Session: The Implications of Child Care Subsidy Stability and Program Rules (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

278 The Implications of Child Care Subsidy Stability and Program Rules

Sunday, January 19, 2020: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Independence BR F, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Inequality, Poverty, and Social Welfare Policy (IP&SWP)
Symposium Organizer:
Jaeseung Kim, PhD, University of Chicago
Alejandra Pilarz, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Managing the dual responsibilities of work and child care is particularly challenging for low-income families. Child care subsidies assist low-income families in maintaining employment and accessing quality child care. However, research finds that subsidy use is often short-term, raising concerns of researchers and policymakers about achieving the programs' dual goals of securing employment and promoting healthy child development. Three papers in this symposium advance knowledge on how state child care policy or/and child care market related factors have a influence on (in)stability in child care subsidy receipt and how the subsidy (in)stability affects families' economic outcomes. The papers also discuss implications of recent policy changes on improving access to child care and subsidy stability. The first paper examines state policy factors related to subsidy instability. The second paper investigates the impact of the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) reauthorization on the supply of child care. The third paper discusses the impacts of subsidy (in)stability on material hardship. Papers utilize diverse data sources (administrative and survey) and multiple levels of analysis (individual and state-level), providing a comprehensive picture of child care subsidy programs.

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.

* noted as presenting author
Child Care Subsidy Program Rules and Stability in Child Care Subsidy Receipt: A State-Level Analysis
Yoonsook Ha, PhD, MSSW, Boston University; Jaeseung Kim, PhD, University of South Carolina; Amy Yao, Boston University; Kendall Swenson, PhD, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(WITHDRAWN) The Ccdbg Reauthorization and the Supply of Child Care and Child Care Subsidy System
Yoonsook Ha, PhD, MSSW, Boston University; Pamela Joshi, PhD, Brandeis University; Kate Schneider, PhD, Brandeis University; Jocelyn Bowne, PhD, The MA department of early education and care
Child Care Subsidy Instability and Material Hardship
Jaeseung Kim, PhD, University of South Carolina; Julia Henly, PhD, University of Chicago
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