Appendix Figure 1 provides a comparison of alternative methodologies for computing federal eligibility by displaying the number of children eligible for subsidies from 1999 to 201113 using the “old” method and the “new” method. The number of children receiving subsidies during this period is also shown for reference. The “old” method (used in the 2006 brief and earlier) omits the following two improvements: the exclusion of children that are unlikely to be eligible based on their citizenship status, and the inclusion of unmarried partners in the eligibility determination process. The “new” method (used in the 2009 brief and the current brief) includes these two improvements.
Providing a comparison of the eligibility trend using the “old” and “new” method allows readers to clearly see the impact of changes in methodology. However, the trends shown in the graph should be interpreted with caution due to other more minor changes in estimation methods and measurement error. Some of the methodological improvements described in this section have been applied retrospectively and the estimates may not match exactly the estimates shown in ASPE’s previous issue briefs.
Additionally, these trendlines provide a way of seeing how trends in eligibility over time change with the economy and with demographic shifts.
For reference, 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 2011.
Appendix Figure 1: Number of Children Federally-Eligible and Number of Children Receiving Child Care Subsidies Considering Changes Added to the Model, Average Monthly, 1999-2011 (Millions)
Appendix Figure 2: Number of Children Under Age 13 living in Families with Annual Incomes Below 100% and 150% Poverty Thresholds, 1999-2011 (Millions)
13 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 shown in Appendix Figure 1 will not match estimates published in previous issue briefs.