Lillio's position on the 2024 CCDF Final Rule: 

Lillio applauds the recently announced changes to the child care and development fund (CCDF). The Office of Child Care’s new Final Rule will lower child care costs and improve access for families, while improving financial stability for child care providers.

At Lillio, we feel privileged to support the early childhood workforce as they provide loving, nurturing, high-quality early care and education to young children. We strongly believe that all childcare providers deserve fair wages that reflect the critical importance of their work. All families deserve access to high-quality early childhood programs, which decades of research have proven help prepare children for school readiness and future success. 

The new CCDF rule advances these goals by:

  • Reducing family costs, limiting copayments to no more than 7% of family income. This change will not only make care more affordable for families, but will also increase effective pay for providers. In practice, many providers do not collect full family copayments from parents. Taking this burden off families will increase their access to quality child care, while also improving financial sustainability for providers. 

  • Improving payment practices by requiring states to make on-time payments based on child enrollment, not attendance. This aligns subsidy with standard practices in the private market, helping providers cover their fixed costs, which remain the same whether or not children attend on a given day.   

  • Improving payment rates by encouraging states to pay their published rates, even if providers charge less to some parents. This change reflects the reality that many parents cannot afford to pay the market rate for care, much less the cost of quality care. With this change, providers will at least receive the state’s established payment rate. This will especially benefit providers serving low-income communities, helping to stabilize their business operations.  

Our fragile child care market relies primarily on small businesses–   ones that are disproportionately owned by women, particularly women of color  - to deliver early education to our youngest learners. Strengthening these businesses is critical to our nation’s future. Going forward, we hope Congress will invest in a fully funded early care and education system. We also hope government payments will be tied to the true cost of delivering high quality care - including the cost to pay educators a fair wage for their invaluable work. In the meantime, we applaud the meaningful advances made by the Office of Child Care. 

Improving Child Care Access, Affordability, and Stability in the Child Care and Development Fund