In March 2018, Congress approved legislation to almost double the amount of discretionary funds for the main federal-state program to assist low-income families with child care expenses. Rhode Island received $5.1 million of these funds and has used the money as a catalyst to improve access and quality. The state’s no waiting-list policy of accepting all those eligible has continued, and a tiered-payment system based on quality was implemented. Infusing the program with additional federal and state funds would generate further advances in making quality child care more affordable for a larger number of low-income working parents.
The Economic Progress Institute's brief entitled “Improving Access and Quality: Rhode Island’s Child Care Assistance Program,” analyzes the funding of Rhode Island’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and provides recommendations to improve the program that would meet the needs of Rhode Island children and parents.