Article

The Impact of Child Care Subsidy Use on Child Care Quality.

Georgetown University.
Early Childhood Research Quarterly (Impact Factor: 1.67). 07/2011; 26(3):320-331. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2010.11.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In 2008, the federal government allotted $7 billion in child care subsidies to low-income families through the state-administered Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), now the government's largest child care program (US DHHS, 2008). Although subsidies reduce costs for families and facilitate parental employment, it is unclear how they impact the quality of care families purchase. This study investigates the impact of government subsidization on parents' selection of child care quality using multivariate regression and propensity score matching approaches to account for differential selection into subsidy receipt and care arrangements. Data were drawn from the Child Care Supplement to the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (CCS-FFCWS), conducted in 2002 and 2003 in 14 of the 20 FFCWS cities when focal children were 3 years old (N = 456). Our results indicate that families who used subsidies chose higher quality care than comparable mothers who did not use subsidies, but only because subsidy recipients were more likely to use center-based care. Subgroup analyses revealed that families using subsidies purchased higher-quality home-based care but lower-quality center-based care than comparable non-recipients. Findings suggest that child care subsidies may serve as more than a work support for low-income families by enhancing the quality of nonmaternal care children experience but that this effect is largely attributable to recipients' using formal child care arrangements (versus kith and kin care) more often than non-recipients.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
97 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study is the first to test whether receipt of a federal child care subsidy is associated with children of immigrants' school readiness skills. Using nationally representative data (n ≈ 2,900), this study estimates the associations between subsidy receipt at age 4 and kindergarten cognitive and social outcomes, for children of immigrant versus native-born parents. Among children of immigrants, subsidized center-based care (vs. subsidized and unsubsidized home-based care) was positively linked with reading. Among children of native-born parents, those in subsidized center care displayed poorer math skills than those in unsubsidized centers, and more externalizing problems than those in unsubsidized home-based care.
    Child Development 08/2014; · 4.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Growing evidence suggests that child care instability is associated with child behavior problems, but existing studies confound different types of instability; use small, convenience samples; and/or control insufficiently for selection into child care arrangements. This study uses survey and calendar data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study to estimate the associations between three different types of child care instability—long-term instability, multiplicity, and the use of back-up arrangements—and children's internalizing, externalizing, and prosocial behaviors at age 3, controlling for a large number of child and family background characteristics. Long-term instability between birth and age 3, as measured in both the survey and calendar data, is associated with higher levels of externalizing behavior problems. Current multiplicity at age 3 (as measured by survey data) is associated with higher levels of both externalizing and internalizing behavior problems, but stable multiplicity over time (as measured using calendar data) is not. Finally, the use of back-up arrangements at age 3 is associated with higher levels of internalizing behaviors. We find no consistent differences in these results by the timing of instability, child gender, family income, or type of care.
    Early Childhood Research Quarterly 01/2014; · 1.67 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The evidence to date on the federal child-care subsidy program's effect on preschool child-care quality is mixed. However, an as-yet untested outcome of subsidy receipt is subsequent child-care choice. Specifically, it is possible that subsidy receipt in toddlerhood increases the likelihood of attending other publicly funded preschool programs-Head Start and public pre-k-that provide the highest quality care available to low-income families. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (n ≈ 2,100; approximately 2 years old), this study finds that subsidy receipt during toddlerhood predicts greater use of the other forms of publicly funded care in the preschool year, although only if the earlier subsidy is used in a center. These results highlight a previously unconsidered potential benefit of the subsidy program.
    Child Development 06/2014; · 4.92 Impact Factor

Preview

Download
2 Downloads
Available from