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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: Grobe, Deana; Davis, Elizabeth E.; Scott, Ellen K.; Weber, Roberta B.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    In the United States, government subsidies help low-income families pay for child care when parents are working, yet policies that tie subsidy eligibility closely to employment may result in frequent disruptions in program participation for families. This paper uses a mixed methods research design that links administrative records on families and children to data collected through surveys and in-depth interviews to examine employment instability and job characteristics of parents using child care subsidies. The results suggest that parents experience substantial employment instability (employment loss and unpredictable schedules) and that exiting the subsidy program is frequently related to employment-related eligibility factors. Overall, the use of administrative data integrated with other methods provides substantial opportunities for researchers to explore complex social phenomenon and provide insights in the evaluation of social programs. (Author abstract)

    In the United States, government subsidies help low-income families pay for child care when parents are working, yet policies that tie subsidy eligibility closely to employment may result in frequent disruptions in program participation for families. This paper uses a mixed methods research design that links administrative records on families and children to data collected through surveys and in-depth interviews to examine employment instability and job characteristics of parents using child care subsidies. The results suggest that parents experience substantial employment instability (employment loss and unpredictable schedules) and that exiting the subsidy program is frequently related to employment-related eligibility factors. Overall, the use of administrative data integrated with other methods provides substantial opportunities for researchers to explore complex social phenomenon and provide insights in the evaluation of social programs. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hahn, Heather; Adams, Gina; Spaulding, Shayne; Heller, Caroline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Low-income families receiving cash assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) also need assistance with workforce development and child care. Workforce development and child care subsidy systems support low-income families and individuals, but are TANF families well served by these systems? This report outlines the opportunities that the workforce development and child care subsidy systems offer, highlights the challenges of meeting the complex needs of these highly disadvantaged families, and identifies implications for federal and state policy improvements. (Author abstract)

    Low-income families receiving cash assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) also need assistance with workforce development and child care. Workforce development and child care subsidy systems support low-income families and individuals, but are TANF families well served by these systems? This report outlines the opportunities that the workforce development and child care subsidy systems offer, highlights the challenges of meeting the complex needs of these highly disadvantaged families, and identifies implications for federal and state policy improvements. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Child Care Aware of America
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    More than 11 million children younger than age five are in some form of child care in the United States. The Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2016 Report summarizes the cost of child care across the country, examines the importance of child care as a workforce support and as an early learning program, and explores the effect of high costs on families' child care options. This year's report continues to expose child care as one of the most significant expenses in a family budget, often exceeding the cost of housing, college tuition, transportation, or food. In addition to our review of the average cost of care across the nation, Child Care Aware® of America examined county-level data in four states. We also provide a comprehensive set of solutions and policy recommendations to help address the high cost of child care for families across the country. (Author abstract)

    More than 11 million children younger than age five are in some form of child care in the United States. The Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2016 Report summarizes the cost of child care across the country, examines the importance of child care as a workforce support and as an early learning program, and explores the effect of high costs on families' child care options. This year's report continues to expose child care as one of the most significant expenses in a family budget, often exceeding the cost of housing, college tuition, transportation, or food. In addition to our review of the average cost of care across the nation, Child Care Aware® of America examined county-level data in four states. We also provide a comprehensive set of solutions and policy recommendations to help address the high cost of child care for families across the country. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Henly, Julia R.; Gelatt, Julia; Sandstrom, Heather; Kim, JaeSeung; Claessens, Amy; Healy, Olivia; Pilarz, Alejandra Ros
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    Despite a growing awareness of subsidy instability, knowledge remains limited regarding its determinants and how families and their child care providers respond to a break in program enrollment. In an effort to address this knowledge gap and to support policy efforts to improve the design and delivery of child care assistance to low-income families, researchers from the University of Chicago and the Urban Institute partnered with state child care administrators in Illinois and New York to conduct a study examining the factors that contribute to instability in families’ receipt of child care subsidies and how this instability may affect the continuity of their care arrangements. This mixed-methods multiyear (2010-14) study, the Illinois-New York Child Care Research Partnership Study: Phase 1, analyzed the experiences of a new cohort of child care subsidy clients residing in four sites in Illinois and New York. The study used longitudinal state administrative data from child care payment records in combination with newly collected telephone survey and qualitative interview...

    Despite a growing awareness of subsidy instability, knowledge remains limited regarding its determinants and how families and their child care providers respond to a break in program enrollment. In an effort to address this knowledge gap and to support policy efforts to improve the design and delivery of child care assistance to low-income families, researchers from the University of Chicago and the Urban Institute partnered with state child care administrators in Illinois and New York to conduct a study examining the factors that contribute to instability in families’ receipt of child care subsidies and how this instability may affect the continuity of their care arrangements. This mixed-methods multiyear (2010-14) study, the Illinois-New York Child Care Research Partnership Study: Phase 1, analyzed the experiences of a new cohort of child care subsidy clients residing in four sites in Illinois and New York. The study used longitudinal state administrative data from child care payment records in combination with newly collected telephone survey and qualitative interview data from subsidy clients to identify patterns of program use and to examine factors that predict exits from the subsidy program and from subsidized providers. This research report discusses findings from the administrative data analysis and telephone survey. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bernal, Raquel; Keane, Michael P.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    We evaluate the effect of child care versus maternal time inputs on child cognitive development using single mothers from the NLSY79. To deal with nonrandom selection of children into child care, we exploit the exogenous variation in welfare policy rules facing single mothers. In particular, the 1996 welfare reform and earlier state-level policy changes generated substantial increases in their work/child care use. We construct a comprehensive set of welfare policy variables and use them as instruments to estimate child cognitive ability production functions. In our baseline specification, we estimate that a year of child care reduces child test scores by 2.1%. (Author abstract)

    We evaluate the effect of child care versus maternal time inputs on child cognitive development using single mothers from the NLSY79. To deal with nonrandom selection of children into child care, we exploit the exogenous variation in welfare policy rules facing single mothers. In particular, the 1996 welfare reform and earlier state-level policy changes generated substantial increases in their work/child care use. We construct a comprehensive set of welfare policy variables and use them as instruments to estimate child cognitive ability production functions. In our baseline specification, we estimate that a year of child care reduces child test scores by 2.1%. (Author abstract)

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