Child Care Subsidy Duration and Caseload Dynamics: A Multi-State Examination. Cumulative Months of Participation across a Three-Year Period

10/01/2014

Analysis of the ACF-801 data finds that many families receive subsidies sporadically over time and frequently return to the subsidy programs after they exit. These patterns are displayed in Figure 7, which presents the number of cumulative months that families receive child care subsidies over a three-year period. The blue area (i.e., the first section of the bar) replicates the numbers from column three of Table 6 and presents the median number of months of receipt during the first spell before at least one month of non-receipt occurred. The addition of the two bars equals the median number of all months of participation over the 36-month follow-up period. The red bar (i.e., second segment) is the remainder when the median values from the first bar (i.e., the first spell of participation) are subtracted from the median of the cumulative months.

As shown in the figure, the typical amount of participation in every state is much larger when examined in terms of cumulative months rather than with single spells. For example, the cumulative duration amount for the combined 35 states increased from six months when only considering the first spell to 12 months when adding the months from additional spells. In 19 of the 35 states, the median cumulative months of participation was at least two times the median length of the first spell of participation.

As shown in the figure, the typical amount of participation in every state is much larger when examined in terms of cumulative months rather than with single spells. For example, the cumulative duration amount for the combined 35 states increased from six months when only considering the first spell to 12 months when adding the months from additional spells. In 19 of the 35 states, the median cumulative months of participation was at least two times the median length of the first spell of participation.

Figure 7. Median Spell Lengths in Months for Families Beginning New Spells with No Recent Participation in Fiscal Year 2007

Figure 7. Median Spell Lengths in Months for Families Beginning New Spells with No Recent Participation in Fiscal Year 2007

Figure 8. Families that Began Child Care Subsidies in Fiscal Year 2007 and Had No Recent Participation: Cumulative Number of Months Families Received Child Care Subsidies by State (Percentages)

Figure 8. Families that Began Child Care Subsidies in Fiscal Year 2007 and Had No Recent Participation: Cumulative Number of Months Families Received Child Care Subsidies by State (Percentages)

 

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