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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: Skinner, Curtis; Hartig, Seth; Setty, Suma
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    Ohio advocates and policymakers have recently proposed important new policy initiatives to help the state’s struggling working families. This policy brief models three reforms that promise to significantly improve the economic security of low-income Ohio families with children.

    First, we examine the effect of introducing a free and universal prekindergarten program for four-year-olds on families’ out-of-pocket child care costs. Child care costs are a major expense for working parents.

    Second, we investigate the problem of the “canyon effect” in child care subsidy policy and identify solutions. As described by Policy Matters Ohio, the canyon effect occurs when a working parent who loses a child care subsidy—because she loses her job, for example—must take a job at a lower wage to qualify again for the subsidy. Because child care is so costly, a subsidy can make the difference between being able to work or not, so the parent has a strong incentive to recover child care assistance, even if it means moving down a career ladder.

    Finally, we model the effect of...

    Ohio advocates and policymakers have recently proposed important new policy initiatives to help the state’s struggling working families. This policy brief models three reforms that promise to significantly improve the economic security of low-income Ohio families with children.

    First, we examine the effect of introducing a free and universal prekindergarten program for four-year-olds on families’ out-of-pocket child care costs. Child care costs are a major expense for working parents.

    Second, we investigate the problem of the “canyon effect” in child care subsidy policy and identify solutions. As described by Policy Matters Ohio, the canyon effect occurs when a working parent who loses a child care subsidy—because she loses her job, for example—must take a job at a lower wage to qualify again for the subsidy. Because child care is so costly, a subsidy can make the difference between being able to work or not, so the parent has a strong incentive to recover child care assistance, even if it means moving down a career ladder.

    Finally, we model the effect of improving the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on the economic well-being of Ohio working families. The Ohio EITC is currently set at 10 percent of the federal credit and is not refundable, meaning that a family that has no income tax liability does not receive the credit. The improved EITC would be refundable and equal to 30 percent of the federal credit; it would also remove an existing cap on the credit for earnings above a very low level.

    The impact of each of these reforms on the economic security of representative low-income families in the state is estimated with the National Center for Children in Poverty’s 2015 Ohio Family Resource Simulator (FRS) policy modeling tool, updated with the assistance of Policy Matters Ohio. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Skinner, Curtis; Hartig, Seth; Setty, Suma
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    Colorado advocates and policymakers have launched important recent initiatives—both legislated and proposed—to help the state’s struggling working families. This policy brief presents the results of three state policy reforms that promise to significantly improve the economic security of low-income Colorado families with children: (1) Implementing two state income tax credits for families with children that have been signed into law, the Child Tax Credit for children under six years old and the Earned Income Tax Credit; (2) Introducing a free and universal prekindergarten program for four-year-olds; and (3) Initiating universal, full-day kindergarten for five-year-olds. The impact of each of these reforms on the economic security of representative low-income families in the state is estimated with the National Center for Children in Poverty’s 2015 Colorado Family Resource Simulator (FRS) policy modeling tool, updated with the assistance of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. (Author abstract)

     

    Colorado advocates and policymakers have launched important recent initiatives—both legislated and proposed—to help the state’s struggling working families. This policy brief presents the results of three state policy reforms that promise to significantly improve the economic security of low-income Colorado families with children: (1) Implementing two state income tax credits for families with children that have been signed into law, the Child Tax Credit for children under six years old and the Earned Income Tax Credit; (2) Introducing a free and universal prekindergarten program for four-year-olds; and (3) Initiating universal, full-day kindergarten for five-year-olds. The impact of each of these reforms on the economic security of representative low-income families in the state is estimated with the National Center for Children in Poverty’s 2015 Colorado Family Resource Simulator (FRS) policy modeling tool, updated with the assistance of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Hardy, Bradley; Hokayem, Charles; Ziliak, James P.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    For parents of young children the decision to work strongly depends on the availability of affordable child care. Child care costs can take up a large portion of a family budget and may serve as an obstacle to work. In 2008 the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) estimated that Kentucky families recently faced annual infant child care costs of $6,240 for full-time center care and $4,956 for school age children during non-school hours. These costs represent 20 to 25 percent of an average single mother’s annual income and rival the tuition costs of attending a 4-year college or university. In this policy brief, we describe the federal and state programs that address child care and discuss recent economic research on the links between parental employment and child care. In addition, we forecast the employment effects and costs of a child care subsidy in Kentucky. (author introduction)

    For parents of young children the decision to work strongly depends on the availability of affordable child care. Child care costs can take up a large portion of a family budget and may serve as an obstacle to work. In 2008 the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) estimated that Kentucky families recently faced annual infant child care costs of $6,240 for full-time center care and $4,956 for school age children during non-school hours. These costs represent 20 to 25 percent of an average single mother’s annual income and rival the tuition costs of attending a 4-year college or university. In this policy brief, we describe the federal and state programs that address child care and discuss recent economic research on the links between parental employment and child care. In addition, we forecast the employment effects and costs of a child care subsidy in Kentucky. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Danziger, Sandra K.; Ananat, Elizabeth O.; Browning, Kimberly G.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    We address how childcare subsidies help in the welfare-to-work transition relative to other factors. We examine how the policy operates, whether childcare problems differ by subsidy receipt, and the effect of subsidy on work. Data are from a random sample panel study of welfare recipients after 1996. Findings show that subsidy receipt reduces costs but not parenting stress or problems with care. It predicts earnings and work duration net of other factors. Increased use of subsidies by eligible families and greater funding for child care would help meet the demand for this important support for working-poor families. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

    We address how childcare subsidies help in the welfare-to-work transition relative to other factors. We examine how the policy operates, whether childcare problems differ by subsidy receipt, and the effect of subsidy on work. Data are from a random sample panel study of welfare recipients after 1996. Findings show that subsidy receipt reduces costs but not parenting stress or problems with care. It predicts earnings and work duration net of other factors. Increased use of subsidies by eligible families and greater funding for child care would help meet the demand for this important support for working-poor families. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

  • Individual Author: Folk, Karen Fox
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    Child care subsidies are crucial to becoming and remaining employed, yet the minimum cost of child care is not very much less for low-income families than for all families. The Census Bureau reports 1993 data on the cost of the care of preschool children for families with employed mothers: those with incomes under $1,200 per month paid an average of $47 a week, whereas the average cost of preschool child care for all families with employed mothers was $60/week. Bear in mind that these are averages, including a large proportion of women who work part time. Costs will be higher for W-2 participants employed full time.

    How do families manage when child care costs are 25– 33 percent of income? They rely heavily on relative care; only 40 percent of low-income families make cash payments for child care. The pattern is similar for single mothers: 60 percent pay for child care, and 40 percent use unpaid care by relatives. (author introduction)

    Child care subsidies are crucial to becoming and remaining employed, yet the minimum cost of child care is not very much less for low-income families than for all families. The Census Bureau reports 1993 data on the cost of the care of preschool children for families with employed mothers: those with incomes under $1,200 per month paid an average of $47 a week, whereas the average cost of preschool child care for all families with employed mothers was $60/week. Bear in mind that these are averages, including a large proportion of women who work part time. Costs will be higher for W-2 participants employed full time.

    How do families manage when child care costs are 25– 33 percent of income? They rely heavily on relative care; only 40 percent of low-income families make cash payments for child care. The pattern is similar for single mothers: 60 percent pay for child care, and 40 percent use unpaid care by relatives. (author introduction)

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