Early Childhood Care and Education

This page will be updated continuously to reflect the most recent information. This page was last updated on April 9, 2021.


Congress has passed several rounds of financial assistance and relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including most recently the American Rescue Plan.  The American Rescue Plan includes the following assistance for early childhood care and education. 


The American Rescue Plan provides for nearly $15 billion through the Child Care Development Block Grant, nearly $24 billion for Child Care Stabilization Grants, and $1 billion for the Head Start Program.  Details are below. 


 In addition to the American Rescue Plan, you may be eligible for ongoing relief provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Families First”), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (COVID relief law).


The American Rescue Plan includes $14.99 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 an estimated $50,000,000.  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 American Rescue Plan includes an estimated $23.975 billion in emergency relief to states through child care stabilization grants to be allocated pursuant to the CCDBG Act.  States’ lead child care agencies will award subgrants to qualified child care providers that are either (1) open and available to provide services, or (2) closed for reasons related to COVID-19. 

Allocation to Hawaii

Hawaii will receive an estimated $80,000,000.  These funds must be used to supplement, not supplant, other federal, state, and local public funds for child care services for eligible individuals, including funds provided under the CCDBG and state child care programs.

Use of Funds

These funds may be used for personnel expenses, cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment, and mental health supports.  Providers receiving funds must make certain certifications, including following CDC guidelines, paying full employee compensation, and providing tuition relief to families in need of assistance.


The American Rescue Plan includes an estimated $1 billion 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.  These funds will be distributed to states’ Head Start agencies on the basis of enrollment.

Allocation to Hawaii

Hawaii will receive an estimated $3,462,000.  Additional information on COVID-related funding and administrative flexibilities can be found here

Use of Funds

These funds may be used to assist Head Start programs.  Additional COVID-related updates from the Office of Head Start can be found here.