Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Policies Database, 2015 (ICPSR 36581)
Minton, Sarah, The Urban Institute; Giannarelli, Linda, The Urban Institute; Stevens, Kathryn, The Urban Institute
The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) provides federal money to States and Territories to provide assistance to low-income families receiving or in transition from temporary public assistance, to obtain quality child care so they can work, attend training, or receive education. Within the broad federal parameters, states and territories set the detailed policies. Those details determine whether a particular family will or will not be eligible for subsidies, how much the family will have to pay for the care, how families apply for and retain subsidies, the maximum amounts that child care providers will be reimbursed, and the administrative procedures that providers must follow. Thus, while CCDF is a single program from the perspective of federal law, it is in practice a different program in every state and territory.
The CCDF Policies Database project is a comprehensive, up-to-date database of inter-related sources of CCDF policy information that support the needs of a variety of audiences through (1) Analytic Data Files and (2) a Book of Tables. These are made available to researchers, administrators, and policymakers with the goal of addressing important questions concerning the effects of alternative child care subsidy policies and practices on the children and families served, specifically parental employment and self-sufficiency, the availability and quality of care, and children's development. A description of the Data Files and Book of Tables is provided below:
1. Detailed, longitudinal Analytic Data Files of CCDF policy information for all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and United States Territories that capture the policies actually in effect at a point in time, rather than proposals or legislation. They focus on the policies in place at the start of each fiscal year, but also capture changes during that fiscal year. The data are organized into 32 categories with each category of variables separated into its own dataset. The categories span five general areas of policy including:
- Eligibility Requirements for Families and Children (Datasets 1-5)
- Family Application, Terms of Authorization, and Redetermination (Datasets 6-13)
- Family Payments (Datasets 14-18)
- Policies for Providers, Including Maximum Reimbursement Rates (Datasets 19-27)
- Overall Administrative and Quality Information Plans (Datasets 28-32)
The information in the Data Files is based primarily on the documents that caseworkers use as they work with families and providers (often termed "caseworker manuals"). The caseworker manuals generally provide much more detailed information on eligibility, family payments, and provider-related policies than the documents submitted by states and territories to the federal government. The caseworker manuals also provide ongoing detail for periods in between submission dates.
Each dataset contains a series of variables designed to capture the intricacies of the rules covered in the category. The variables include a mix of categorical, numeric, and text variables. Every variable has a corresponding notes field to capture additional details related to that particular variable. In addition, each category has an additional notes field to capture any information regarding the rules that is not already outlined in the category's variables.
2. The Book of Tables is available as seven datasets (Datasets 33-39) and they present key aspects of the differences in CCDF funded programs across all states and territories as of October 1, 2015. The Book of Tables includes variables that are calculated using several variables from the Data Files (Datasets 1-32). The Book of Tables summarizes a subset of the information available in the Data Files, and includes information about eligibility requirements for families; application, redetermination, priority, and waiting list policies; family co-payments; provider policies and reimbursement rates; and select administration and quality development information. In many cases, a variable in the Book of Tables will correspond to a single variable in the Data File. Usually, the variable options used in the Book of Tables will match the variable options in the Data File. In some cases, the wording of the variable options may have been slightly modified for the tables.
The Data Files provide a more detailed set of information than what the Book of Tables provide, including a wider selection of variables and policies over time. The Data Files capture the intricacies of the rules covered in the category for each state and time frame. Each variable in any given dataset has a corresponding notes field to capture additional details related to that particular variable.
The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.
Child Care & Early Education Research Connections
This study is provided by Child Care & Early Education Research Connections.
Minton, Sarah, Linda Giannarelli, and Kathryn Stevens. Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Policies Database, 2015. ICPSR36581-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2017-01-23. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36581.v1
Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36581.v1
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This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Scope of Study
Smallest Geographic Unit: State level data in most cases, with select county level data for some states.
Geographic Coverage: United States
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: states and territories
Universe: The information about the policies in effect for each of the fifty States, the District of Columbia, and United States Territories.
Data Types: administrative records data
Data Collection Notes:
Data are provided in Excel, SPSS, SAS, Stata, and R formats. Due to limitations in the statistical packages, all notes variables and any variables containing qualitative data (greater than 244 characters) are available in Microsoft Excel format only. (Note: the Excel files are located in the Other folder on the data and documentation download page.)
The documentation is comprised of codebooks (one per dataset) that provide summary statistics, frequencies, and variable descriptions and a User Guide that provides a detailed description of the CCDF Policies Database project, Data Files, and Book of Tables including general notes and concepts, specific comments on issues with particular datasets and more.
In general, each variable has a corresponding NOTES field to capture additional details related to that particular variable. Each dataset has an additional overall Notes field to capture any information regarding the rules that is not already outlined in the variables.
Project Director: Linda Giannarelli
Project Co-Director: Sarah Minton
Project Manager: Kathryn Stevens
Research Associate: Lorraine Blatt
Study Purpose: To create a comprehensive, up-to-date database of child care subsidy policies for all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and United States Territories, and from that information to create books of tables and analytic files that will be accessible and useable by researchers and other analysts.
Study Design: Information was coded into the database based on a review of child care subsidy policy manuals. The information that was compiled was submitted to state and territory contacts for verification. In states with substantial within-state policy variation -- and different policy manuals for different areas/counties -- the policy manual for the largest area/county was used.
Sample: The collection includes data from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and United States Territories. No sampling was used.
Time Method: Longitudinal
Weight: The data are not weighted, and no weight variables are present in the collection.
Description of Variables: Criteria for Application and Eligibility; Definitions of Family and Income; Eligibility Thresholds; Asset Tests Verification; Redetermination; Requirements for Reporting Changes; Appeals; Terms of Authorization; Priority and Waiting List Policies; Copayment Exemptions Adjustments, Administration, Income Thresholds and Amount; Reimbursement Rates and Policies; Policies for Legally Unregulated Home-Based Providers; Administration; Program and Professional Development; Quality; Early Learning Guidelines
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Created variable labels and/or value labels.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2017-01-23
Resources Related to this Study
|Child care subsidies under the CCDF program: An overview of policy differences across states and territories as of October 1, 2015||Fact Sheets & Briefs|
|The CCDF policies database book of tables: Key cross-state variations in CCDF policies as of October 1, 2015||Other|
|Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Policies Database||Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects|
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