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e-CFR data is current as of March 3, 2021

Title 45Subtitle ASubchapter APart 98Subpart F → §98.53

Title 45: Public Welfare
Subpart F—Use of Child Care and Development Funds

§98.53   Activities to improve the quality of child care.

(a) The Lead Agency must expend funds from each fiscal year's allotment on quality activities pursuant to §§98.50(b) and 98.83(g) in accordance with an assessment of need by the Lead Agency. Such funds must be used to carry out at least one of the following quality activities to improve the quality of child care services for all children, regardless of CCDF receipt, in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section:

(1) Supporting the training, professional development, and postsecondary education of the child care workforce as part of a progression of professional development through activities such as those included at §98.44, in addition to:

(i) Offering training, professional development, and postsecondary education opportunities for child care caregivers, teachers and directors that:

(A) Relate to the use of scientifically based, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-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

(B) Offer specialized training, professional development, and postsecondary education for caregivers, teachers and directors caring for those populations prioritized at §98.44(b)(2)(iv), and children with disabilities;

(ii) Incorporating the effective use of data to guide program improvement and improve opportunities for caregivers, teachers and directors to advance on their progression of training, professional development, and postsecondary education;

(iii) Including effective, age-appropriate behavior management strategies and training, including positive behavior interventions and support models for birth to school-age, that promote positive social and emotional development and reduce challenging behaviors, including reducing suspensions and expulsions of children under age five for such behaviors;

(iv) 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;

(v) Providing training corresponding to the nutritional and physical activity needs of children to promote healthy development;

(vi) Providing training or professional development for caregivers, teachers and directors regarding the early neurological development of children; and

(vii) Connecting child care caregivers, teachers, and directors with available Federal and State financial aid that would assist these individuals in pursuing relevant postsecondary education, or delivering financial resources directly through programs that provide scholarships and compensation improvements for education attainment and retention.

(2) Improving upon the development or implementation of the early learning and development guidelines at §98.15(a)(9) by providing technical assistance to eligible child care providers in order to enhance the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development and overall well-being of participating children.

(3) Developing, implementing, or enhancing a tiered quality rating and improvement system for child care providers and services to meet consumer education requirements at §98.33, which may:

(i) Support and assess the quality of child care providers in the State, Territory, or Tribe;

(ii) Build on licensing standards and other regulatory standards for such providers;

(iii) Be designed to improve the quality of different types of child care providers and services;

(iv) Describe the safety of child care facilities;

(v) Build the capacity of early childhood programs and communities to promote parents' and families' understanding of the early childhood system and the rating of the program in which the child is enrolled;

(vi) 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

(vii) 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:

(i) 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;

(ii) Establishing or expanding the operation of community or neighborhood-based family child care networks;

(iii) Promoting and expanding child care providers' ability to provide developmentally appropriate services for infants and toddlers through, but not limited to:

(A) Training and professional development for caregivers, teachers and directors, including coaching and technical assistance on this age group's unique needs from statewide networks of qualified infant-toddler specialists; and

(B) 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.);

(iv) If applicable, developing infant and toddler components within the Lead Agency's quality rating and improvement system described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section for child care providers for infants and toddlers, or the development of infant and toddler components in the child care licensing regulations or early learning and development guidelines;

(v) Improving the ability of parents to access transparent and easy to understand consumer information about high-quality infant and toddler care as described at §98.33; and

(vi) Carrying out other activities determined by the Lead Agency to improve the quality of infant and toddler care provided, 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.

(5) Establishing or expanding a statewide system of child care resource and referral services.

(6) Facilitating compliance with Lead Agency requirements for inspection, monitoring, training, and health and safety, and with licensing standards.

(7) Evaluating and assessing the quality and effectiveness of child care programs and services offered, including evaluating how such programs positively impact children.

(8) 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.

(9) Supporting Lead Agency or local efforts to develop or adopt high-quality program standards relating to health, mental health, nutrition, physical activity, and physical development.

(10) Carrying out other activities, including implementing consumer education provisions at §98.33, determined by the Lead Agency to improve the quality of child care services provided, and for which measurement of outcomes relating to improvement of provider preparedness, child safety, child well-being, or entry to kindergarten is possible.

(b) Pursuant to §98.16(j), the Lead Agency shall describe in its Plan the activities it will fund under this section.

(c) Non-Federal expenditures required by §98.55(c) (i.e., the maintenance-of effort amount) are not subject to the requirement at paragraph (a) of this section.

(d) Activities to improve the quality of child care services are not restricted to activities affecting children meeting eligibility requirements under §98.20 or to child care providers of services for which assistance is provided under this part.

(e) Unless expressly authorized by law, targeted funds for quality improvement and other set asides that may be included in appropriations law may not be used towards meeting the quality expenditure minimum requirement at §98.50(b).

(f) States shall annually prepare and submit reports, including a quality progress report and expenditure report, to the Secretary, which must be made publicly available and shall include:

(1) An assurance that the State was in compliance with requirements at §98.50(b) in the preceding fiscal year and information about the amount of funds reserved for that purpose;

(2) A description of the activities carried out under this section to comply with §98.50(b);

(3) The measures the State will use to evaluate its progress in improving the quality of child care programs and services in the State, and data on the extent to which the State had met these measures;

(4) A report describing any changes to State regulations, enforcement mechanisms, or other State policies addressing health and safety based on an annual review and assessment of serious child injuries and any deaths occurring in child care programs serving children receiving assistance under this part, and in other regulated and unregulated child care centers and family child care homes, to the extent possible; and

(5) A description of how the Lead Agency responded to complaints submitted through the national hotline and Web site, required in section 658L(b) of the CCDBG Act (42 U.S.C. 9858j(b)).

[81 FR 67588, Sept. 30, 2016]

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