The Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) is a federal work support program to help low-income families pay for child care while parents are at work. Administered as a block grant to states, the program is designed to enable parents to choose the child care arrangements that best suit their work schedules as well as family needs. As long-term benefits of high quality early care and education for economically disadvantaged children are increasingly documented, however, a focus on the type and quality of subsidy care has emerged. Four percent of each block grant award is designated to be applied to efforts to improve the quality of child care or to increase ac-cess to high quality care. As part of the quality improvement plan in Virginia, CCDF Quality Im-provement (QI) monies are distributed to localities by the Virginia Department of Social Services through the Division of Child Care + Early Childhood Development. Child Care Consultants lo-cated in each of the five Regional Offices review local agency Quality Initiative (QI) plans, and approve the local departments of social services (LDSS) budgets for QI activities.

This report specifically examines:

  • How LDSS across the Commonwealth reported allocating their QI funds in 2009.
  • What types of data localities routinely collect on child care quality in their areas.
  • What types of information they would like from an early childhood data system.