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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: Otten, Jennifer J.; Getts, Katherine; Althauser, Anne; Buszkiewicz, James; Jardim, Ekaterina; Hill, Heather D.; Romich, Jennifer; Allard, Scott W.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    In this article, we examine the impact of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage on the local child care sector. Our mixed methods study answers two key research questions: How is Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance affecting wages paid in the child care sector? Given these changes in wages, how does it appear that child care centers are responding to rising labor costs? To answer these questions, we analyzed three datasets: (1) state administrative data on approximately 200 Seattle-based child care businesses from 2014 to 2016; (2) an employer survey conducted annually from 2015 to 2017 of 41 child care centers impacted by the policy; and (3) in-depth interviews of 15 Seattle child care center directors. (Edited author introduction)

    In this article, we examine the impact of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage on the local child care sector. Our mixed methods study answers two key research questions: How is Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance affecting wages paid in the child care sector? Given these changes in wages, how does it appear that child care centers are responding to rising labor costs? To answer these questions, we analyzed three datasets: (1) state administrative data on approximately 200 Seattle-based child care businesses from 2014 to 2016; (2) an employer survey conducted annually from 2015 to 2017 of 41 child care centers impacted by the policy; and (3) in-depth interviews of 15 Seattle child care center directors. (Edited author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Chaudry, Ajay; Pedroza, Juan; Sandstrom, Heather
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    In this brief, we draw from a larger study on child care choices to describe how low-income parents’ employment experiences shape their child care decisions. The brief summarizes and builds on findings from a larger research report that discusses how low-income working families in two study sites make child care decisions, and how these families’ decisions are shaped or limited by key contextual factors. After we describe the research methods and sample in the two study sites, we present summary findings regarding the employment contexts of participating parents and the challenges that their employment posed for making child care choices. Then, we explore some potential policy implications. By identifying how work constraints interact with the complexities of child care, we provide a basis that can help researchers and policymakers identify policy changes that may improve the child care choices available to low-income working families.

    A multiyear qualitative study finds low-income families seeking dependable child care are hampered by unsteady work, fluctuating wages, and...

    In this brief, we draw from a larger study on child care choices to describe how low-income parents’ employment experiences shape their child care decisions. The brief summarizes and builds on findings from a larger research report that discusses how low-income working families in two study sites make child care decisions, and how these families’ decisions are shaped or limited by key contextual factors. After we describe the research methods and sample in the two study sites, we present summary findings regarding the employment contexts of participating parents and the challenges that their employment posed for making child care choices. Then, we explore some potential policy implications. By identifying how work constraints interact with the complexities of child care, we provide a basis that can help researchers and policymakers identify policy changes that may improve the child care choices available to low-income working families.

    A multiyear qualitative study finds low-income families seeking dependable child care are hampered by unsteady work, fluctuating wages, and unreliable transportation. Given many low-wage workers' difficulties finding jobs, especially in the Great Recession, parents selected child care arrangements within constraints imposed by employers rather than what they felt optimal for their children's development. Policy changes could bridge the gap between working parents and professional child care centers. For example, increasing public funding for Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care subsidies would encourage child care providers to extend hours, which would better accommodate more families' work schedules.

  • Individual Author: Sandstrom, Heather; Chaudry, Ajay
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Regardless of their economic background, most working parents face the task of arranging childcare at some point. The decision-making process they experience is often complex, and this complexity is intensified for particular groups of families with limited financial and social resources. In this paper, we present findings from a three-year qualitative study of the childcare choices of low-income working families, many of whom were immigrants, had limited English proficiency, were parents of children with special needs, or represented some combination of these factors. The study explored families’ current care arrangements, their reasons for selecting a particular form of childcare, and the characteristics of their ideal arrangements. Data were coded to identify themes in parental preferences, decision factors, and the barriers families faced in accessing their preferred care arrangements. Most significantly, the parents studied described their preferences for an environment where their children could learn and be in the presence of caring and trustworthy caregivers. About a...

    Regardless of their economic background, most working parents face the task of arranging childcare at some point. The decision-making process they experience is often complex, and this complexity is intensified for particular groups of families with limited financial and social resources. In this paper, we present findings from a three-year qualitative study of the childcare choices of low-income working families, many of whom were immigrants, had limited English proficiency, were parents of children with special needs, or represented some combination of these factors. The study explored families’ current care arrangements, their reasons for selecting a particular form of childcare, and the characteristics of their ideal arrangements. Data were coded to identify themes in parental preferences, decision factors, and the barriers families faced in accessing their preferred care arrangements. Most significantly, the parents studied described their preferences for an environment where their children could learn and be in the presence of caring and trustworthy caregivers. About a third of the families said they preferred relatives as caregivers, and selected relatives to provide childcare. Other parents selected care according to cost, location, and availability of the provider; they described the challenges of locating affordable, high-quality care that met their nonstandard schedules. These findings have important implications for childcare policy. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Chaudry, Ajay; Pedroza, Juan M.; Sandstrom, Heather; Danzinger, Anna; Grosz, Michel; Scott, Molly; Ting, Sarah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    This research report presents the findings from a qualitative study of the child care choices of low-income working families in two urban communities.  Participants included 86 parents with young children, many of whom were immigrants, English language learners, or parents of children with special needs.  We discuss the key themes and variations in family experiences, giving particular attention to parental preferences and the factors that influenced their decisions, within the contexts of their employment and the early care and education programs in their communities.  We conclude with policy recommendations that can promote parental access to affordable and high quality care. (author abstract)

    This research report presents the findings from a qualitative study of the child care choices of low-income working families in two urban communities.  Participants included 86 parents with young children, many of whom were immigrants, English language learners, or parents of children with special needs.  We discuss the key themes and variations in family experiences, giving particular attention to parental preferences and the factors that influenced their decisions, within the contexts of their employment and the early care and education programs in their communities.  We conclude with policy recommendations that can promote parental access to affordable and high quality care. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Snyder, Kathleen; Bernstein, Sara; Adams, Gina
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Many families receiving publicly-funded child care vouchers choose legally unregulated family friend and neighbors (FFN) to care for their children while they work. This paper focuses on the experiences of these providers with the voucher system in selected communities. This paper discusses findings from interviews with subsidy agency staff and administrators in five sites, and focus groups with unregulated providers in three of these sites, in 2004. It examines the voucher subsidy policies developed for unregulated FFN caregivers, the perspectives of both agency staff and of providers with these policies, and the experiences of both staff and providers in working together. The paper is one of several being produced as part of the Urban Institute's Child Care Providers and the Child Care Voucher System project. (author abstract)

    Many families receiving publicly-funded child care vouchers choose legally unregulated family friend and neighbors (FFN) to care for their children while they work. This paper focuses on the experiences of these providers with the voucher system in selected communities. This paper discusses findings from interviews with subsidy agency staff and administrators in five sites, and focus groups with unregulated providers in three of these sites, in 2004. It examines the voucher subsidy policies developed for unregulated FFN caregivers, the perspectives of both agency staff and of providers with these policies, and the experiences of both staff and providers in working together. The paper is one of several being produced as part of the Urban Institute's Child Care Providers and the Child Care Voucher System project. (author abstract)

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