Estimates of Child Care Eligibility and Receipt for Fiscal Year 2009. II. Child Care Estimates Based on Federal Eligibility Parameters

08/01/2012

Eighteen percent of federally-eligible children received subsidized care through CCDF or related government funding streams in fiscal year 2009. 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 13.76 million children were potentially eligible for child care assistance under the federal eligibility parameters of CCDF in an average month in 2009 (see Table 1).2 Federal eligibility parameters include:

  • Children must be under age 13 (unless the child has special needs and is age 13-18);
  • The income of the child’s family must be less than 85 percent of the state median income (SMI) for a family of the same size;3 and
  • The child’s parents must be working or participating in education or training activities.4

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

Figure 1

An estimated 2.51 million children received child care services through CCDF or related government funding streams in an average month in fiscal year 2009 (see Table 1).5 While the majority of these children, 1.63 million, received assistance through CCDF, this estimate of receipt also includes roughly 878,000 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 24 percent of those from families with incomes between 101 percent and 150 percent of poverty were served (see Figure 2).7 By comparison, 5 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 $25,900 (about $2,200 when measured monthly) but less than 85 percent of their state’s SMI.

Figure 2

Figures 3a and 3b show that federally-eligible children between ages 0 and 4 were much more likely to receive subsidized care than eligible children older than age 5. In 2009, 27 percent of federally-eligible children ages 0 to 4 were served (including 15 percent of infants, 29 percent of children ages 1-2, and 30 percent of children ages 3-4). By comparison, 14 percent of federally-eligible children ages 6-9 and 8 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 age.

Figure 3a

Figure 3b

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