Estimates of Child Care Eligibility and Receipt for Fiscal Year 2006. Overview


This ASPE Issue Brief details estimates of federal child care assistance eligibility and receipt for 2006.  In fiscal year 2006, federal and state spending totaled roughly $12.2 billion to support child care services and activities to improve the affordability, availability, and quality of child care for low-income working families through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and related government funding streams.[1]  Primarily, CCDF funds are used to subsidize child care services through vouchers.

Approximately one out of six (17 percent) federally-eligible children received subsidized care through CCDF or related government funding streams in an average month in fiscal year 2006 (see Table 1).  We define federally-eligible children to include all children who are potentially eligible to receive subsidized care based on the federal eligibility parameters of CCDF.  Federal statute permits states to provide child care subsidies to qualifying families with incomes below 85 percent of state median income.  Within federal eligibility parameters, states have flexibility in setting more restrictive rules for income eligibility.  This Issue Brief also explores estimates of child care assistance eligibility and receipt based on state-defined eligibility rules, as well as the age and poverty status of eligible children and those who receive assistance.

Table 1:
Number of Children Potentially Eligible and Percent of Eligible Children Receiving Child Care Subsidies, Average Monthly, 2006
  Children Potentially Eligible for CCDF Under Federal Parameters Children Receiving Subsidies Percent of Potentially Eligible Children Receiving Subsidies Ratio of Potentially Eligible Children Receiving Subsidies
All Children 14,574,000 2,506,000 17% 1 in 6

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