Childcare and Receipt of Public Assistance, 1995–2001

Sandra L. Eyster, Education Statistics Services Institute
Christopher Chapman, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Daniel Princiotta, Education Statistics Services Institute

With the focus of 1996 welfare reform on parental employment and a concomitant increase in funding for nonparent childcare, it is likely that the percentage of poor children who participate in nonparent care has increased substantially since 1996, particularly in center-based care arrangements. Over time this increase may be mitigated by decreased access to childcare resulting from time limits on benefit receipt, sanctions for behavior that does not comply with state welfare laws, or simply being ineligible to receive benefits. We assess the effects of welfare reforms on the childcare experiences of poor children between 1995 and 2001 using data from the National Household Education Surveys Program. We examine whether the usage and characteristics of nonparent childcare arrangements vary over time, focusing on participation in non-parent care, receipt of financial assistance, cost, child to provider ratio and use of multiple arrangements. We control for child, family and household characteristics.

Presented in Session 168: Child Care and Early Childhood Education