Child Care State Reports . I. Child Care Subsidies


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

Chart on children by family type

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

  • 451,000 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 (428,000) are under age 13 and living with working parents.1
  • 220,000 of these children, and 143,000 families, are estimated to meet the Louisiana’s income guidelines for child care assistance under the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) October 1997 state plan. Louisiana’s income eligibility limit is equal to the maximum level allowed under Federal law, 85 percent of State Median Income.2
    • To be eligible under Louisiana’s October 1997 state plan, a family of 3 had to have income at or below $29,580.
    • A large majority of eligible children (87 percent) live in families with annual income below 200 percent of the Federal poverty threshold and 45 percent are living in poverty. About 11 percent live in families that report receiving cash welfare.
    • Most (198,000) eligible children are under age 13 with working parents; the remaining children have parents in education/training programs or are disabled youth under 18.
  • 35,000 children in Louisiana received child care subsidies funded by CCDF in an average month in 1998. This estimate suggests that 16 percent of the eligible population under both state limits and the Federal maximum limits were served with CCDF 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, Louisiana 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 Louisiana, like many other states, also uses other funding sources to provide child care subsidies.
  • No waiting list for government subsidies has been maintained since 1996-97. All families who currently apply receive subsidies. However, state staff believe that there are eligible families that do not apply for subsidies.4