Clayton Early Learning
21May/15Off

CCAP Increases Access to High Quality Care for Families

Lauren Heintz

Posted by Lauren Heintz

By

Lauren Heintz

CCAP Overview

For working families, having access to high quality child care is critically important to support parents as they look for jobs, advance their careers and education, and move toward financial stability. The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program provides assistance to these working families in our state so that a lack of quality child care does not prevent a family from achieving economic self-sufficiency. Funded through a mix of federal, state and local funds, as well as through some parent fees, CCCAP offers financial support for child care to families through country departments of social and human services with oversight from the Colorado Department of Human Services.

Steps in the Right Direction

During the 2014 state legislative session, several bills passed into law that enacted comprehensive reforms to CCCAP, including House Bill 14-1317 and Senate Bill 14-003. These changes aimed to improve CCCAP so that not only was it more accessible and helpful to the families that receive the assistance, but also to make CCCAP an easier program to interact with for the state department, counties, and providers that accept CCCAP recipients. Some of the major changes include:

  • Reducing parent co-payments for those at 100 percent of the federal poverty level
  • Broadening of activities for families to be eligible for CCCAP, including two years of postsecondary education and an extension of a job search period to 60 days
  • Streamlining the eligibility and redetermination processes
  • Mitigating the “cliff effect” , when families become ineligible for CCCAP due to an increase in income that does not cover the increased cost of child care, through county pilot programs
  • Allowing CCCAP children to get care outside of the exact hours of a parent’s work schedule to allow for greater flexibility
  • Tiered reimbursement for providers that accept CCCAP children based on quality ratings in the new state quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) Colorado Shines
  • A statewide market rate study to determine the cost of care by county as well as a statewide equal access study to identify the gaps and needs for child care

Want to Learn More?Catepillar_logo_final_new

To learn more about the history behind these changes, the specific reforms from HB14-1317 and SB14-003, and how to get involved with the implementation, tune in to the Buell Leaders podcast “From State Legislation to Local Action: the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program” at this link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/buellleadersradio/2015/05/13/from-state-legislation-to-local-action-the-co-child-care-assistance-program