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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: Schulman, Karen ; Matthews, Hannah ; Blank, Helen ; Ewen, Danielle
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) — a strategy to improve families’ access to high-quality child care — assess the quality of child care programs, offer incentives and assistance to programs to improve their ratings, and give information to parents about the quality of child care. These systems are operating in a growing number of states — 22 states had statewide QRIS and four additional states had QRIS in one or more of their communities as of 2010.

    The development and implementation of QRIS is also a central component of the Race to the Top-Early Learn­ing Challenge — a federally funded competitive grant program that encourages states to strengthen their early learning systems — which will likely spur addi­tional states to establish new or expand existing QRIS. Under QRIS, child care programs receive progressively higher ratings as they meet progressively higher quality standards. States vary significantly in their approaches to QRIS, including in the number of quality levels they have, the standards they set for achieving higher quality ratings, and the...

    Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) — a strategy to improve families’ access to high-quality child care — assess the quality of child care programs, offer incentives and assistance to programs to improve their ratings, and give information to parents about the quality of child care. These systems are operating in a growing number of states — 22 states had statewide QRIS and four additional states had QRIS in one or more of their communities as of 2010.

    The development and implementation of QRIS is also a central component of the Race to the Top-Early Learn­ing Challenge — a federally funded competitive grant program that encourages states to strengthen their early learning systems — which will likely spur addi­tional states to establish new or expand existing QRIS. Under QRIS, child care programs receive progressively higher ratings as they meet progressively higher quality standards. States vary significantly in their approaches to QRIS, including in the number of quality levels they have, the standards they set for achieving higher quality ratings, and the extent to which they provide financial and other supports to help programs improve. In most states, child care programs participate on a voluntary basis, although a few states require all regulated programs to participate. Despite these variations in their QRIS, states share a common objective of encouraging better child care options so that more families have access to high-quality child care that will support their children’s learning and development.

    Given that QRIS are used in a growing number of states and communities, it is helpful to examine the range of approaches these states and communities are taking in designing and implementing QRIS. It is also important to examine the opportunities and barriers for QRIS in achieving the goals of improving the quality of child care and increasing access to high-quality child care for families, particularly for the most vulnerable families. QRIS can be a tool for improving the quality of care accessed by low-income families who cannot afford high-quality care on their own. To gain more insight into different strategies for shaping and implementing QRIS, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) interviewed 48 child care center directors from nine states about their experiences with QRIS. The directors offered valuable perspectives on what is working in their QRIS and how the systems could be improved. (author abstract)

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

    The purpose of this report is to provide a selective survey of the literature on the economic consequences of child care for recipient families, and to relate the results to families residing in Kentucky using data from the Annual Social and Economic Study in the Current Population Survey. The survey is selective both because of its exclusive focus on child care research by economists and because the literature is vast even within economics such that only articles deemed to be important contributions to the labor supply and child care literature are included. There are extensive literatures on child care in the fields of social work and sociology, but in a bid to narrow the focus on the types of questions and methodologies employed this survey excludes this research. The implication is that certain topics relating to child care quality and child well being that are more prominent in social work and sociology research will receive scant attention. Instead the focus will be on the labor-market implications of child care, which tends to be the primary domain of child care research...

    The purpose of this report is to provide a selective survey of the literature on the economic consequences of child care for recipient families, and to relate the results to families residing in Kentucky using data from the Annual Social and Economic Study in the Current Population Survey. The survey is selective both because of its exclusive focus on child care research by economists and because the literature is vast even within economics such that only articles deemed to be important contributions to the labor supply and child care literature are included. There are extensive literatures on child care in the fields of social work and sociology, but in a bid to narrow the focus on the types of questions and methodologies employed this survey excludes this research. The implication is that certain topics relating to child care quality and child well being that are more prominent in social work and sociology research will receive scant attention. Instead the focus will be on the labor-market implications of child care, which tends to be the primary domain of child care research in economics. The restriction to key contributions in economics is based both on objective criteria such as prominence of the article in the profession, as well as our own personal biases regarding methodology and topic. A more comprehensive review of the economics of child care is found in Blau. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Allard, Scott
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Program accessibility and stability are critical components of any effort to cultivate greater capacity among faith-based and community-based social service organizations. Working poor populations are more likely to benefit from programs if they are nearby, easily accessible, and operate with consistency. Yet, we know very little about where faith-based service organizations (FBOs) and secular nonprofits are located, or whether certain types of providers exhibit more stability than others. Drawing on unique survey data on nonprofit service providers, this paper compares the characteristics of FBOs and secular organizations in several urban and rural communities. FBOs that integrate faith into service delivery and secular nonprofit organizations are more accessible to poor populations than FBOs that do not integrate religious elements into service provision. At the same time, I find that large percentages of FBOs and secular nonprofits experience funding volatility and program instability each year. (author abstract)

    Program accessibility and stability are critical components of any effort to cultivate greater capacity among faith-based and community-based social service organizations. Working poor populations are more likely to benefit from programs if they are nearby, easily accessible, and operate with consistency. Yet, we know very little about where faith-based service organizations (FBOs) and secular nonprofits are located, or whether certain types of providers exhibit more stability than others. Drawing on unique survey data on nonprofit service providers, this paper compares the characteristics of FBOs and secular organizations in several urban and rural communities. FBOs that integrate faith into service delivery and secular nonprofit organizations are more accessible to poor populations than FBOs that do not integrate religious elements into service provision. At the same time, I find that large percentages of FBOs and secular nonprofits experience funding volatility and program instability each year. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Slack, Tim; Myers, Candice A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    This study examines the extent to which geographic variation in Food Stamp Program (FSP) participation is explained by place-based factors, with special attention to the case of the three poorest regions of the United States: Central Appalachia, the Texas Borderland, and the Lower Mississippi Delta. We use descriptive statistics and regression models to assess the prevalence and correlates of county-level FSP participation circa 2005. Our findings show that the economic distress that has long characterized Appalachia, the Borderland, and the Delta clearly translates into greater reliance on the FSP relative to other areas of the country. State-level effects and local-level variations in poverty, labor market conditions, population structure, human capital, and residential context explain much of this reality. Yet, even after taking all of these factors into account, these regional geographies remain home to particularly high FSP participation. Our findings underscore the importance of considering these regions as key cases of study in the stratification of American society and...

    This study examines the extent to which geographic variation in Food Stamp Program (FSP) participation is explained by place-based factors, with special attention to the case of the three poorest regions of the United States: Central Appalachia, the Texas Borderland, and the Lower Mississippi Delta. We use descriptive statistics and regression models to assess the prevalence and correlates of county-level FSP participation circa 2005. Our findings show that the economic distress that has long characterized Appalachia, the Borderland, and the Delta clearly translates into greater reliance on the FSP relative to other areas of the country. State-level effects and local-level variations in poverty, labor market conditions, population structure, human capital, and residential context explain much of this reality. Yet, even after taking all of these factors into account, these regional geographies remain home to particularly high FSP participation. Our findings underscore the importance of considering these regions as key cases of study in the stratification of American society and hold a variety of implications for public policy. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Black, Dan A.; Smith, Jeffery A.; Berger, Mark C.; Noel, Brett J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2003

    We examine the effect of the Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services system. This program  "profiles" Unemployment Insurance (UI)  claimants to  determine their probability of benefit exhaustion and then provides mandatory employment and training services to claimants with high predicted probabilities. Using a unique experimental design, we estimate that the program reduces mean weeks of UI benefit receipt by about 2.2 weeks, reduces mean UI benefits received by about $143, and increases subsequent earnings by over $1,050. Most of the effect results from a sharp increase in early UI exits in the treatment group relative to the control group. (author abstract)

    We examine the effect of the Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services system. This program  "profiles" Unemployment Insurance (UI)  claimants to  determine their probability of benefit exhaustion and then provides mandatory employment and training services to claimants with high predicted probabilities. Using a unique experimental design, we estimate that the program reduces mean weeks of UI benefit receipt by about 2.2 weeks, reduces mean UI benefits received by about $143, and increases subsequent earnings by over $1,050. Most of the effect results from a sharp increase in early UI exits in the treatment group relative to the control group. (author abstract)

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