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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 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: Duncan, Greg J.; Gennetian, Lisa; Morris, Pamela
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    This article contributes to the literature on parental self-sufficiency and child well-being in two ways. First, we bring a novel interdisciplinary perspective to formulating hypotheses about the pathways by which policy-induced changes in the environments in which children are embedded, both within and outside the home, facilitate or harm children’s development. These hypotheses help to organize the contradictory assertions regarding child impacts that have surrounded the debate over welfare reform. Second, we draw on a set of policy experiments to understand the effects of reforms targeting parents’ self-sufficiency on both parents and their children. The random-assignment design of these evaluations provides an unusually strong basis for identifying conditions under which policy-induced increases in employment among low-income and mostly single parents can help or hurt young children’s achievement. (Author introduction)

    This article contributes to the literature on parental self-sufficiency and child well-being in two ways. First, we bring a novel interdisciplinary perspective to formulating hypotheses about the pathways by which policy-induced changes in the environments in which children are embedded, both within and outside the home, facilitate or harm children’s development. These hypotheses help to organize the contradictory assertions regarding child impacts that have surrounded the debate over welfare reform. Second, we draw on a set of policy experiments to understand the effects of reforms targeting parents’ self-sufficiency on both parents and their children. The random-assignment design of these evaluations provides an unusually strong basis for identifying conditions under which policy-induced increases in employment among low-income and mostly single parents can help or hurt young children’s achievement. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Ward, Helen; Morris, Lisa; Atkins, Julie; Harrick, Andela; Morris, Patricia; Oldham, Erin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    This project was a mixed-method, multi-level study of low income families of children with special needs and the system which served them, focusing primarily on child care, employment, and balancing work and family. This approach included an analysis of existing national and state-level data sets, statewide surveys of parents and child care providers, and a field study to look at these issues at the local level in three selected communities in the state of Maine: Portland, Lewiston/Auburn, and Presque Isle. While the primary focus was on access to child care, this project also looked at the related issues of welfare reform, the impact of work force participation on having a child with special needs, and the issue of coordination of early intervention services with the child care system. The goal was to understand better the issues facing low income families with special needs children across the programs and policies affecting their employment, access to child care, and meeting the special needs of their children. In the first year of the study, qualitative research was conducted...

    This project was a mixed-method, multi-level study of low income families of children with special needs and the system which served them, focusing primarily on child care, employment, and balancing work and family. This approach included an analysis of existing national and state-level data sets, statewide surveys of parents and child care providers, and a field study to look at these issues at the local level in three selected communities in the state of Maine: Portland, Lewiston/Auburn, and Presque Isle. While the primary focus was on access to child care, this project also looked at the related issues of welfare reform, the impact of work force participation on having a child with special needs, and the issue of coordination of early intervention services with the child care system. The goal was to understand better the issues facing low income families with special needs children across the programs and policies affecting their employment, access to child care, and meeting the special needs of their children. In the first year of the study, qualitative research was conducted to learn directly from parents about their experiences. In the second and third years, a field study of three communities was conducted as well as statewide surveys and analysis of national data bases to supplement the data collected in the first year. This data collection is comprised of the two quantitative data files produced during the second and third years of the study which are described in more detail in the report. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gennetian, Lisa A.; Crosby, Danielle A. ; Huston, Aletha C. ; Lowe, Edward D.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Policymakers have long recognized child care as a key ingredient in low-income parents' employability. We examine the effects of expansions in child care policies that were bundled with a mix of employment-related policies and implemented as part of several random assignment studies on families' child care access and cost. Almost all of these welfare and employment programs increased employment and led to concomitant increases in the use of child care, especially paid child care. Only the programs that also expanded access or affordability of child care consistently increased the use of child care subsidies and reduced out-of-pocket costs to parents, allowing parents to purchase center-based care. With one exception, such programs had small effects on employment-related child care problems, suggesting that broader and more generous targeting of child care assistance may be important for achieving the goal of enhancing the stability of employment among low-income families. (author abstract)

    This resource is based on a...

    Policymakers have long recognized child care as a key ingredient in low-income parents' employability. We examine the effects of expansions in child care policies that were bundled with a mix of employment-related policies and implemented as part of several random assignment studies on families' child care access and cost. Almost all of these welfare and employment programs increased employment and led to concomitant increases in the use of child care, especially paid child care. Only the programs that also expanded access or affordability of child care consistently increased the use of child care subsidies and reduced out-of-pocket costs to parents, allowing parents to purchase center-based care. With one exception, such programs had small effects on employment-related child care problems, suggesting that broader and more generous targeting of child care assistance may be important for achieving the goal of enhancing the stability of employment among low-income families. (author abstract)

    This resource is based on a working paper published by MDRC.

  • Individual Author: Helburn, Suzanne W.; Howes, Carollee
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1996

    This article summarizes what is known about the cost and quality of full-time child care in centers and family child care homes, and about parents' attention to quality in making child care choices. It relies primarily upon two recent studies which are among the first to collect detailed information about child care operating costs: the Cost, Quality, and Child Outcomes in Child Care Centers study and the Economics of Family Child Care study. Results indicate that mediocre quality is the rule and that parents often do not choose quality settings for their children. At the present time, child care quality is only modestly related to the cost of providing services. In part, the modesty of this relationship reflects the low wages of child care staff, the availability of in-kind donations in the nonprofit sector, and the altruistic motivations of many providers that depress direct costs and the fees charged for child care. The article concludes with recommendations for future action: (1) launch consumer education efforts; (2) implement higher standards for child care at the state...

    This article summarizes what is known about the cost and quality of full-time child care in centers and family child care homes, and about parents' attention to quality in making child care choices. It relies primarily upon two recent studies which are among the first to collect detailed information about child care operating costs: the Cost, Quality, and Child Outcomes in Child Care Centers study and the Economics of Family Child Care study. Results indicate that mediocre quality is the rule and that parents often do not choose quality settings for their children. At the present time, child care quality is only modestly related to the cost of providing services. In part, the modesty of this relationship reflects the low wages of child care staff, the availability of in-kind donations in the nonprofit sector, and the altruistic motivations of many providers that depress direct costs and the fees charged for child care. The article concludes with recommendations for future action: (1) launch consumer education efforts; (2) implement higher standards for child care at the state level; (3) avoid public policies that encourage people to become child care providers if they have no interest in such a career; (4) increase public and private investments in child care; and (5) develop the means to compensate child care workers as is appropriate for their levels of training, experience, and responsibility. (author abstract)

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