government subsidies has been maintained since 1993-94. All families who currently apply receive subsidies. However, state staff believe that there are eligible families that do not apply for subsidies.5