The Impact of Child Care Subsidies on Low-Income Single Parents: An Examination of Child Care Expenditures and Family Finances
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Evidence regarding the degree to which child care subsidies support low-income, employed parents’ financial resources is lacking. This study used two samples to evaluate the impact of child care subsidies on parents’ child care payments and the percentage of household income spent on child care. Cross-sectional and longitudinal multivariate models were supplemented with descriptive information on parents’ perceptions of the impacts of child care costs and child care subsidies on family finances. Child care subsidies were found to reduce child care costs by a small but statistically significant amount. Approximately half of parents who received a subsidy reported that it positively affected their financial well-being, allowing them to afford non-child care services, save money, and pay bills or debts.
KeywordsChild care Cost Finances Subsidy
The author would like to thank Sandra Hofferth for her direction in the preparation of this manuscript. Appreciation is also extended to Stephanie Grutzmacher, Elaine Anderson, Behnosh Najafi, and the anonymous reviewers for their insightful reviews. Preparation of this manuscript was generously supported by grant number 90YE0090 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the author and do not represent the official views of the funding agency, nor does publication in any way constitute an endorsement by the funding agency.
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