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42 U.S. Code § 9858e - Activities to improve the quality of child care

(a) Reservation
(1) Reservation for activities relating to the quality of child care services

A State that receives funds to carry out this subchapter for a fiscal year referred to in paragraph (2) shall reserve and use a portion of such funds, in accordance with paragraph (2), for activities provided directly, or through grants or contracts with local child care resource and referral organizations or other appropriate entities, that are designed to improve the quality of child care services and increase parental options for, and access to, high-quality child care, and is in alignment with a Statewide assessment of the State’s needs to carry out such services and care, provided in accordance with this subchapter.

(2) Amount of reservationsSuch State shall reserve and use—
(A) to carry out the activities described in paragraph (1), not less than—
7 percent of the funds described in paragraph (1), for the first and second full fiscal years after November 19, 2014;
8 percent of such funds for the third and fourth full fiscal years after November 19, 2014; and
9 percent of such funds for the fifth and each succeeding full fiscal year after November 19, 2014; and
in addition to the funds reserved under subparagraph (A), 3 percent of the funds described in paragraph (1) received not later than the second full fiscal year after November 19, 2014, and received for each succeeding full fiscal year, to carry out the activities described in paragraph (1) and subsection (b)(4), as such activities relate to the quality of care for infants and toddlers.
(3) State reservation amount

Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the State from reserving a larger percentage of funds to carry out the activities described in paragraph (1) and subsection (b).

(b) ActivitiesFunds reserved under subsection (a) shall be used to carry out no fewer than one of the following activities that will improve the quality of child care services provided in the State:
(1) Supporting the training and professional development of the child care workforce through activities such as those included under section 9858c(c)(2)(G) of this title, in addition to—
offering training and professional development opportunities for child care providers that relate to the use of scientifically-based, developmentally-appropriate and age-appropriate strategies to promote the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of children, including those related to nutrition and physical activity, and offering specialized training for child care providers caring for those populations prioritized in section 9858c(c)(2)(Q) of this title, and children with disabilities;
incorporating the effective use of data to guide program improvement;
including effective behavior management strategies and training, including positive behavior interventions and support models, that promote positive social and emotional development and reduce challenging behaviors, including reducing expulsions of preschool-aged children for such behaviors;
[1] providing training and outreach on engaging parents and families in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways to expand their knowledge, skills, and capacity to become meaningful partners in supporting their children’s positive development;
providing training corresponding to the nutritional and physical activity needs of children to promote healthy development;
providing training or professional development for child care providers regarding the early neurological development of children; and
connecting child care staff members of child care providers with available Federal and State financial aid, or other resources, that would assist child care staff members in pursuing relevant postsecondary training.
Improving upon the development or implementation of the early learning and developmental guidelines described in section 9858c(c)(2)(T) of this title by providing technical assistance to eligible child care providers that enhances the cognitive, physical, social and emotional development, including early childhood development, of participating preschool and school-aged children and supports their overall well-being.
(3) Developing, implementing, or enhancing a tiered quality rating system for child care providers and services, which may—
support and assess the quality of child care providers in the State;
build on State licensing standards and other State regulatory standards for such providers;
be designed to improve the quality of different types of child care providers and services;
describe the safety of child care facilities;
build the capacity of State early childhood programs and communities to promote parents’ and families’ understanding of the State’s early childhood system and the ratings of the programs in which the child is enrolled;
provide, to the maximum extent practicable, financial incentives and other supports designed to expand the full diversity of child care options and help child care providers improve the quality of services; and
accommodate a variety of distinctive approaches to early childhood education and care, including but not limited to, those practiced in faith-based settings, community-based settings, child-centered settings, or similar settings that offer a distinctive approach to early childhood development.
(4) Improving the supply and quality of child care programs and services for infants and toddlers through activities, which may include—
establishing or expanding high-quality community or neighborhood-based family and child development centers, which may serve as resources to child care providers in order to improve the quality of early childhood services provided to infants and toddlers from low-income families and to help eligible child care providers improve their capacity to offer high-quality, age-appropriate care to infants and toddlers from low-income families;
establishing or expanding the operation of community or neighborhood-based family child care networks;
promoting and expanding child care providers’ ability to provide developmentally appropriate services for infants and toddlers through training and professional development; coaching and technical assistance on this age group’s unique needs from statewide networks of qualified infant-toddler specialists; and improved coordination with early intervention specialists who provide services for infants and toddlers with disabilities under part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.);
if applicable, developing infant and toddler components within the State’s quality rating system described in paragraph (3) for child care providers for infants and toddlers, or the development of infant and toddler components in a State’s child care licensing regulations or early learning and development guidelines;
improving the ability of parents to access transparent and easy to understand consumer information about high-quality infant and toddler care; and
carrying out other activities determined by the State to improve the quality of infant and toddler care provided in the State, and for which there is evidence that the activities will lead to improved infant and toddler health and safety, infant and toddler cognitive and physical development, or infant and toddler well-being, including providing health and safety training (including training in safe sleep practices, first aid, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation) for providers and caregivers.
Establishing or expanding a statewide system of child care resource and referral services.
Facilitating compliance with State requirements for inspection, monitoring, training, and health and safety, and with State licensing standards.
Evaluating and assessing the quality and effectiveness of child care programs and services offered in the State, including evaluating how such programs positively impact children.
Supporting child care providers in the voluntary pursuit of accreditation by a national accrediting body with demonstrated, valid, and reliable program standards of high quality.
Supporting State or local efforts to develop or adopt high-quality program standards relating to health, mental health, nutrition, physical activity, and physical development.
Carrying out other activities determined by the State to improve the quality of child care services provided in the State, and for which measurement of outcomes relating to improved provider preparedness, child safety, child well-being, or entry to kindergarten is possible.
(c) Certification

Beginning with fiscal year 2016, at the beginning of each fiscal year, the State shall annually submit to the Secretary a certification containing an assurance that the State was in compliance with subsection (a) during the preceding fiscal year and a description of how the State used funds received under this subchapter to comply with subsection (a) during that preceding fiscal year.

(d) Reporting requirementsEach State receiving funds under this subchapter shall prepare and submit an annual report to the Secretary, which shall include information about—
the amount of funds that are reserved under subsection (a);
the activities carried out under this section; and
the measures that the State will use to evaluate the State’s progress in improving the quality of child care programs and services in the State.
(e) Technical assistance

The Secretary shall offer technical assistance, in accordance with section 9858g(a)(3) of this title, which may include technical assistance through the use of grants or cooperative agreements, to States for the activities described in subsection (b) at the request of the State.

(f) Construction

Nothing in this section shall be construed as providing the Secretary the authority to regulate, direct, dictate, or place conditions (outside of what is required by this subchapter) on a State adopting specific State child care quality activities or progress in implementing those activities.

[1]  So in original. No subpar. (D) has been enacted.
Editorial Notes
References in Text

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(4)(C), is title VI of Pub. L. 91–230, Apr. 13, 1970, 84 Stat. 175. Part C of the Act is classified generally to subchapter III (§ 1431 et seq.) of chapter 33 of Title 20, Education. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1400 of Title 20 and Tables.


2014—Pub. L. 113–186 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “A State that receives funds to carry out this subchapter for a fiscal year, shall use not less than 4 percent of the amount of such funds for activities that are designed to provide comprehensive consumer education to parents and the public, activities that increase parental choice, and activities designed to improve the quality and availability of child care (such as resource and referral services).”

1996—Pub. L. 104–193 reenacted section catchline without change and amended text generally, substituting current provisions for provisions requiring State receiving financial assistance under this subchapter to utilize not less than 20 percent of such assistance for one or more of following: resource and referral programs, grants or loans to assist in meeting State and local standards, monitoring of compliance with licensing and regulatory requirements, training, or improving salaries or other compensation to staff.

1992—Pub. L. 102–401 and Pub. L. 102–586 made identical technical corrections to directory language of Pub. L. 101–508, § 5082(2), which added this section.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–193 effective Oct. 1, 1996, see section 615 of Pub. L. 104–193, set out as a note under section 9858 of this title.