Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

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The child care & early education glossary defines terms used to describe aspects of child care and early education practice and policy; the research glossary defines terms used in conducting social science and policy research, for example those describing methods, measurements, statistical procedures, and other aspects of research.

Career Ladder/Lattice
A metaphor, often accompanied by a pictorial representation, for job or career progression. Career ladders/lattices typically includes descriptions of the required skills, Credentials and degrees required to advance one's career or move from one related position to another. See related: Career Pathway.
Career Pathway
A progression of educational qualifications, Credentials and training that build upon one another and enable early childhood practitioners to advance in their careers. Career pathways can be flexible, with multiple entry and exit points, to allow the Workforce, made up of diverse learners and non-traditional students, to acquire the necessary career-related skills and knowledge. Career pathways allow individuals to move along or within a Career Ladder/Lattice.
Center Based Child Care
Child care provided in nonresidential group settings, such as within public or private schools, churches, preschools, day care centers, or nursery schools. See related: Community Cased Child Care/Community Based Organization (CBO).
Certification (Staff)
The process by which an individual or institution attests to or is shown to have met a prescribed standard or set of standards.
Child Care Access
Refers to the ability for families to find quality Child Care Arrangements that satisfy their preferences, with reasonable effort and at an affordable price. See related: Child Care Availability.
Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)
The source of discretionary funding for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). The CCDBG was originally enacted under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. In 2014, Congress reauthorized the CCDBG for the first time since 1996, and included new laws and requirements related to the quality and availability of CCDF funded child care programs and related activities.
Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)
A federally funded program that provides block grants to states to subsidize the child care expenses of working parents/families so they can participate in educational or training opportunities. Each state creates its own CCDF Plan that is approved and administered by the Office of Child Care (OCC) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The CCDF also funds activities intended to improve the overall Quality and supply of child care for families, such as by providing Technical Assistance and promoting coordination among early learning and After-School Programs.
Child Care and Development Fund Plan (CCDF Plan)
A plan developed by a designated CCDF child care agency in each state, territory, or tribe that serves as an application for CCDBG funds. Plans provide a description of, and assurances about, the grantee's child care programs and services available to eligible families. States must promote public involvement in their CCDF Plan's development/review process and submit their plan to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for review and approval every three years.
Child Care Arrangement
Refers to any combination of non-parental child care providers and/or settings that families use for their children, often while family members are at work. Child care arrangements vary widely based on a family's unique needs and circumstances. Arrangements might include: Center-Based Child Care, Family/home-based Child Care, Informal Child Care, full-day Head Start or Pre-Kindergarten programs at local CBOs, Drop-in Child Care, etc. Many families will also utilize After-School Programs and services so that their child care arrangements can accommodate their work schedules.
Child Care Assistance
Any public or private financial assistance intended to lower the cost of child care for families. See related: Child Care Subsidy.
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