RD880 - Update to Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Transition Plan – November 19, 2021

Executive Summary:

To increase access and choice, strengthen quality and improve school readiness outcomes of its birth to five early childhood care and education (ECEC) system, Virginia has established a single, durable point of accountability within the Virginia Board of Education and the Virginia Department of Education.

Chapters 860 and 861 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly:

• Establish the Virginia Board of Education (BOE) and Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) as responsible for oversight and administration of early care and education out of the home to create a single point of accountability for school readiness, effective July 1, 2021.

• Transition the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Head Start State Collaboration Office to the VDOE in phases with transition fully complete by July 1, 2021.

• Create an Early Childhood Education Advisory Committee to the BOE, which will serve as the state’s Early Childhood Advisory Committee (ECAC) as required for federal grants and will vet policies and regulations and advise the Board of Education on related matters.

This document provides an update on implementation of the Transition Plan submitted to the General Assembly on December 1, 2021 as required by Chapters 860 and 861 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly. Since December 2020, key milestones include:

• Five inter-agency memoranda of agreements and a data-sharing agreement related to the transition were finalized;

• The Early Childhood Advisory Committee was launched in March 2021;

• Guidelines for Practice Year 1 of the unified measurement and improvement system, VQB5, were approved by the BOE in June 2021.

• All child care licensing staff transitioned to VDOE on June 24, 2021;

• American Rescue Plan Act funding was reallocated to VDOE effective July 1, 2021;

• A contract with Deloitte was executed to design and build the new licensing platform known as New Enterprise Licensing Application (NELA);

• A new organizational structure was implemented in the Division of Early Childhood Care and Education at VDOE;

• New regulations for licensed child day centers were implemented effective October 13, 2021;

• ARPA Child Care Stabilization Grant program launched on November 1, 2021 to provide ~$440 million in direct cash assistance to child care providers; and

• Notices of intended regulatory action for two child care licensing regulations were brought to the BOE on November 18, 2021.

VDOE and VDSS have continued to work collaboratively to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The respective agencies worked together to provide additional updated guidelines to providers to mitigate the spread of COVID-19; support efforts to vaccinate child care educators and families in child care; disseminate a third and fourth round of CARES grants; support the recovery of the Child Care Subsidy Program by temporarily expanding eligibility and covering the cost of copayments; and launch a new Child Care Stabilization Grant Program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.