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Enhancing Child Care Accessibility and Support: Federal Requests for Comments

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently issued the following notices, seeking public input on proposed rulemaking and strategies to meet the child care needs in Tribal Nations. These two important Federal requests for comments that aim to improve child care access and support in the United States.

Notice for Proposed Rulemaking for Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) regulations (45 CFR Part 98)

The first request for comments pertains to the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), which plays a crucial role in supporting low-income families with affordable child care services. This Notice for Proposed Rulemaking aims to enhance child care access, affordability, and stability for families in need.

Some of the key provisions included in the proposed rulemaking are:

  • Improving the quality of child care programs to ensure the well-being and development of children.

  • Strengthening the consumer education efforts to empower families in making informed decisions about child care providers.

  • Enhancing health and safety requirements to ensure a secure and nurturing environment for children.

  • Streamlining and simplifying the eligibility determination process for CCDF assistance.

  • Supporting child care providers through increased funding opportunities and professional development resources.

The public is encouraged to provide feedback on the proposed rulemaking, and stakeholders, including child care providers, families, advocacy groups, and experts in the field, are invited to submit their comments. To participate, visit the Federal Register website. The submission deadline for comments is August 28, 2023.

NICCA will be hosting a Tribal CCDF Administrators only virtual chat on the NPRM on August 15, 2023. Click below to learn more.

Request for Information: Meeting the Child Care Needs in Tribal Nations

The second request for comments addresses the specific child care needs of Tribal Nations, recognizing the unique challenges and opportunities faced by Indigenous communities in accessing quality child care services.

HHS seeks valuable insights and perspectives from Tribal leaders, Tribal child care program administrators, and members of Tribal communities to better understand the existing child care infrastructure, identify barriers, and explore potential solutions. The Request for Information (RFI) aims to build culturally responsive and appropriate child care services that meet the needs of Tribal families and children.

Some of the key focus areas in the RFI include:

  • Assessing the availability and accessibility of child care options within Tribal Nations.

  • Identifying best practices and successful models of child care programs in Tribal communities.

  • Addressing workforce development and training needs for child care providers in Tribal settings.

  • Exploring strategies to enhance collaboration between Tribal governments, federal agencies, and other stakeholders in improving child care services.

If you have expertise or experiences related to child care in Tribal Nations, your input is highly valued. To participate in this important dialogue, visit the Federal Register website . The deadline for submitting comments is January 2, 2024.

NICCA will be hosting a Tribal CCDF Administrators only virtual chat on the RFI on September 19, October 17, November 21, and December 19 of 2023. Click below to learn more.

Your though

tful feedback and suggestions will play a crucial role in shaping child care policies and programs in the United States and ensuring that every child has access to safe, high-quality, and affordable care.

Together, we can create a stronger, more supportive child care system that benefits families, communities, and the nation as a whole. Your participation in these Federal requests for comments is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your commitment to enhancing child care accessibility and support.


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