Child Care Eligibility and Enrollment Estimates for Fiscal Year 2005

06/30/2008

ASPE ISSUE BRIEF

Child Care Eligibility and Enrollment Estimates for Fiscal Year 2005

U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

By: ASPE Staff

June 2008

This ASPE Issue Brief on child care eligibility shows that 29 percent of the potentially eligible children received subsidized care through CCDF or related funding streams in fiscal year 2005.

This Issue Brief is available on the Internet at:http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/08/cc-eligibility/ib.htm

Printer Friendly (PDF) Version (10 pages)

Contents

Endnotes

Summary

Over eight million children were potentially eligible for child care subsidies in 2005, under the eligibility rules of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). While we do not know how many of these children were in families that needed help paying for child care, 29 percent of the potentially eligible children received subsidized care through CCDF or related funding streams in fiscal year 2005. An even larger percentage of children in families with income below poverty were served.

The 29 percent estimate reflects the fact that while an estimated 8.32 million children are potentially eligible for assistance under the CCDF eligibility guidelines set by the states, 2.43 million children were actually enrolled in HHS-funded child care assistance programs  and 2.43 million enrolled out of 8.32 million eligible is a coverage rate of 29 percent.

Younger children are more likely to receive child care subsidies than older children. In addition, states clearly target subsidies to poorer families. Among poor eligible children, 3-, 4-, and 5-year olds have the highest coverage rate and 10-,11-, and 12-year olds have the lowest coverage rate (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Percent Served, by Age and Poverty Status

Figure 1. Percent Served, by Age and Poverty Status. See text for explanation and tables A and B for the data.

Some of the families classified as eligible for assistance have little interest in child care subsidies. In fact, research indicates that many parents prefer unpaid care provided by relatives, especially for very young children, while school and after-school activities meet some of the need for care for school-aged children. Thus these estimates should not be misinterpreted as a participation or "take-up" rate among those needing assistance. As a final caveat, both eligibility and enrollment estimates have changed over time, due in part to actual changes and in part to improvements in estimation techniques, as explained in a technical appendix to the Issue Brief.

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Key Components of Estimate

Eligibility Estimate. An estimated 8.32 million children were eligible for child care assistance in an average month in 2005, under the eligibility rules of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). Under CCDF, the Federal government provided $4.8 billion to states, tribes and territories in FY 2005 to provide child care assistance to low-income families when the parents work or participate in education or training. States are required to contribute state funding to CCDF, and also may transfer funds from the Federally-funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to CCDF. Within broad Federal parameters, states have considerable flexibility in setting income eligibility guidelines, setting parental co-payment fees, determining reimbursement rates to child care providers, and giving priority for services to particular target populations.

The 2005 estimate relies upon data from the Current Population Survey for calendar year 2005 and state eligibility rules in the two-year CCDF plans that were effective as of October 1, 2005. Though these rules vary by state, they generally require the following:

  • Eligible children must be under age 13 (unless the child has special needs);
  • The income of the child's family must fall below levels set by the state. For example, the income guidelines for a family of three in Oct 2005 ranged from $18,000 in Missouri to over $42,500 in Maine and over $46,000 in Alaska)(1); and
  • The child's parents must be working or in school. In 19 states, parents must be working a certain number of minimum hours (ranging from 15 to 40 hours per week) to qualify as "working." For this eligibility estimate, HHS has defined "working" in the other states to mean working one hour or more for parents of children under 4 years old and working 20 hours or more for parents of children age 4 or older.

To produce the eligibility estimate, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of HHS contracted with the Urban Institute to add the state-specific CCDF eligibility rules to the Transfer Income Model (TRIM). TRIM is a microsimulation model that converts annual data from the Current Population Survey into monthly data, compares these data on family income and work status to CCDF rules, and generates monthly estimates of children and families eligible for CCDF. These monthly estimates are averaged to produce an average monthly estimate for the year.(2)

While the model is able to determine technical eligibility based on child's age, parental work and education status, and family income, it does not have the capability of predicting which families actually need subsidies. For example, the model includes all children ages 10, 11, and 12 whose families meet the work and income requirements, regardless of the parents' work schedule, the children's school and activity schedule, and the living arrangements and proximity of family and relatives. It also includes all 4-year olds, without taking into account whether they are already enrolled in Head Start programs or state pre-kindergarten programs.

Enrollment Estimate. In fiscal year 2005, an estimated 2.43 million children received care services through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and other HHS funding streams in an average month. While the majority of these children received assistance through CCDF, this enrollment estimate includes subsidies funded directly through the TANF program or the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG).

More specifically, the enrollment figure includes:

  • 1.74 million children funded through CCDF, based on data reported by states to HHS;(3) plus
  • an estimated 692,000 children served through three other funding streams  TANF funds spent directly on child care, state funds claimed for TANF maintenance of effort (MOE) funds, and SSBG funds. Because states do not report the number of children served through these funding streams, the 692,000 figure is an HHS estimate based on expenditures from each stream, divided by average subsidy costs reported in CCDF.(4)

Some analyses of CCDF coverage rates include the children funded by TANF transfers but do not include the children receiving child care directly through TANF or SSBG programs, because these children are not included in the state caseload reports and are difficult to estimate.(5) Excluding these children, however, ignores the substantial amounts of child care subsidies provided through TANF, TANF MOE, and SSBG funding. For example, these three sources accounted for over one-fifth of the $11.5 billion in Federal and related state funds available for HHS-funded child care programs in 2005.(6) Even adding TANF and SSBG programs does not fully address all programs meeting some or all of children's needs for child care; most notably, these enrollment estimates do not include children served through Head Start, pre-kindergarten programs, or other state-funded programs.

Percentage Served. An enrollment of 2.43 million children out of 8.32 million eligible children indicates that 29 percent of children meeting the basic eligibility criteria were served (2.43 divided by 8.32).

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Percentage Served by Age and Poverty Status

Some children are more likely to receive child care services than others. Differences by age are particularly significant (see Table A). For example, the percentage served is much higher among pre-school aged children than school aged children (46 percent for children ages 3 to 5, compared to 13 percent for children ages 10 to 12). This variation by age is not surprising, given the higher use of formal child care arrangements for pre-school aged children in the general population, and the wider array of after-school activities available to older children.

Table A. Subsidized Children as Percentage of Those Potentially Eligible under State Rules (average monthly estimates, in millions)
  Ages 0 - 2 Ages 3 - 5 Ages 6 - 9 Ages 10 - 12* Total Children 0 - 12*
Enrollment in CCDF-, TANF-, and SSBG-Funded Care (FY 2005) 0.67 0.88 0.63 0.25 2.43
Potentially Eligible Children (2005, based on State Eligibility Rules as of Oct 2005) 2.09 1.93 2.42 1.87 8.32
Percentage Served 32% 46% 26% 13% 29%
* Includes a few children 13 and older who are eligible for subsidies because of special needs.Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

States generally target child care assistance to families with the greatest need, including families in welfare-to-work programs, and working families with the lowest incomes. The clear effects of this targeting can be seen in Table B, which examines the subset of eligible and enrolled children in families with incomes below the Federal poverty threshold.(7) Less than half of all children eligible for child care subsidies live in families with income below poverty  3.60 million children out of the 8.32 million. Because of service priorities, poor eligible children have a higher than average likelihood of receiving child care assistance. An estimated 40 percent of poor children were served (compared to 29 percent of all eligible children).

Table B. Subsidized Poor Children as Percentage of Eligible Poor Children (average monthly estimates, in millions)
  Ages 0 - 2 Ages 3 - 5 Ages 6 - 9 Ages 10 - 12* Total Children 0 - 12*
Enrollment of Poor Children in CCDF-, TANF-, and SSBG-Funded Care (FY 2005) 0.43 0.51 0.37 0.15 1.46
Potentially Eligible Children below Poverty (2005) 1.02 0.83 1.02 0.73 3.60
Percentage Served 43% 61% 36% 20% 40%
* Includes a few children 13 and older who are eligible for subsidies because of special needs.Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

As shown in Figure 1, the proportion of poor eligible children served is higher than the proportion of all eligible children served, for each age group. Furthermore, among poor eligible children, 3-, 4-, and 5-year olds have the highest coverage rate and 10-, 11-, and 12-year olds have the lowest coverage rate among the age groupings presented in the figure.

Figure 1. Percent Served, by Age and Poverty Status

Figure 1. Percent Served, by Age and Poverty Status. See text for explanation and tables A and B for the data.

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Discussion of Estimate

This analysis produces a coverage rate (29 percent) defined as the proportion of children served out of the eligible population. At times, this number has been assumed to be the participation or "take-up" rate among all children who have applied for, or need, child care assistance. This is a misinterpretation, because the eligibility estimate includes an unknown number of families who have never applied for nor shown any interest in child care assistance due to their family's preference for informal child care arrangements. Research indicates that many working families find unpaid care by family, friends, and neighbors more convenient than more formal arrangements and more consistent with what they want for their children.

Family preferences contribute to the observed variation in coverage rates by age. In particular, care by relatives, or by parents working staggered shifts, is often preferred for infant care, while school and programs like the 21st Century Community Learning Centers can meet some of the need for school-aged care. Although these patterns of formal and informal care arrangements are well documented, it is hard to translate such patterns into a quantifiable estimate of how many families would have a real interest in subsidies for paid child care arrangements if such subsidies were universally available. Moreover, even children in the 3- to 5-year old age group, who use the formal arrangements the most, may have their child care needs at least partially met through other options, such as Head Start and pre-kindergarten, as well as informal care. Thus, it is hard to know how many eligible families need help paying for child care.

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Conclusion

This analysis has shown that over eight million children are in the broad pool of children and families whose age, income, and parental work status indicate a possible need for child care subsidies. About 2.4 million children, or 29 percent of those eligible, received HHS-funded child care subsidies in an average month of fiscal year 2005, with coverage rates varying substantially by age and poverty status. Interpretation of these coverage rates is complicated by the fact that many of the families classified as eligible for assistance have never applied for subsidies, and are unlikely to ever do so, given their preference for unpaid arrangements.

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Technical Appendix on Changes in Enrollment and Eligibility over Time

ASPE has produced estimates of the eligible population and the percent served for several years. Estimates of the eligible population and number of children enrolled have fluctuated over time (see Appendix Table 1). As discussed below, it is difficult to disentangle real changes in eligibility and enrollment from changes caused by measurement error and revisions to methods of estimation. Interestingly enough, despite the fluctuations in eligibility, the percentage served has been fairly stable since 2002. It was lower (26 percent) in 2001, but that year was subject to a number of measurement problems, as discussed below.

Appendix Table 1. Estimates of Enrollment, Eligibility, and Percentage Served, 2001-2005(8) (average monthly estimates, in millions)
  Oct 01 Two-Year Plan Oct 03 Two-Year Plan Oct 05 Two-Year Plan
2001 2002 2003 2005 2005
Enrollment in CCDF-, TANF-, and SSBG-Funded Care (Fiscal Year) 2.53 2.51 2.48 2.48 2.43
Potentially Eligible Children (Calendar Year, based on State Plan) 9.58 8.68 8.33 8.00 8.32
Percentage Served 26% 29% 30% 31% 29%
Note: Trends over time should be interpreted with caution due to changes in method of estimation. The estimates in this table differ somewhat from previous versions of this report because they have been updated to reflect a new methodology used by the Department to estimate the number of children served by SSGB, TANF Direct, and Excess MOE funding sources. The estimates presented in Appendix Table 1 and Figure A-1 may not match exactly because of rounding.

Changes in enrollment estimates

As noted in the Issue Brief, the caseload estimates are composed of two primary components: CCDF-funded children as reported by the states and TANF- and SSBG- funded children estimated on the basis of reported expenditures, as shown in Figure A-1. The apparent decline in CCDF average monthly caseload from 1.81 million in 2001 to 1.74 million in 2002 is largely due to improvements in CCDF data reports submitted by California and New York. Specifically, the 2001 estimate may have counted some children twice, and included children funded with state-only funds rather than CCDF-related funds. The Child Care Bureau estimates that the monthly CCDF caseload in FY 2001 would have been 1.72 million rather than 1.81 million if comparable methodologies had been used over time. In other words, the 2001 estimate of enrollment is probably high. Consequently, much of the increase in caseload between 2000 and 2001, and subsequent decrease between 2001 and 2002, is due to data reporting, rather than real changes in numbers of children served.

Figure A-1. Enrollment Estimates (millions)

Figure A-1. Enrollment Estimates in millions. See text for explanation.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently changed the methodology used to estimate the number of children served with child care subsidies funded through TANF, SSBG, and TANF Excess MOE. As mentioned earlier, the number of children served by these sources is estimated based on SSBG and TANF-Direct expenditures outside of CCDF, divided by the average subsidy per CCDF child. We use the ACF-801 data for average subsidy costs to match the improved methodology adopted recently by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). In earlier analyses, these estimates were based on average subsidy costs as reported on ACF 696 data, divided by aggregate caseloads. The estimates in Appendix Table 1 and Figure A-1 have been updated to reflect this change in methodology, and thus will differ slightly from estimates previously produced by ASPE.

Changes in eligibility estimates

Changes in the estimated eligible population are due to a variety of factors, including state policy changes, changes in the population and economy, sampling error in the Current Population Survey, and technical changes in the TRIM model. While these are difficult to quantify, the text below attempts to give a sense of how these various factors affected these estimates.

State policy changes that increase or decrease the eligible population. States can tighten or broaden the pool of eligible children and families by adjusting the level of their state's CCDF income eligibility guidelines.(9) Results from the TRIM microsimulation model suggest that changes in state plans between October 2003 and October 2005 increased the eligible population by about 691,000 children. However, absolute changes in income eligibility limits overstate the increase in the eligible population since they don't reflect the impact of inflation and the decrease in purchasing power. When the changes in eligibility thresholds between the October 2003 and the October 2005 rules are adjusted for inflation the increase in eligibility resulting from these changes is estimated to be 65,000 children. In other words, an additional 65,000 children were estimated to be eligible to receive subsidies in 2005 than would have been eligible if states had not changed their policies between the rules submitted in October 2003 and the rules submitted in October 2005, except to increase the eligibility thresholds by two years of inflation.

This national pattern of expanded eligibility does not apply to every state. The TRIM microsimulation model estimates that changes made to state plans between October 2003 (adjusted for inflation) and October 2005 increased eligibility in 8 states, but decreased eligibility in 39 states. Another 4 states increased eligibility at the rate of inflation. However, since the changes in the 8 states increased eligibility by more children than the concurrent decreases in the 39 states, the national result of these changes was to increase eligibility.(10)

Changes in population demographics and economic conditions. The number of eligible children is also strongly influenced by demographic and economic factors, such as the total number of children, maternal employment rates, and the income levels of working parents. Overall, data from the TRIM model suggest that the average monthly number of children under age 13(11) with working or student parents and income less than 200 percent of poverty increased by approximately 230,000 children between the time period used for the 2003 estimate, and the 2005 estimate.(12)

Sampling error in the Current Population Survey. Because the Current Population Survey data are drawn from a sample, all estimates are subject to a degree of sampling error, reflecting the possibility that the particular sample drawn may not fully represent the underlying population. For example, the point estimate of 8.32 million children in an average month in 2005 was the midpoint of a 95 percent confidence interval ranging from approximately 8.05 to 8.60 million children.

Technical changes to the model. While versions of TRIM have been in operation for more than 30 years, the capacity for estimating child care eligibility was just added relatively recently, and is still undergoing some refinements. For example, the first eligibility estimate (9.85 million children eligible in 1997) was primarily based on state income eligibility limits, and did not capture state variation in minimum hours requirements and income disregards. These were added for the estimate in 1999, and refined in 2001 (when the state plan instructions were revised to ask for more explicit information on such topics).

Between 2001 and 2003, there were two further refinements that may have affected estimates of children eligible for CCDF. The first refinement only affected states that have a higher eligibility limit for families already receiving subsidies than families newly applying for subsidies  about one-fourth of the states. While these higher "continuing eligibility" limits were used in 2001, 2003, and 2005 they were applied in a more crude way in 2001, which resulted in a slight overestimate of eligibility.(13) The largest change was in Florida, not only because it is the largest state with two sets of thresholds, but also due to an error in interpreting the 2001 rules. The second refinement involved smoothing out estimates of monthly earnings between 4- and 5-week months to avoid the situation where some families move in and out of eligibility over the course of the year solely due to the number of weeks in the month. This refinement also may have contributed to some of the eligibility differences between 2001 and 2003. Finally, there may be some residual difference between the two estimates that is difficult to attribute to any particular policy, economic, or technical change, and may be a result of interactions among them.

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Appendix of Child Care Eligibility: State-by-State Estimates

 

State-by-State Average Monthly Counts of Children, CY 2005
Eligible for CCDF Under October 2005 CCDF State-Specific Rules
State Average Monthly Children Eligible for CCDF under State Rules,
(Oct. 2005 State Plans)1,2
Number 95% confidence interval3 (low-high)
Alabama 122,469 93,346 151,591
Alaska 28,289 22,482 34,095
Arizona 185,543 146,738 224,347
Arkansas 58,997 42,759 75,235
California 1,365,450 1,259,384 1,471,516
Colorado 171,084 134,226 207,942
Connecticut 80,539 58,877 102,200
Delaware 24,125 18,198 30,052
DC 26,485 20,869 32,100
Florida 429,824 373,410 486,237
Georgia 252,248 209,793 294,703
Hawaii 65,500 54,290 76,710
Idaho 29,902 21,460 38,344
Illinois 439,912 382,591 497,232
Indiana 101,964 74,977 128,950
Iowa 52,472 36,124 68,820
Kansas 79,047 59,504 98,589
Kentucky 100,158 73,772 126,543
Louisiana 196,366 159,428 233,303
Maine 48,771 37,549 59,993
Maryland 136,398 104,508 168,288
Massachusetts 98,673 72,389 124,957
Michigan 210,528 171,647 249,409
Minnesota 94,507 68,660 120,353
Mississippi 121,530 97,632 145,428
Missouri 92,012 66,019 118,005
Montana 19,675 14,086 25,264
Nebraska 23,403 14,972 31,834
Nevada 114,339 91,820 136,858
New Hampshire 21,608 14,635 28,581
New Jersey 171,619 135,985 207,252
New Mexico 74,913 57,954 91,872
New York 563,925 497,902 629,948
North Carolina 304,114 256,858 351,370
North Dakota 20,058 15,448 24,667
Ohio 353,522 303,056 403,987
Oklahoma 182,956 149,762 216,149
Oregon 73,933 51,751 96,114
Pennsylvania 364,208 312,998 415,418
Rhode Island 31,994 24,023 39,964
South Carolina 127,628 97,703 157,552
South Dakota 32,000 26,000 37,999
Tennessee 93,430 67,609 119,250
Texas 625,230 552,510 697,949
Utah 79,230 63,260 95,199
Vermont 14,375 10,236 18,514
Virginia 224,135 184,117 264,152
Washington 188,058 150,242 225,874
West Virginia 36,977 27,214 46,740
Wisconsin 173,948 138,368 209,527
Wyoming 14,740 10,914 18,565
Total 8,542,798 8,308,425 8,777,175
Source:  The TRIM3 microsimulation model, developed/maintained by the Urban Institute under HHS/ASPE funding, using two-year averages of data from the Current Population Survey (calendar years 2004 and 2005).
Notes:
Caution should be taken when comparing estimates across years because of methodological improvements in the TRIM model.
1 Criteria for the October 2005 CCDF eligibility count: (a) child is under age 13 or is simulated by TRIM to receive SSI and is under the state's disabled age limit; (b) any parent/guardian present is a student or is working at least the minimum hours se
2 Each estimate is the average of two estimates:  the estimated number obtained using the CY 2005 TRIM-CPS data and the estimated number obtained from using the CY 2004 TRIM-CPS data.  Two years of data are used to increase the reliability of the estimate.
3 Because the estimates are calculated on a sample of the population rather than the complete population, the true numbers may differ from the estimates.  However, there is a 95 percent chance that the true number of children falls within the range define.

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State-by-State Average Monthly Counts of Children, CY 2003
Eligible for CCDF Under October 2003 CCDF State-Specific Rules

State

Average Monthly Children Eligible for CCDF under State Rules,
(Oct. 2003 State Plans) 1,2
Number 95% confidence interval3 (low high)
Alabama 118,100 91,100 145,200
Alaska 34,700 29,300 40,000
Arizona 169,400 131,700 207,200
Arkansas 75,000 57,100 92,900
California 1,493,600 1,364,500 1,622,600
Colorado 167,300 139,200 195,500
Connecticut 103,100 83,600 122,600
Delaware 26,100 20,500 31,600
DC 25,300 20,400 30,200
Florida 428,800 370,400 487,300
Georgia 180,300 135,100 225,500
Hawaii 72,300 61,200 83,500
Idaho 30,300 22,400 38,300
Illinois 460,300 401,600 519,000
Indiana 67,600 47,200 87,900
Iowa 42,500 30,300 54,700
Kansas 59,300 45,400 73,300
Kentucky 90,100 67,800 112,400
Louisiana 214,200 175,600 252,700
Maine 54,500 45,800 63,100
Maryland 106,400 80,800 132,100
Massachusetts 115,200 88,300 142,000
Michigan 240,100 199,500 280,800
Minnesota 94,100 71,300 117,000
Mississippi 147,800 121,200 174,500
Missouri 102,000 76,100 127,900
Montana 20,200 14,600 25,900
Nebraska 28,000 19,900 36,100
Nevada 121,200 103,700 138,800
New Hampshire 23,800 17,900 29,600
New Jersey 162,900 131,100 194,800
New Mexico 109,500 89,700 129,300
New York 651,100 583,600 718,600
North Carolina 343,700 293,000 394,500
North Dakota 19,800 15,800 23,900
Ohio 147,900 114,800 181,000
Oklahoma 220,200 187,600 252,700
Oregon 81,600 62,100 101,100
Pennsylvania 229,400 189,700 269,100
Rhode Island 37,600 31,200 44,100
South Carolina 104,700 80,900 128,600
South Dakota 32,800 27,300 38,200
Tennessee 116,500 84,500 148,400
Texas 665,000 582,300 747,700
Utah 74,200 58,900 89,500
Vermont 17,500 13,900 21,200
Virginia 231,200 185,900 276,400
Washington 198,800 159,000 238,600
West Virginia 39,400 30,100 48,700
Wisconsin 163,000 132,500 193,500
Wyoming 19,500 15,800 23,100
Total 8,578,000 8,338,600 8,817,300
Source:  The TRIM3 microsimulation model, developed/maintained by the Urban Institute under HHS/ASPE funding, using two-year averages of data from the Current Population Survey (calendar years 2002 and 2003).
Notes:
Caution should be taken when comparing estimates across years because of methodological improvements in the TRIM model.
1 Criteria for the October 2003 CCDF eligibility count:  (a) child is under age 13 or is simulated by TRIM to receive SSI and is under the state's disabled age limit; (b) any parent/guardian present is a student or is working at least the minimum hours set by the state; (c) family income is under the state's income limit for new or continuing participants (depending on whether the family was simulated to receive subsidies in the prior month), using state rules for income disregards and earned income deductions.  October 2003 state rules are based on the Urban Institute's analysis of the October 2003 State Plans for CCDF.
2 Each estimate is the average of two estimates:  the estimated number obtained using the CY 2003 TRIM-CPS data and the estimated number obtained from using the CY 2002 TRIM-CPS data.  Two years of data are used to increase the reliability of the estimates.  The same rules are applied to both years of data, but dollar values applied to the CY 2002 data are multiplied by .9777 to adjust for the difference between the CPI-U of 179.9 in 2002 vs. 184.0 in 2003.
3 Because the estimates are calculated on a sample of the population rather than the complete population, the true numbers may differ from the estimates.  However, there is a 95 percent chance that the true number of children falls within the range defined by the confidence interval.

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Average Monthly Children Eligible1 For CCDF Subsidies
Under October 2001 State Rules
State Number2 95% conf (low-high)
Alabama 155,090 119,425 190,755
Alaska 27,658 21,902 33,414
Arizona 205,958 164,205 247,711
Arkansas 90,079 68,940 111,217
California 1,682,645 1,545,680 1,819,609
Colorado 109,335 81,690 136,980
Connecticut 169,539 133,832 205,245
Delaware 31,767 24,166 39,368
DC 27,836 21,961 33,711
Florida 588,663 519,020 658,306
Georgia 330,568 268,173 392,963
Hawaii 66,450 52,843 80,056
Idaho 33,163 24,468 41,859
Illinois 352,125 298,167 406,083
Indiana 128,962 92,018 165,905
Iowa 62,281 43,454 81,108
Kansas 90,304 68,774 111,834
Kentucky 123,354 93,408 153,301
Louisiana 187,341 148,595 226,087
Maine 48,122 36,656 59,588
Maryland 104,650 70,495 138,804
Massachusetts 190,184 153,842 226,525
Michigan 300,920 251,944 349,896
Minnesota 199,098 157,291 240,905
Mississippi 149,888 121,464 178,313
Missouri 95,373 62,960 127,786
Montana 32,990 25,494 40,486
Nebraska 54,800 41,050 68,551
Nevada 129,585 108,211 150,958
New Hampshire 38,659 28,373  48,946
New Jersey 200,869 163,266 238,473
New Mexico 121,374 100,470 142,278
New York 595,147 527,837 662,457
North Carolina 389,681 334,122 445,239
North Dakota 26,606 20,705 32,507
Ohio 387,036 328,974 445,098
Oklahoma 120,389 93,925 146,853
Oregon 131,425 100,903 161,947
Pennsylvania 359,125 304,913 413,337
Rhode Island 31,343 23,152 39,534
South Carolina 116,123 86,212 146,034
South Dakota 15,031 10,461 19,601
Tennessee 141,706 102,037 181,375
Texas 674,354 590,953 757,756
Utah 71,862 56,228 87,496
Vermont 23,478 17,630 29,326
Virginia 172,204 126,774 217,634
Washington 216,571 166,812 266,331
West Virginia 70,880 55,742 86,018
Wisconsin 196,899 152,855 240,943
Wyoming 14,708 10,870 18,546
Total 9,884,198 9,602,978 10,165,418
Notes:
Caution should be taken when comparing estimates across years because of methodological improvements in the TRIM model.
1. See Appendix Tables 1 through 5 for income eligibility thresholds and other eligibility rules set by the states in their October 2001 state plans.
2. Estimates are based on the Urban Institute's TRIM 3 microsimulation model, using three-year averages of data from the Current Population Survey (calendar years 1999-2001).

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State-by-State Estimates of Children Identified in the Simulations
Children Eligible under State Rules
(October 1999)
State Number 95% conf (low-high)
Alabama 118,900 85,200 152,600
Alaska 48,200 39,800 56,600
Arizona 190,000 147,600 232,400
Arkansas 73,700 53,200 94,300
California 1,660,900 1,517,100 1,804,600
Colorado 105,700 75,300 136,200
Connecticut 109,800 77,100 142,500
Delaware 31,100 22,900 39,300
DC 22,900 16,900 29,000
Florida 374,700 315,100 434,300
Georgia 321,400 255,100 387,700
Hawaii 86,400 69,100 103,700
Idaho 45,900 34,900 56,800
Illinois 372,200 311,900 432,500
Indiana 116,700 77,000 156,400
Iowa 66,900 45,300 88,600
Kansas 98,600 73,800 123,300
Kentucky 99,700 69,800 129,600
Louisiana 221,200 176,200 266,200
Maine 55,600 41,500 69,700
Maryland 101,000 64,600 137,300
Massachusetts 195,500 156,000 234,900
Michigan 384,300 325,300 443,200
Minnesota 217,100 168,800 265,300
Mississippi 162,600 130,600 194,500
Missouri 121,000 80,800 161,200
Montana 37,900 29,300 46,500
Nebraska 74,500 56,900 92,000
Nevada 111,300 89,500 133,100
New Hampshire 32,400 21,400 43,300
New Jersey 137,600 104,200 171,000
New Mexico 125,200 103,100 147,200
New York 636,300 561,900 710,700
North Carolina 387,300 327,900 446,800
North Dakota 34,900 27,500 42,300
Ohio 349,700 290,600 408,700
Oklahoma 82,100 58,300 105,800
Oregon 114,600 83,800 145,500
Pennsylvania 438,200 374,000 502,500
Rhode Island 32,800 23,000 42,700
South Carolina 102,200 70,800 133,700
South Dakota 19,500 13,800 25,100
Tennessee 180,000 131,100 228,800
Texas 690,000 599,500 780,500
Utah 70,100 52,900 87,400
Vermont 26,000 19,200 32,700
Virginia 221,300 165,000 277,700
Washington 177,500 126,600 228,400
West Virginia 45,000 32,000 58,000
Wisconsin 132,100 93,100 171,100
Wyoming 16,000 11,700 20,400
Total 9,676,300 9,374,000 9,978,700
Notes:  The first column shows estimates for child care subsides funded by the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) under the income eligibility thresholds and other eligibility rules set by the states in their October 1999 state plans. The second column shows estimates if all states raised their income eligibility thresholds to 85% of their State Median Income, the maximum allowed under Federal law, and set uniform values for other eligibility rules.  Estimates are based on the Urban Institute's TRIM 3 microsimulation model, using three-year averages of data from the Current Population Survey (calendar years 1997-1999).

Endnotes

1.  Though stated as annual amounts here, the income is actually measured monthly, with family income based on the income of the parents (or adult relative caretakers) of the children.

2.  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 explanation of TRIM methodology.

3.  As defined in data reporting regulations, 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.

4.  The estimate assumes that children funded by TANF, TANF MOE, and SSBG have the same subsidy costs per child as CCDF-funded children  about $310 per month. Moreover, the subgroup analysis assumes the additional children have the same age and poverty distribution as the CCDF children. (Note that the CCDF subsidy cost is based on state-reported ACF-801 administrative data to estimate an average subsidy-per-child. Prior to 2005 the ACF-696 expenditure data were used to estimate an average cost-per-child. HHS believes that using case-level administrative data from the ACF-801 database to calculate an average subsidy-per-child provides a more accurate caseload estimate.)

5.  For example, the Government Accountability Office recently reported a much lower coverage rate  18 percent in 2001  because the GAO estimate did not include the TANF- and SSBG-funded children. See Government Accountability Office (March 2005), Means-Tested Programs. Information on Program Access Can be an Important Management Tool, GAO-05-22).

6.  The $11.5 billion includes $4.8 billion in Federal CCDF funds, $2.2 billion in state matching and maintenance of effort funds for CCDF, $1.9 billion in transfers from TANF to CCDF, $1.3 billion in TANF direct funds, $1.1 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 SSBG expenditures related to child care.

7.  The poverty population was estimated by comparing monthly family income to one-twelfth of the Census Bureau poverty thresholds, adjusted for family size. This measure of the poverty population is not comparable to the poverty population measured in previous ASPE analyses (e.g., Child Care Eligibility and Enrollment Estimates for Fiscal Year 2001, ASPE/DHHS, April 2003) because of data improvements. Most notably, information on family size was added to the enrollment data starting in 2003, and so the current estimate uses poverty levels adjusted for actual family size whereas previous estimates assumed a family size of three for the poverty estimates.

8.  HHS also produced estimates for rules as of October 1997, but these estimates are too different to include in the table. Primary differences are that the earlier enrollment estimates do not include the additional children funded through TANF-related and SSBG funding sources and the earlier eligibility estimates simulate hypothetical eligibility if all states raised income eligibility to 85 percent of state median income (the level currently used in five states). This lower estimate of enrollment and higher estimate of eligibility resulted in a much lower percentage served (10 percent in an earlier estimate for 1997, and 12 percent for 1999).

9.  In addition to setting income limits, states can also affect eligibility by modifying the minimum hour requirements of work, changing the definition of countable family income (e.g., deciding whether or not to count TANF cash benefits as countable income), adjusting the age limit for youth with special needs, etc. Note that the TRIM model only captures policies that are clearly stated in two-year state plans, and so may not capture all state policies. Also, the model applies policies for October 2005 to the entire calendar year, even though some states made policy changes during the year.

10.  One of the major reasons for this pattern was that Ohio greatly increased its maximum income limits and Pennsylvania and Georgia decreased the number of work hours required by families to become eligible.

11.  This estimate also includes a few children 13 and older who are eligible for subsidies because of special needs.

12.  Note that the 2001 eligibility estimate was based on three years of CPS data (calendar years 1999, 2000, and 2001), whereas the 2003-2005 eligibility estimates rely on individual years of data.

13.  In 2001, all families simulated as eligible for CCDF subsidies in one month were considered to be "continuing" on CCDF the subsequent month; by the 2003 estimate, the model had been refined so that only families simulated as recipients of CCDF subsidies in one month were considered "continuing" recipients.

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