HHS/ASPE. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.Background

ASPE ISSUE BRIEF

Estimates of Child Care Eligibility and Receipt for Fiscal Year 2006

By:
ASPE Staff

April 2010

This ASPE Issue Brief on federal child care assistance eligibility and receipt shows that approximately one out of six (17 percent) federally-eligible children received subsidized care through CCDF or related government funding streams in an average month in fiscal year 2006.

This Issue Brief is available on the Internet at:
http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/10/cc-eligibility/ib.shtml

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Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Child Care Estimates Based on Federal Eligibility Parameters
  3. Child Care Estimates Based on State Eligibility Rules
  4. Conclusion

Appendices:

  1. Changes in Child Care Subsidy Eligibility and Receipt over Time
  2. Child Care Eligibility and Receipt - Tables

Endnotes

I.  Overview

This ASPE Issue Brief details estimates of federal child care assistance eligibility and receipt for 2006.  In fiscal year 2006, federal and state spending totaled roughly $12.2 billion to support child care services and activities to improve the affordability, availability, and quality of child care for low-income working families through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and related government funding streams.[1]  Primarily, CCDF funds are used to subsidize child care services through vouchers.

Approximately one out of six (17 percent) federally-eligible children received subsidized care through CCDF or related government funding streams in an average month in fiscal year 2006 (see Table 1).  We define federally-eligible children to include all children who are potentially eligible to receive subsidized care based on the federal eligibility parameters of CCDF.  Federal statute permits states to provide child care subsidies to qualifying families with incomes below 85 percent of state median income.  Within federal eligibility parameters, states have flexibility in setting more restrictive rules for income eligibility.  This Issue Brief also explores estimates of child care assistance eligibility and receipt based on state-defined eligibility rules, as well as the age and poverty status of eligible children and those who receive assistance.

Table 1:
Number of Children Potentially Eligible and Percent of Eligible Children Receiving Child Care Subsidies, Average Monthly, 2006
  Children Potentially Eligible for CCDF Under Federal Parameters Children Receiving Subsidies Percent of Potentially Eligible Children Receiving Subsidies Ratio of Potentially Eligible Children Receiving Subsidies
All Children 14,574,000 2,506,000 17% 1 in 6

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II. Child Care Estimates Based on Federal Eligibility Parameters

Seventeen percent of federally-eligible children received subsidized care through CCDF or related government funding streams in fiscal year 2006.  This number is based on estimates of the number of children eligible for child care under federal eligibility parameters and the number of children receiving subsidized care.

An estimated 14.57 million children were potentially eligible for child care assistance under the federal eligibility parameters of CCDF in an average month in 2006 (see Table 1).[2] Federal eligibility parameters include:

Figure 1 shows a breakdown of federally-eligible children by age and poverty status.

Figure 1:
Number of Children Potentially Eligible Under Federal Parameters,
by Age and Poverty Status (1,000s), Average Monthly, 2006

Figure 1: Number of Children Potentially Eligible Under Federal Parameters, by Age and Poverty Status (1,000s), Average Monthly, 2006. See text for explanation. See LongDesc for data.

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An estimated 2.51 million children received child care services through CCDF or related government funding streams in an average month in fiscal year 2006 (see Table 1).[5] While the majority of these children, 1.76 million, received assistance through CCDF, this estimate of receipt also includes roughly 748,000 children with subsidies funded directly through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program or the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), and state expenditures claimed as TANF maintenance of effort (MOE) funds.[6]

Some children were more likely to receive services than others.  Eligible children from the lowest-income families were the most likely to receive child care assistance.  Roughly 39 percent of federally-eligible children from families with incomes below 100 percent of poverty and 23 percent of those from families with incomes between 101 percent and 150 percent of poverty were served (see Figure 2).[7]  By comparison, 4 percent of federally-eligible children from families with incomes greater than 150 percent of poverty were served.  In the case of families with one adult and two children, eligible children from families with incomes greater than 150 percent of poverty would include those from families with an income greater than roughly $24,400 but less than 85 percent of their state’s SMI.

Figure 2:
Percentage of Children Potentially Eligibile Under Federal Parameters that Receive Child Care Subsidies,
by Poverty Status, Average monthly, 2006

Figure 2: Percentage of children Potentially Eligibile Under Federal Parameters that Receive Child Care Subsidies, by Poverty Status, Average monthly, 2006. See text for explanation. Data is All Children = 17%, less than or equal to 100% Poverty = 39%, 101-150% Poverty = 23%, and greater than 150% poverty and Less than 85% SMI = 4%.

Figures 3a and 3b show that federally-eligible children between ages 1 and 4 were much more likely to receive subsidized care than eligible children older than age 5.  In 2006, a quarter of federally-eligible preschool-aged children were served (including 14 percent of infants, 26 percent of children ages 1-2, and 28 percent of children ages 3-4).  By comparison, 15 percent of federally-eligible children ages 6-9 and 7 percent of federally-eligible children ages 10-12 received subsidized care.  Figures 3a and 3b also show differences in the proportion of federally-eligible children served by family income and by family income and age.

Figure 3:
Percentage of Children Potentially Eligible Under Federal Parameters that Receive Child Care Subsidies,
by Age and Poverty Status, Average Monthly, 2006

Figure 3: Percentage of Children Potentially Eligible Under Federal Parameters that Receive Child Care Subsidies, by Age and Poverty Status, Average Monthly, 2006. See text for explanation and LONGDESC for data.

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Figure 3: Percentage of Children Potentially Eligible Under Federal Parameters that Receive Child Care Subsidies, by Age and Poverty Status, Average Monthly, 2006. See text for explanation and LONGDESC for data.

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III. Child Care Estimates Based on State Eligibility Rules

Within the federal eligibility parameters of CCDF, states have flexibility in setting income eligibility guidelines, parental co-payment fees, reimbursement rates to child care providers, target populations receiving priority for services, the number of work or education/training hours required, and the length of certification periods.[8]  Based on state-defined eligibility rules for fiscal year 2006, the initial income eligibility limits for three person families ranged from about $18,200 to $46,200.[9]  Some states allow counties and other localities to set income eligibility limits lower than the limit set by the state.  Some states also allow higher income eligibility limits for families already receiving child care subsidies. Federal regulations require states to submit CCDF Plans that outline state-defined eligibility rules for CCDF funds to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services every two years.

An estimated 14.57 million children were federally-eligible for child care assistance in an average month in 2006.  Under state-defined eligibility rules, an estimated 8.01 million children were eligible for child care assistance in an average month in 2006 (see Figure 4).[10]

Figure 4:
Number of Children Eligible and Number of Children Receiving Child Care Subsidies (1,000s),
Average Monthly, 2006

Figure 4. Number of Children Eligible and Number of Children Receiving Child Care Subsidies (1,000s), Average Monthly, 2006. See text for explanation. Data is children eligible under federal parameters = 14,574, children eligible under CCDF state-defined rules = 8008, and children receiving subsidies = 2,506.

Figure 5 shows the extent to which children eligible for child care subsidies based on federal parameters were eligible under the rules defined by their state of residence.  Slightly more than half (55 percent) of federally-eligible children were eligible for subsidies under state-defined rules.  Almost all (95 percent) federally-eligible children from families with incomes less than 100 percent of poverty were eligible under state-defined eligibility rules.  By comparison, less than a quarter (22 percent) of federally-eligible children from families with incomes greater than 150 percent of poverty were eligible for services in their state.  This Figure shows only the percentage of children eligible for subsidies based on federal parameters that also were eligible under state rules and does not indicate rates of service.

Figure 5:
Percentage of Children Potentially Eligible Under Federal Parametres that are also Eligible Under CCDF-Defined Rules,
by Poverty Status, Average Monthly, 2006

Figure 5: Percentage of Children Potentially Eligible Under Federal Parametres that are also Eligible Under CCDF-Defined Rules, by Poverty Status, Average Monthly, 2006. See text for explanation, see LONGDESC for data.

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Approximately 31 percent of all children eligible under state-defined rules received subsidized care through CCDF or related government funding streams in fiscal year 2006 (see Figures 6a and 6b).  As was the case when considering federally-eligible children, children eligible for assistance under state-defined rules who were between the ages of 1 and 4 (46 percent of children ages 1-2 and 50 percent of children ages 3-4) or from families with incomes below poverty (41 percent of all eligible children from families with incomes below 100 percent of poverty) were the most likely to be served.

Figure 6:
Percentage of Chlidren Eligible Under CCDF State-Defined Rules that Receive Child Care Subsidies, by Age and Poverty Status, Average Monthly, 2006

Figure 6: Percentage of Chlidren Eligible Under CCDF State-Defined Rules that Receive Child Care Subsidies, by Age and Poverty Status, Average Monthly, 2006. See text for explanation and LONGDESC for data.

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Figure 6b: Percentage of Chlidren Eligible Under CCDF State-Defined Rules that Receive Child Care Subsidies, by Age and Poverty Status, Average Monthly, 2006. See text for explanation and LONGDESC for data.

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IV. Conclusion

Based on federal parameters that determine permissible eligibility, an estimated 14.57 million children were potentially eligible to receive child care subsidies in 2006. Roughly 2.51 million children, or one out of six (17 percent) federally-eligible children, received subsidized care through CCDF or related government funding streams in an average month of fiscal year 2006, with rates of coverage varying by age and poverty status.

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Appendix I.
Changes in Child Care Subsidy Eligibility and Receipt over Time

Improvements over Previous Estimates

ASPE has produced estimates of eligibility for and receipt of subsidized care through CCDF and related government funding streams for several years.  ASPE has sought to make continuous improvements to the estimation model and methodology over time, and, when possible, these improvements have been applied retroactively to previous years’ estimates.[11]

As a result of improvements made to the Current Population Survey (CPS), the 2006 estimate is able to include all unmarried parents living with their children when determining the eligible population.  In previous estimates, only one of the unmarried parents could be considered in the eligibility determination process because of data limitations.  Had the improvements made to the CPS been unavailable for the 2006 estimate, the number of children estimated to be federally-eligible for subsidies would have been 516,000 children higher (an increase of about 4 percent), and the percent served would have been 0.6 percentage points lower (16.6 percent instead of 17.2 percent).  A similar increase in the number of children estimated to be eligible for subsidies based on state rules would occur if the estimation was done counting the income of unmarried partners as allowed under the improvements made to the CPS.

Trends in Eligibility and Receipt Without Improvements to the 2006 Current Population Survey

Appendix Figure 1 displays the number of children federally-eligible for subsidies and the number of children receiving subsidies during the period 1999-2006.[12]  The number of children eligible under federal parameters in Appendix Figure 1 is calculated without using improvements in the CPS regarding unmarried parents that are only available for the 2006 estimate.  Any trends in eligibility and receipt over time should be interpreted with caution due to changes in estimation methods, measurement error, and demographic shifts affecting eligibility.

Appendix Figure 1:
Number of Children Federally-Eligible and Number of Children Receiving Child Care Subsidies
Considering Changes Added to the Current Population Survey for 2006,
Average Monthly, 1999-2006 (Millions)

Appendix Figure 1: Number of Children Federally-Eligible and Number of Children Receiving Child Care Subsidies Considering Changes Added to the Current Population Survey for 2006, Average Monthly, 1999-2006 (Millions). See text for explanation and LONGDESC for data.

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* Appendix Figure 1 was estimated without using recent improvements in the CPS for determining eligibility, which were unavailable prior to estimate year 2006.  With the improvements, the estimate of the number of federally-eligible children in 2006 is 14.6 million (see Table 1 on page 1).

Appendix Figure 2 shows the total number of children, regardless of child care eligibility, estimated to have been living in households with incomes below 100 percent and 150 percent of poverty thresholds from 1999 to 2006.  This figure has been included for reference.

Appendix Figure 2:
Number of Children Under Age 13 Living in Families with Annual Incomes Below 100% and 150% Poverty Thresholds,
1999-2006 (Millions)

Appendix Figure 2: Number of Children Under Age 13 Living in Families with Annual Incomes Below 100% and 150% Poverty Thresholds, 1999-2006 (Millions). See text for explanation and LONGDESC for data.

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Source: ASPE tabulations from the Current Population Survey, ASEC

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Appendix II.
Child Care Eligibility and Receipt - Tables

Appendix Table 1:
Number of Children Potentially Eligible for Child Care Subsidies under Federal Parameters,
Average Monthly, Calendar Year 2006
Age of Child Parent is Student Parent Employed 1-19 Hours Parent Employed 20+ Hours Family Income <=100% Poverty Family Income 101-150% Poverty Family Income >150% Poverty All Eligible Children
0 110,840 89,350 813,510 306,250 209,940 497,500 1,013,690
1 142,480 68,460 835,390 314,770 225,050 506,510 1,046,320
2 83,220 99,990 911,690 345,140 244,130 505,630 1,094,900
3 84,630 65,960 1,014,880 352,090 232,690 580,680 1,165,470
4 92,960 79,580 922,200 303,370 230,280 561,090 1,094,740
5 96,630 76,960 984,930 293,730 267,990 596,800 1,158,520
6-9 239,300 307,270 3,925,460 1,143,550 940,340 2,388,150 4,472,040
10-12 156,330 210,510 3,043,880 747,330 751,360 1,912,020 3,410,720
13+ ** ** 103,610 ** ** 57,570 117,860
All 1,017,500 1,001,220 12,555,500 3,827,390 3,140,900 7,605,960 14,574,260
** Cells with estimated populations under 50,000 are not shown
Totals may not sum due to rounding
See Notes on Appendix II Tables on page 14
Source: Current Population Survey, ASEC, analyzed with the TRIM3 Microsimulation Model

Appendix Table 2:
Number of Children Eligible for Child Care Subsidies under CCDF State-Defined Rules,
Average Monthly, Calendar Year 2006
Age of Child Parent is Student Parent Employed 1-19 Hours Parent Employed 20+ Hours Family Income <=100% Poverty Family Income 101-150% Poverty Family Income >150% Poverty All Eligible Children
0 91,550 ** 460,550 290,340 184,470 104,220 579,030
1 119,490 ** 455,440 297,880 190,160 114,580 602,620
2 73,650 ** 527,120 319,640 196,540 111,280 627,470
3 72,310 ** 568,870 341,740 198,050 127,590 667,380
4 75,440 ** 510,840 288,240 201,940 119,140 609,310
5 76,930 ** 550,000 279,830 228,760 148,870 657,460
6-9 183,110 108,430 2,124,780 1,072,720 822,490 521,100 2,416,320
10-12 127,390 77,080 1,582,640 721,760 664,390 400,960 1,787,100
13+ ** ** ** ** ** ** 61,110
All 829,310 348,890 6,829,610 3,630,670 2,712,690 1,664,430 8,007,800
** Cells with estimated populations under 50,000 are not shown
Totals may not sum due to rounding
See Notes on Appendix II Tables on page 14
Source: Current Population Survey, ASEC, analyzed with the TRIM3 Microsimulation Model

Appendix Table 3:
Estimated Number of Children Receiving Child Care Subsidies through CCDF, SSBG, and TANF-Direct,
Average Monthly, Fiscal Year 2006
Age of child Children Served by CCDF Estimated Number of Children Served by CCDF, SSBG, and TANF-Direct
<=100%
Poverty
101-150%
Poverty
>150%
Poverty
Total <=100%
Poverty
101-150%
Poverty
>150%
Poverty
Total
0 68,270 23,370 6,680 98,330 97,340 33,330 9,520 140,190
1 116,180 47,740 16,040 179,960 165,640 68,070 22,870 256,580
2 131,900 61,120 22,710 215,730 188,060 87,140 32,380 307,580
3 132,900 66,180 26,350 225,430 189,490 94,360 37,570 321,420
4 125,570 67,370 27,930 220,860 179,030 96,050 39,820 314,900
5 104,700 54,940 21,980 181,620 149,280 78,330 31,340 258,950
6-9 266,690 137,190 52,450 456,330 380,240 195,600 74,790 650,630
10-12 103,620 51,110 18,270 173,000 147,740 72,870 26,040 246,660
13+ 3,900 1,990 560 6,450 5,560 2,830 800 9,190
All 1,053,730 511,000 192,970 1,757,700 1,502,390 728,580 275,140 2,506,110
Totals may not sum due to rounding
See Notes on Appendix II Tables on page 14
Source: Form-801 CCDF Administrative Records, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

Appendix Table 4:
Number of Children Potentially Eligible for Child Care Subsidies by State,
Two Year Average Monthly Estimates, Calendar Year 2005-2006
State Children Potentially Eligible Under Federal Parameters
(Family Incomes <85% SMI)
Children Eligible Under State-Defined Rules
Estimate 95% Confidence Interval, 2-Year Average
(Low-High)
Estimate 95% Confidence Interval, 2-Year Average
(Low-High)
Alabama 181,490 146,690 216,300 92,150 67,090 117,200
Alaska 34,620 28,370 40,870 26,410 20,920 31,910
Arizona 304,200 255,730 352,660 176,890 139,540 214,240
Arkansas 124,620 101,480 147,750 52,190 37,050 67,340
California 1,760,110 1,642,420 1,877,800 1,177,390 1,080,330 1,274,450
Colorado 229,580 187,930 271,230 153,110 118,810 187,420
Connecticut 166,000 135,660 196,340 82,040 60,440 103,630
Delaware 45,550 37,630 53,470 24,660 18,760 30,560
District of Columbia 25,220 19,860 30,570 25,350 19,980 30,710
Florida 816,420 740,420 892,410 369,150 317,370 420,930
Georgia 483,440 426,220 540,660 236,980 196,350 277,610
Hawaii 71,560 60,180 82,930 59,410 49,000 69,830
Idaho 65,490 53,280 77,700 26,020 18,220 33,830
Illinois 653,170 585,110 721,230 394,670 341,180 448,160
Indiana 321,910 275,230 368,590 95,820 69,860 121,790
Iowa 162,560 134,580 190,540 57,070 40,180 73,950
Kansas 157,240 130,510 183,980 86,880 66,780 106,990
Kentucky 170,960 137,220 204,710 97,660 71,910 123,410
Louisiana 198,540 162,320 234,770 163,140 130,160 196,130
Maine 46,050 35,340 56,760 45,310 34,680 55,930
Maryland 307,850 261,210 354,490 139,020 107,180 170,850
Massachusetts 262,290 220,280 304,290 84,720 60,510 108,940
Michigan 475,570 418,420 532,720 186,350 150,070 222,630
Minnesota 299,130 254,460 343,800 99,970 73,610 126,320
Mississippi 149,560 123,750 175,370 118,970 95,820 142,120
Missouri 290,130 245,130 335,130 76,680 53,100 100,260
Montana 37,110 29,590 44,630 14,420 9,680 19,160
Nebraska 97,160 80,440 113,870 16,670 9,580 23,750
Nevada 126,260 103,200 149,320 110,710 89,050 132,370
New Hampshire 56,120 45,130 67,120 17,850 11,550 24,140
New Jersey 428,610 373,660 483,570 175,670 139,940 211,390
New Mexico 91,840 73,520 110,150 63,740 48,380 79,110
New York 850,430 771,100 929,760 571,140 505,630 636,650
North Carolina 467,340 410,360 524,310 328,930 280,770 377,100
North Dakota 28,650 23,270 34,030 19,420 14,950 23,880
Ohio 676,330 608,600 744,060 374,780 323,650 425,910
Oklahoma 141,940 113,290 170,580 173,180 141,690 204,680
Oregon 138,290 108,460 168,120 75,940 53,650 98,220
Pennsylvania 587,630 524,090 651,170 328,120 280,180 376,060
Rhode Island 45,640 36,330 54,940 28,440 21,030 35,860
South Carolina 228,730 189,760 267,700 123,340 94,350 152,330
South Dakota 40,370 33,810 46,930 27,400 21,940 32,850
Tennessee 269,290 226,470 312,110 121,070 92,010 150,130
Texas 1,172,460 1,075,340 1,269,580 586,630 517,020 656,240
Utah 155,810 132,950 178,680 75,890 59,680 92,110
Vermont 24,560 19,260 29,850 12,470 8,660 16,290
Virginia 380,120 329,330 430,900 225,520 186,000 265,030
Washington 288,230 242,470 333,990 172,210 136,500 207,910
West Virginia 58,240 46,180 70,300 37,320 27,600 47,030
Wisconsin 288,840 244,200 333,480 156,270 123,010 189,520
Wyoming 20,030 15,660 24,400 15,220 11,400 19,050
See Notes on Appendix II Tables on page 14
Source: Current Population Survey, ASEC, analyzed with the TRIM3 Microsimulation Model

Appendix Table 5:
Number of Children Potentially Eligible for Child Care Subsidies under Federal Parameters
Living in Families with Incomes Under 100% and 150% Poverty by State,
Two Year Average Monthly Estimates, Calendar Year 2005-2006
State Children Potentially Eligible Under 100% Poverty Children Potentially Eligible Under 150% Poverty
Estimate 95% Confidence Interval, 2-Year Average
(Low-High)
Estimate 95% Confidence Interval, 2-Year Average
(Low-High)
Alabama 68,840 47,130 90,550 111,200 83,740 138,670
Alaska 5,830 3,210 8,460 13,120 9,210 17,040
Arizona 95,010 67,650 122,370 158,830 123,400 194,250
Arkansas 40,330 26,970 53,690 69,300 51,890 86,700
California 414,600 356,390 472,810 800,400 719,980 880,820
Colorado 47,070 27,830 66,320 89,390 62,990 115,780
Connecticut 27,500 14,920 40,090 51,050 33,930 68,170
Delaware 8,790 5,230 12,350 15,990 11,210 20,770
District of Columbia 11,310 7,670 14,940 16,170 11,850 20,500
Florida 202,250 163,770 240,730 390,740 337,510 443,980
Georgia 176,120 141,010 211,240 273,000 229,490 316,510
Hawaii 13,740 8,630 18,840 26,940 19,820 34,050
Idaho 15,110 9,140 21,080 36,980 27,720 46,240
Illinois 151,960 118,450 185,470 278,700 233,540 323,860
Indiana 84,650 60,250 109,060 143,700 112,040 175,370
Iowa 42,370 27,790 56,950 76,960 57,420 96,500
Kansas 39,800 26,050 53,550 70,120 51,990 88,240
Kentucky 61,330 40,830 81,820 107,060 80,130 133,990
Louisiana 85,840 61,700 109,980 146,680 115,310 178,040
Maine 10,530 5,340 15,730 22,190 14,690 29,690
Maryland 66,650 44,460 88,850 111,660 83,050 140,270
Massachusetts 33,730 18,410 49,050 74,350 51,640 97,060
Michigan 119,060 89,960 148,150 202,320 164,550 240,100
Minnesota 40,290 23,470 57,120 85,310 60,930 109,690
Mississippi 69,030 51,240 86,820 107,500 85,450 129,550
Missouri 67,420 45,290 89,550 134,010 103,000 165,020
Montana 13,990 9,330 18,650 23,200 17,220 29,190
Nebraska 13,650 7,240 20,060 32,110 22,310 41,900
Nevada 22,490 12,580 32,400 54,540 39,160 69,920
New Hampshire 6,080 2,390 9,770 14,160 8,540 19,770
New Jersey 66,320 44,230 88,410 148,800 115,880 181,720
New Mexico 39,860 27,620 52,100 65,910 50,300 81,530
New York 249,460 205,810 293,100 416,780 360,590 472,970
North Carolina 150,600 117,640 183,570 250,170 207,920 292,430
North Dakota 6,840 4,170 9,520 14,390 10,530 18,250
Ohio 185,790 149,500 222,080 314,560 267,590 361,530
Oklahoma 46,790 30,120 63,460 83,710 61,520 105,900
Oregon 40,560 24,180 56,930 80,680 57,730 103,640
Pennsylvania 152,250 119,350 185,140 266,980 223,640 310,330
Rhode Island 10,590 6,030 15,140 18,250 12,300 24,210
South Carolina 82,070 58,310 105,830 135,790 105,420 166,160
South Dakota 8,750 5,630 11,860 17,210 12,860 21,570
Tennessee 72,120 49,590 94,650 152,980 120,380 185,570
Texas 379,440 323,200 435,680 722,870 645,840 799,910
Utah 42,390 30,180 54,590 72,010 56,200 87,820
Vermont 3,290 1,310 5,260 6,860 4,020 9,700
Virginia 76,390 53,220 99,560 175,750 140,760 210,730
Washington 53,660 33,540 73,780 126,380 95,720 157,030
West Virginia 28,180 19,720 36,640 44,960 34,320 55,600
Wisconsin 77,050 53,530 100,580 127,810 97,660 157,960
Wyoming 5,860 3,460 8,250 9,620 6,560 12,680
See Notes on Appendix II Tables on page 14
Source: Current Population Survey, ASEC, analyzed with the TRIM3 Microsimulation Model

Notes on Appendix II Tables

Poverty Status: In Appendix Tables 1, 2, 3, and 5, poverty status is based on 2006 poverty thresholds published by the U.S. Census Bureau, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division.  Since state-submitted Form-801 CCDF Administrative Records of subsidy reports recipients’ monthly income, the Census Bureau threshold is divided by twelve to create a comparable monthly threshold.  Due to the source and limitations of data, the family income used to estimate poverty status of children who receive subsidies is calculated differently than for children who are eligible for subsidies.  Recipient poverty status is based on family income used to determine child care subsidy eligibility, as reported by the state on Form-801 CCDF Administrative Records for fiscal year 2006.  Family income is reported after any relevant income disregards have been applied.  Poverty status of eligible children is determined based on full family income reported to the Current Population Survey for calendar year 2006 prior to application of any relevant income disregard.

Parent is Employed or Student Status: In Appendix Tables 1 and 2, “parent is student” status indicates that an eligible recipient lives in a household with a parent who is not employed because he or she is in school.  Eligible recipients living with an employed parent who is also in school would not be included in the “parent is student” category.  In the case of multiple parent households, children are categorized by the parent with the least amount of employment hours.  For example, if an eligible child has one parent working 40 hours per week and another parent working 18 hours per week, the child will be categorized as “parent employed 1-19 hours.”  Eligible recipients living with a parent who is employed and a parent who is not employed because he or she is in school would be included in the “parent is student” category.

State by State Estimates of Eligibility:  In Appendix Table 4, the estimate of potentially eligible children under federal parameters does not consider state-allowable income disregards when determining whether a child’s family income is below 85 percent of SMI.  In some states, income disregards could lead to a higher estimate of children eligible under state-defined rules than under federal parameters.  In Appendix Table 5, some children from families below 150 percent of poverty are ineligible for subsidies because their family income exceeds 85 percent of SMI. In Appendix Tables 4 and 5, the two year average monthly estimates for years 2005 and 2006 use the state median incomes published in February 2005, the most recent data available to the states at the time they were preparing their FY 2006-2007 state plans.

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Endnotes

1.  The estimated $12.2 billion spent through CCDF and related government funding streams in fiscal year 2006 includes an estimated expenditure of $6.8 billion in federal CCDF funds (including the Child Care and Development Block Grant, the Child Care Entitlement to States, and transfers from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Block Grant (TANF) to CCDF), $2.5 billion in state matching and maintenance of effort (MOE) funds for CCDF, $1.2 billion in TANF funding spent directly on child care, $1.4 billion in “excess TANF MOE” (state child care expenditures claimed as TANF MOE to the extent such amounts are above the amounts already claimed as CCDF MOE), and $0.2 billion in Social Services Block Grant expenditures related to child care.

2.  The 2006 estimates of eligibility were produced using the Transfer Income Model exit disclaimer (TRIM), a micro-simulation model maintained by the Urban Institute under contract with ASPE.  TRIM converts annual data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) into monthly data, compares these monthly data on family income and work status to CCDF rules, and generates monthly estimates of children and families eligible for CCDF child care subsidies.  Monthly estimates are averaged to produce an average monthly estimate for the year.  The 2006 estimate of eligibility relies upon data from CPS for calendar year 2006, federally-permitted eligibility rules under CCDF, and state-defined eligibility rules in the two-year CCDF plans that were effective as of October 1, 2005.   See Oliver, H., Phillips, Katherin R., Giannarelli, L, and Chen, An-Lon, June 2002, Eligibility for CCDF-funded child care subsidies under the October 1999 Program Rules: Results from the TRIM Microsimulation Model (http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/05/elig-ccsub/index.htm) for further methodological explanation of the TRIM estimates.  See Appendix I on page 7 for information on the number of children eligible for child care subsidies in previous years under federal parameters.

3.  States are given broad flexibility in deciding what is countable family income for purposes of determining a child’s eligibility.  For example, states could disregard TANF payments in income eligibility determinations.  As a result, some states may serve children in families with unadjusted incomes greater than 85 percent of the state median income.  Under this federal income eligibility parameter, a family of three with an income greater than $45,000 would have been ineligible to receive child care subsidies in roughly half the states in 2006.  Though stated as annual amounts here, family income is calculated monthly and is based on the income of relevant adults.  State SMI is based on estimates published for fiscal year 2006 in the Federal Register: February 17, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 32).

4.  For this eligibility estimate HHS has defined “working” to include all work of one hour or more in a month.  The majority of federally-eligible children come from families where the parent or parents are employed an average of at least 20 hours per week.  An estimated 14 percent of federally-eligible children lived with a parent who was not employed an average of at least 20 hours per week in 2006.

5.  This estimate of receipt excludes about 12,400 children served in U.S. territories as well as children receiving services from only Head Start, state pre-kindergarten programs, or other early childhood programs without funding from CCDF or related government funding streams.  See Appendix I on page 7 for information on child care subsidy receipt in previous years.

6.  CCDF-funded children include children funded through federal CCDF funds, state CCDF funds, and transfers of TANF funds to the CCDF program. While some states include children other than CCDF-funded children in their child care data reports (generally because they combine funds from several funding streams into one child care program), these states also report the percentage of pooled funding coming from CCDF, and this percentage is used to estimate the CCDF-funded children.  The estimate assumes that children funded by TANF, TANF MOE, and SSBG have the same subsidy costs per child as CCDF-funded children, about $321 per month based on state-reported ACF-801 administrative data, and the same age and poverty distribution as CCDF-funded children.

7.  Poverty figures are based on 2006 poverty thresholds published by the U.S. Census Bureau, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division.  The Census Bureau threshold is divided by twelve to create a monthly, rather than yearly, threshold.  For purposes of determining recipients’ poverty status for this estimate, recipient income is measured after any applicable state-determined income disregards are applied.  This estimation process likely overestimates to a small degree the number and percent of children from families below 100 percent of poverty who are served.

8.  Based on state CCDF plans submitted October 2005, recipient eligibility was redetermined every twelve months in nineteen states, every six months in twenty nine states, and monthly in two states.

9.  The range of income eligibility limits is based on state CCDF plans submitted October 2005.  Income eligibility limits reflect income adjusted for any income disregards provided in state plans (i.e., some states disregard TANF and SSI income).   Expressed in terms of state median income, state limits for initial income eligibility in CCDF plans for fiscal year 2006-2007 ranged from 34 percent to 88 percent of SMI.  This estimate of state median income for fiscal year 2006 is based on the U.S. Census Bureau calculations published in the Federal Register: February 17, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 32).  While the law restricts eligibility to children from families below 85 percent of SMI, the District of Columbia uses a method of calculating state median income that produces an estimated initial income eligibility limit of 88 percent of SMI when using the U.S. Census Bureau estimate.

10.  Some of ASPE’s previous eligibility estimates excluded children age 4 and older that lived with at least one parent working between 1 and 19 hours per week.  The estimates shown in this Issue Brief include this population when it is otherwise eligible.  Had the previous methodology been used, the estimated number of children eligible under state-defined rules would have been about 3 percent lower (7,766,400 instead of 8,007,800) and the percentage of children served who were eligible under CCDF state rules would have been about 1 percentage point higher (32 percent instead of 31 percent).  This change was made to provide greater internal consistency with the numerator of the calculation, which includes all children receiving subsidies, including school-aged children living with parents working less than 20 hours per week. This change does not impact the estimated number of children potentially eligible under federal parameters.

11.  See Technical Appendix on Changes in Enrollment and Eligibility over Time from Child Care Eligibility and Enrollment Estimates for Fiscal Year 2005 (http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/08/cc-eligibility/ib.htm) for a description of previous changes in the estimation of eligibility and receipt.

12.  Where possible, improvements in the methodology and model for child care estimation have been applied to estimates of child care eligibility and receipt in previous years.  For this reason, prior year estimates in Appendix Figure 1 may not match estimates published in previous Issue Briefs.


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Last updated:  04/22/10