Early Childhood Care and Education

This page will be updated continuously to reflect the most recent information. This page was last updated on April 17, 2020.



The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides assistance for early childhood care and education during the COVID-19 pandemic.



The CARES Act includes $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which is the primary federal grant program that supports child care for low-income families.  CCDBG also funds Child Care Resource and Referral services and quality projects for infants and toddlers.  These funds will be used to provide immediate assistance to child care providers to prevent them from going out of business and to otherwise support child care for families, including for healthcare workers, first responders, and others playing critical roles during this crisis.


Allocation to Hawaii

Hawaii will receive $11,990,147.  These funds will go directly to state and local governments, with no match required.  Hawaii is currently under its three-year Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) plan through the state’s lead CCDF agency, the Hawaii Department of Human Services.  Additional resources and information about relevant flexibilities in the CCDF law can be found on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website here.

Use of Funds

These funds may be used to supplement funds for child care assistance for low-income families, and will allow child care programs to maintain critical operations, including meeting emergency staffing needs and ensuring first responders and health care workers can access child care while they respond to the pandemic.



The CARES Act includes $750 million for the Head Start programs to help them respond to coronavirus-related needs of children and families, including making up for lost learning time.  The Head Start program provides comprehensive early childhood education and development services to low-income children.  Head Start grants are awarded directly to public or private non-profit organizations, including community-based and faith-based organizations, or for-profit agencies.


Use of Funds

These funds may be used to assist Head Start programs, with up to $500,000,000 of the funds made available for supplemental summer programs.