Coalition Letter to Members of the Senate urging increased CCDBG funding by at least $5.5 billion over five years

July 16, 2003

Dear Senator:

As the Senate begins to debate reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant (TANF) and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), we urge you to increase CCDBG funding by at least $5.5 billion over five years. Moreover, Congress should not raise TANF work requirements, making it more difficult for all low-income families, whether receiving TANF or not, to find affordable child care.

Child care assistance is integral to any effort to move families from welfare to work and to help low-income families stay employed. Unfortunately, because of insufficient funding, only 1 in 7 eligible children receive child care help through CCDBG. In addition, as states confront their worst fiscal crisis since World War II, many are making hard policy choices that result in fewer and fewer families getting the child care help they need. One-third of the states have waiting lists, and at least 21 states have decreased their child care funding in the last year. In some states, low-income working families are losing child care assistance as eligibility rules are tightened. In other states, families who are technically eligible for help are unable to apply for it because CCDBG assistance is only offered as a practical matter to families receiving TANF or transitioning from TANF to work. State cutbacks also threaten the basic health and safety of young children.

An increase in TANF work requirements will result in a greater child care burden for both TANF and low-income working families. Families who work full-time incur disproportionately greater child care expenses than families who work part-time. Any increase in TANF work requirements will increase the child care expenses of TANF families, even if they are engaged in non-work activities to meet them, and create additional pressure on the supply of care in low-income communities, which already face too few child care options.

Please do not ignore the child care needs of working families, especially in these hard economic times. It is essential to provide CCDBG with an increase of at least $5.5 billion while not increasing TANF work requirements. Working families who are playing by the rules are counting on you.


9 to 5: National Association of Working Women
Afterschool Alliance
Alliance for Children and Families
American Association for Health Education
American Association of University Women
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers
American Humane Association
Ayuda, Inc.
California Child Care Resource & Referral Network
Center for the Child Care Workforce
Center for Women Policy Studies
Child Care Law Center
Child Care, Inc.
Child Care Services Association
Child Welfare League of America
Children's Defense Fund
Church Women United
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Connecticut Women's Educational and Legal Fund
Council for Exceptional Children
Council for Professional Recognition
Division for Early Childhood, Council for Exceptional Children
Easter Seals
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Federally Employed Women
Generations United
IDEA Infant Toddler Coordinators Association
LLAGO, The National Latino/a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization
Mills Consulting Group
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies
National Association of School Psychologists
National Black Police Association
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Council on Family Relations
National Economic Development and Law Center
National Education Association
National Indian Child Care Association
National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association
National Organization for Women
National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund
National School Age Child Care Alliance
National Women's Law Center
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Northwest Women's Law Center
Presbyterian Church (USA) Washington Office
Quality Care for Children
School's Out Washington
Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy
Service Employees International Union
Sussman Associates
The Arc of the United States
The Children's Foundation
The Episcopal Church, USA
United Cerebral Palsy Association (UCP)
United Way of America
USA Child Care
Volunteers of America
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)
White Earth Child Care Program
Women Employed
Women of Reform Judaism
Women's Law Project
Young Women's Christian Association of the National Capital Area