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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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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Susman-Stillman, Amy; Englund, Michelle M.; Storm, Karen J.; Bailey, Ann E.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    Preschool attendance problems negatively impact children's school readiness skills and future school attendance. Parents are critical to preschoolers’ attendance. This study explored parental barriers and solutions to preschool attendance in low-income families. School-district administrative data from a racially/ethnically diverse sample of parents with children attending the district's half-day preschool program were obtained (N = 111). Subsamples of parents participated in a phone interview and follow-up, in-person interview. Parents valued early learning and preschool. Children missed school due to illness, problems with child care, transportation, and family life. Differences in attendance rates appeared by school, family demographics, and race/ethnicity. African-Americans and Hispanics experienced more barriers than Whites and Asians, and were more likely to miss school because of illness and medical appointments. Hispanics were more likely to miss for vacation. Parents noted a lack of social connection with other parents in the school/neighborhood, making seeking help to...

    Preschool attendance problems negatively impact children's school readiness skills and future school attendance. Parents are critical to preschoolers’ attendance. This study explored parental barriers and solutions to preschool attendance in low-income families. School-district administrative data from a racially/ethnically diverse sample of parents with children attending the district's half-day preschool program were obtained (N = 111). Subsamples of parents participated in a phone interview and follow-up, in-person interview. Parents valued early learning and preschool. Children missed school due to illness, problems with child care, transportation, and family life. Differences in attendance rates appeared by school, family demographics, and race/ethnicity. African-Americans and Hispanics experienced more barriers than Whites and Asians, and were more likely to miss school because of illness and medical appointments. Hispanics were more likely to miss for vacation. Parents noted a lack of social connection with other parents in the school/neighborhood, making seeking help to resolve attendance barriers difficult. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Malik, Rasheed; Hamm, Katie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This report analyzes the locations of licensed child care providers in 22 states—covering two-thirds of the U.S. population—and finds that approximately half of Americans live in “child care deserts.” Specifically, this analysis defines child care deserts as neighborhoods or communities that are either lacking any child care options or have so few child care providers that there are more than three children for every licensed child care slot. This report also proposes policy recommendations designed to address the scarcity of high-quality child care providers. Child care is an essential part of employment infrastructure; as with roads and bridges, parents require child care to get to work. By investing in child care infrastructure as much as it does in bridges and roads, the federal government can support economic growth and family economic security. (Author abstract) 

    This report analyzes the locations of licensed child care providers in 22 states—covering two-thirds of the U.S. population—and finds that approximately half of Americans live in “child care deserts.” Specifically, this analysis defines child care deserts as neighborhoods or communities that are either lacking any child care options or have so few child care providers that there are more than three children for every licensed child care slot. This report also proposes policy recommendations designed to address the scarcity of high-quality child care providers. Child care is an essential part of employment infrastructure; as with roads and bridges, parents require child care to get to work. By investing in child care infrastructure as much as it does in bridges and roads, the federal government can support economic growth and family economic security. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Roll, Susan; East, Jean
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    For many families, child care is a necessity for economic self-sufficiency, as without it caretakers cannot enter and stay in the workforce. However, for many low-income families, child care expenses are so high that they often cannot afford it without government support. Also problematic is that government-supported child care benefits are incrementally lost as a family’s income increases, but often before sufficient income can be sustained to replace that support. This is known as the child care cliff. The focus of this study was to understand how families make decisions about child care and government support when facing this cliff. This article details a mixed-methods study that revealed that families use a combination of resources to make up their income package that they need to manage everyday survival, including government benefits, wages, and social supports. Also, though the cliff effect is a significant barrier to moving from government supports to self-sufficiency, there are multiple other barriers that add to the very real reasons that families have to carefully...

    For many families, child care is a necessity for economic self-sufficiency, as without it caretakers cannot enter and stay in the workforce. However, for many low-income families, child care expenses are so high that they often cannot afford it without government support. Also problematic is that government-supported child care benefits are incrementally lost as a family’s income increases, but often before sufficient income can be sustained to replace that support. This is known as the child care cliff. The focus of this study was to understand how families make decisions about child care and government support when facing this cliff. This article details a mixed-methods study that revealed that families use a combination of resources to make up their income package that they need to manage everyday survival, including government benefits, wages, and social supports. Also, though the cliff effect is a significant barrier to moving from government supports to self-sufficiency, there are multiple other barriers that add to the very real reasons that families have to carefully strategize to survive. The most helpful things for families in strategizing were a flexible job and solid social support networks. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Liu, Meirong; Chen, Manrong; Anderson, Steven G.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    For mothers with young children, child care challenges can pose significant barriers for their labor force participation. Working mothers must arrange for someone else to care for their children when working outside the home. Previous research has shown that women with children spend less time in the labor force compared to women without children. This study used the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study to examine whether a range of child care characteristics, neighborhood factors, and individual factors caused mothers of young children to leave the work force. The results indicated that child care-related work exits are common occurrences for mothers in large urban areas. Of those mothers in the FFCW sample who used non-parental child care, more than one in ten mothers reported work exits due to child care-related problems. Logistic regression analysis further revealed that common risk factors for work exits included changing child care arrangements, using multiple types of child care, living in neighborhoods with a higher percentage of Hispanic population, being African...

    For mothers with young children, child care challenges can pose significant barriers for their labor force participation. Working mothers must arrange for someone else to care for their children when working outside the home. Previous research has shown that women with children spend less time in the labor force compared to women without children. This study used the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study to examine whether a range of child care characteristics, neighborhood factors, and individual factors caused mothers of young children to leave the work force. The results indicated that child care-related work exits are common occurrences for mothers in large urban areas. Of those mothers in the FFCW sample who used non-parental child care, more than one in ten mothers reported work exits due to child care-related problems. Logistic regression analysis further revealed that common risk factors for work exits included changing child care arrangements, using multiple types of child care, living in neighborhoods with a higher percentage of Hispanic population, being African American, and having household income between 50 and 99% of FPL. The findings are useful in informing social policies and interventions to help mothers better bridge the gap between adequate child care and gainful employment. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Vesely, Colleen K.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Grounded in ecocultural theory and utilizing in-depth interview data, this paper explores the experiences of 40 low-income immigrant mothers as they selected and secured early childhood care and education (ECCE) for their young children. Cultural and structural aspects of low-income immigrant families’ lives and their influence in shaping these families’ ECCE decision-making processes were examined. Latina and African mothers’ experiences were considered, as these mothers’ country of origin (COO) experiences were varied as well as their documentation statuses upon arrival in the US, with 15 of the Latinas being undocumented. Mothers discussed reasons for seeking ECCE, with maternal employment being most important. Some mothers looked to ECCE to recreate social experiences for their children similar to those in their COOs. Many mothers indicated looking for ECCE programs in which their children could learn English and interact with children from diverse backgrounds. Mothers tended to utilize social and organizational connections to secure ECCE and documentation of residence shaped...

    Grounded in ecocultural theory and utilizing in-depth interview data, this paper explores the experiences of 40 low-income immigrant mothers as they selected and secured early childhood care and education (ECCE) for their young children. Cultural and structural aspects of low-income immigrant families’ lives and their influence in shaping these families’ ECCE decision-making processes were examined. Latina and African mothers’ experiences were considered, as these mothers’ country of origin (COO) experiences were varied as well as their documentation statuses upon arrival in the US, with 15 of the Latinas being undocumented. Mothers discussed reasons for seeking ECCE, with maternal employment being most important. Some mothers looked to ECCE to recreate social experiences for their children similar to those in their COOs. Many mothers indicated looking for ECCE programs in which their children could learn English and interact with children from diverse backgrounds. Mothers tended to utilize social and organizational connections to secure ECCE and documentation of residence shaped the number and severity of obstacles mothers faced in securing ECCE. The findings from this study inform researchers, policymakers, and practitioners as to how both culture and structure shape ECCE decision making among low-income African and Latina/o immigrant families. (author abstract)

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