Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 49–68 | Cite as

Child day care and the employment of AFDC recipients with preschool children

  • Gary L. Bowen
  • Peter A. Neenan


In the context of recent federal initiatives to increase the affordability, accessibility, and quality of child care for the working poor, this article examines the degree to which expanding the supply of publicly subsidized child care in local communities may promote, through employment, the independence from welfare and economic self-sufficiency of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) recipients with preschool-aged children. In a telephone survey of a random sample of 232 AFDC recipients who participated in a larger federally sponsored demonstration project in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, many respondents reported the lack of available child care as a barrier either to employment or to the attainment of a preferred job. Although it is concluded that increases in the availability of subsidized child care should be a component of any strategy to increase the level of employment participation, continuity, and success for this population, the results underscore the need for a multi-faceted intervention strategy to reduce the welfare dependency and to increase the economic self-sufficiency of these parents. Implications for further research are suggested.

Key words

AFDC child care employment low-income families welfare reform 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc., Inc 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary L. Bowen
    • 1
  • Peter A. Neenan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill

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