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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: MDRC; Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project conducted randomized controlled trials of behavioral interventions at two child care agencies in Indiana and Oklahoma. This brief provides an overview of the interventions the BIAS team designed in partnership with these sites, which targeted two primary problems:

    1. Many parents who receive Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) vouchers do not select a highly rated provider, even in states that have a standardized system for rating provider quality.
    2. Some parents who are required to periodically document their continued eligibility for CCDF subsidies do not complete this process on time, which can lead to gaps in service, loss of funds for providers, and increased administrative burden for agencies.

    One-page site summaries in this brief detail the problem or problems of interest at each agency, the behavioral intervention(s) implemented to address each of those problems, and the findings from the tests of the interventions. (Author abstract) 

    The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project conducted randomized controlled trials of behavioral interventions at two child care agencies in Indiana and Oklahoma. This brief provides an overview of the interventions the BIAS team designed in partnership with these sites, which targeted two primary problems:

    1. Many parents who receive Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) vouchers do not select a highly rated provider, even in states that have a standardized system for rating provider quality.
    2. Some parents who are required to periodically document their continued eligibility for CCDF subsidies do not complete this process on time, which can lead to gaps in service, loss of funds for providers, and increased administrative burden for agencies.

    One-page site summaries in this brief detail the problem or problems of interest at each agency, the behavioral intervention(s) implemented to address each of those problems, and the findings from the tests of the interventions. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Tran, Victoria; Minton, Sarah; Haldar, Sweta; Giannarelli, Linda
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    If a child’s parents both work full-time and together earn $25,000 per year, can the family receive a subsidy to help pay for child care? What if one of the parents is a full-time student and not working? If the family does qualify for a subsidy, how much will they still have to pay out of pocket? The answers to these questions depend on a family’s exact circumstances, including: the ages of the children; the number of people in the family; income; where they live. Child care subsidies are provided through a federal block grant program called the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF provides funding to the States, Territories, and Tribes. They use the money to administer child care subsidy programs for low-income families. This brief provides a graphic overview of some of the CCDF policy differences across States/Territories. It includes information about eligibility requirements; family application, terms of authorization, and redetermination; family payments; and policies for providers. (Author introduction)

    If a child’s parents both work full-time and together earn $25,000 per year, can the family receive a subsidy to help pay for child care? What if one of the parents is a full-time student and not working? If the family does qualify for a subsidy, how much will they still have to pay out of pocket? The answers to these questions depend on a family’s exact circumstances, including: the ages of the children; the number of people in the family; income; where they live. Child care subsidies are provided through a federal block grant program called the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF provides funding to the States, Territories, and Tribes. They use the money to administer child care subsidy programs for low-income families. This brief provides a graphic overview of some of the CCDF policy differences across States/Territories. It includes information about eligibility requirements; family application, terms of authorization, and redetermination; family payments; and policies for providers. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Madill, Rebecca; Bui Lin, Van-Kim; Friese, Sarah; Paschall, Katherine
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    As of 2015, about one in five children in the United States lived at or below the federal poverty level. Many children living in poverty face multiple risk factors that are negatively associated with school readiness and later achievement. High-quality early care and education (ECE) can help close the gap between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers by improving school readiness, reducing risk for grade repetition and special education placement, and increasing high school graduation rates. Importantly, the quality of care matters: ECE settings that offer well-organized, developmentally appropriate learning opportunities allow children to make the greatest gains. The present study asked how low-income children’s access to ECE might differ from that of their higher-income peers, and how child care subsidy policies might be helping to close the gap. (Author introduction)

    As of 2015, about one in five children in the United States lived at or below the federal poverty level. Many children living in poverty face multiple risk factors that are negatively associated with school readiness and later achievement. High-quality early care and education (ECE) can help close the gap between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers by improving school readiness, reducing risk for grade repetition and special education placement, and increasing high school graduation rates. Importantly, the quality of care matters: ECE settings that offer well-organized, developmentally appropriate learning opportunities allow children to make the greatest gains. The present study asked how low-income children’s access to ECE might differ from that of their higher-income peers, and how child care subsidy policies might be helping to close the gap. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Griffen, Andrew S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    To explore the role of child care policies in the development of early cognitive skills, this paper jointly estimates a cognitive achievement production function and a dynamic, discrete choice model of maternal labor supply and child care decisions. Using counterfactuals from the model, I investigate how the design of two child care programs, Head Start and child care subsidies, affects the formation of cognitive skills through maternal work and child care decisions. The results suggest large impacts on cognitive skills from expanding Head Start to current noneligibles and negligible impacts of subsidies on cognitive skills of current eligibles. (Author abstract)

    To explore the role of child care policies in the development of early cognitive skills, this paper jointly estimates a cognitive achievement production function and a dynamic, discrete choice model of maternal labor supply and child care decisions. Using counterfactuals from the model, I investigate how the design of two child care programs, Head Start and child care subsidies, affects the formation of cognitive skills through maternal work and child care decisions. The results suggest large impacts on cognitive skills from expanding Head Start to current noneligibles and negligible impacts of subsidies on cognitive skills of current eligibles. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Chaudry, Ajay; Morrissey, Taryn; Weiland, Christina; Yoshikawa, Hirokazu
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2017

    Early care and education for many children in the U.S. is in crisis. The period between birth and kindergarten is a critical time for child development, and socioeconomic disparities that begin early in children’s lives contribute to starkly different long-term outcomes for adults. Yet, compared to other advanced economies, high-quality child care and preschool in the U.S. are scarce and prohibitively expensive for many middle class and most disadvantaged families. To what extent can early-life interventions provide these children with the opportunities that their affluent peers enjoy and contribute to reduced social inequality in the long term? Cradle to Kindergarten offers a comprehensive, evidence-based strategy that diagnoses the obstacles to accessible early education and charts a path to opportunity for all children.

    The U.S. government invests less in children under the age of five than do most other developed nations. Most working families must seek private child care, which means that children from low-income households, who would benefit most from high-quality...

    Early care and education for many children in the U.S. is in crisis. The period between birth and kindergarten is a critical time for child development, and socioeconomic disparities that begin early in children’s lives contribute to starkly different long-term outcomes for adults. Yet, compared to other advanced economies, high-quality child care and preschool in the U.S. are scarce and prohibitively expensive for many middle class and most disadvantaged families. To what extent can early-life interventions provide these children with the opportunities that their affluent peers enjoy and contribute to reduced social inequality in the long term? Cradle to Kindergarten offers a comprehensive, evidence-based strategy that diagnoses the obstacles to accessible early education and charts a path to opportunity for all children.

    The U.S. government invests less in children under the age of five than do most other developed nations. Most working families must seek private child care, which means that children from low-income households, who would benefit most from high-quality early education, are the least likely to attend them. Existing policies, such as pre-kindergarten in some states, are only partial solutions. To address these deficiencies, the authors propose to overhaul the early care system, beginning with a federal paid parental leave policy that provides both mothers and fathers with time and financial support after the birth of a child. They also advocate increased public benefits, including an expansion of the child care tax credit, and a new child care assurance program that subsidizes the cost of early care for low- and moderate-income families. They also propose that universal, high-quality early education in the states should start by age three, and a reform of the Head Start program that would include more intensive services for families living in areas of concentrated poverty and experiencing multiple adversities from the earliest point in these most disadvantaged children’s lives. They conclude with an implementation plan and contend that these reforms are attainable within a ten-year timeline.

    Reducing educational and economic inequalities requires that all children have robust opportunities to learn, fully develop their capacities, and have a fair shot at success. Cradle to Kindergarten presents a blueprint for fulfilling this promise by expanding access to educational and financial resources at a critical stage of child development. (Author abstract)

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