Predictors of Child Care Subsidy Use
In 2004, spending on child care subsides from the main U.S. public funding sources—Child Care and Development Fund and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families—reached more than $11 billion (Field Initiated Child Care Research Projects, 2004). A growing body of research, employing a range of methodologies and data sources, has begun to identify the characteristics and child care arrangements of low-income families and children most likely to participate in subsidy programs. Although child care subsidy research is still a young field, preliminary findings on predictors of child care subsidy use are emerging. This research brief summarizes the Research Connections literature review of the same title, Predictors of Child Care Subsidy Use, which examines recent research addressing the basic question: What family and child care characteristics are associated with the use of child care subsidies? That is, among eligible families, what factors tend to predict which families will actually use assistance to help pay for the care and education their children need while parents work or participate in education and training? Given that the rate of subsidy use remains relatively low, policymakers want to know what distinguishes the families that use these services.
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