Outcomes for Low-Income Families Receiving Child Care Subsidies in IL, MD, TX - Deanna Schexnayder

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Principal Investigator: Deanna T. Schexnayder
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Child Care Bureau
Research Partners: Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago; U.S. Census Bureau; National Center for Children in Poverty; The Jacob France Institute, University of Baltimore
Project Duration: October 2004 - March 2007

Although billions of dollars are spent each year on child care subsidies to help low-income, working families, researchers are only beginning to understand whether and how child care subsidies influence employment. Recent research, funded by the Child Care Bureau and conducted by the principal investigators in this study, has demonstrated that the child care subsidy (CCS) plays an important role in supporting family self-sufficiency by increasing employment duration among current and former Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients.

The project proposes to extend this work by analyzing subsidy use, and employment and welfare outcomes among all low-income families in Illinois, Maryland, and Texas—not just those with TANF histories. The primary questions are how employment and welfare outcomes differ between those who use
child care subsidies and those who do not, and how these outcomes differ for different groups of low-income families. The researchers will also use the fact that child care subsidy policies vary by state to explore how outcomes vary by policies and practices, thereby advancing our understanding of the contexts that promote family well-being. By collaborating with the U.S. Census Bureau and using individual-level census records, the researchers will be able to overcome past data restrictions that have impeded study of the entire low-income population in a state.

The project will result in a more comprehensive model of CCS use that will allow policymakers to better estimate CCS need and to understand the relation between take-up and outcomes. The researchers will share the model and benchmarks with interested states at a roundtable discussion hosted by Child Care and Early Education Research Connections.


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