The first paper investigates how state-level subsidy program rules influence subsidy instability in 38 states. Using multiple data sources from 2013 and 2014, the study considers variation in subsidy program rules, family-level instability, and state socioeconomic circumstances, and how those variation affect overall subsidy instability. Preliminary findings suggest that state funding level, income eligibility cutoff, using a waitlist, composition of subsidy users (White vs. non-White) are associated with subsidy instability. This study provides implications on how state subsidy program rules may shape child care subsidy instability.
The second paper provides the first evidence on the impacts of CCDBG reauthorization on the changes in the supply of child care. Using Massachusetts longitudinal administrative data from 2012 to 2018, this study explores the patterns of changes in the number of licensed providers (e.g., composition, geographical locations, and quality of care) before and after the CCDBG policy changes in Massachusetts. Preliminary results from the 2012-2015 data suggest that the number of licensed providers decreased over time, particularly for family child care providers, providers serving infants/toddlers, and providers serving in rural areas. Findings inform policy strategies for attracting high-quality child care providers into the subsidy system.
The third paper examines the extent to which subsidy (in)stability affects the risk of material hardship and further explores whether informal social support buffers the negative impact of subsidy instability. Using a random sample of 543 subsidy clients who were new program entrants in 2011 or 2012, the study finds that those with intermittent subsidy use and those with no program use in the prior 12 months experienced elevated risk of material hardship compared to those with continuous use. Informal social support is associated with reduced risk of material hardship, particularly for those with intermittent subsidy use. These findings suggest that policy efforts to improve subsidy stability are critical and may have positive economic impacts.