How Effective Are Different Welfare-to-Work Approaches? Five-Year Adult and Child Impacts for Eleven Programs. Control Group Levels of Child Care

12/01/2001

Table 10.2 shows that between about 34 and 43 percent of focal children in the Child Outcomes Study control groups were reported by mothers to be in a regular child care arrangement "in the past week," that is, in the week prior to the five-year follow-up. The main arrangement was much more likely to be informal, such as care by a relative or neighbor in the child's home or another home (used by 24 to 36 percent of control group families, depending on site), than formal, such as care provided by a day care center or provided after school by the school (used by 8 to 19 percent). Children who were in a regular arrangement spent 20 to 26 hours per week on average in child care (that is, about 4 to 5 hours per day if care occurred five days a week). Only 6 to 10 percent of families reported relying on multiple arrangements. Only a small proportion of families reported relying on a provider aged 17 or under in the main arrangement for the focal child (about 3 to 5 percent). Use of self-care in the past week was reported for about 9 to 12 percent of control group families, which falls within the range reported for national samples.(25)

 

Table 10.2
Impacts on Child Care for the Focal Child

Site and Program

Sample size Program Group Control Group Difference (Impact) Percentage Change (%)

Used a regular child care arrangement in the past week (%)

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 580 41.5 39.7 1.8 4.6
Atlanta Human Capital Development 650 37.8 39.4 -1.6 -4.1
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 394 41.9 43.4 -1.5 -3.4
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 380 36.9 41.8 -4.9 -11.6
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 493 33.9 33.5 0.4 1.3
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 313 27.1 29.5 -2.4 -8.0
Riverside Human Capital Development 406 28.3 29.7 -1.4 -4.8

Used a nonregular or sporadic child care arrangement in the past week (%)

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 580 4.4 3.6 0.8 23.3
Atlanta Human Capital Development 650 3.3 3.6 -0.3 -7.5
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 394 4.1 5.4 -1.3 -23.9
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 380 7.4 4.3 3.0 69.6
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 493 5.6 9.4 -3.8 -40.2
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 313 5.9 10.4 -4.5 -43.4
Riverside Human Capital Development 406 8.9 10.2 -1.3 -13.1

Used multiple regular child care arrangements in the past week (%)

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 580 5.2 6.2 -1.0 -16.9
Atlanta Human Capital Development 650 4.1 6.2 -2.1 -33.3
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 394 5.3 7.2 -1.8 -25.5
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 380 3.8 6.8 -3.1 -44.9
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 493 8.0 9.6 -1.6 -17.0
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 313 6.6 7.0 -0.4 -5.5
Riverside Human Capital Development 406 7.9 7.1 0.8 11.2

Number of hours child spent in all regular care arrangements in the past week

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 580 9.1 10.3 -1.2 -11.6
Atlanta Human Capital Development 650 8.7 10.1 -1.3 -13.3
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 392 11.3 10.3 1.1 10.6
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 378 7.5 10.0 -2.6 -25.4
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 492 8.4 6.6 1.7 26.4
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 312 6.7 5.6 1.1 19.0
Riverside Human Capital Development 406 5.5 6.0 -0.5 -8.4

Among those using regular care arrangements in the past week, number of hours used

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 232 22.1 25.6    
Atlanta Human Capital Development 249 23.2 25.2    
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 166 26.9 24.0    
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 147 20.1 24.5    
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 166 25.3 19.5    
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 89 26.4 18.2    
Riverside Human Capital Development 118 19.8 20.0    

Any self-care in the past week (%)

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 578 10.1 9.8 0.3 3.1
Atlanta Human Capital Development 649 9.5 9.7 -0.3 -2.6
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 392 10.8 11.6 -0.8 -6.9
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 375 12.8 11.5 1.3 11.6
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 477 9.8 8.5 1.3 15.9
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 304 8.2 4.9 3.2 65.1
Riverside Human Capital Development 396 5.7 5.2 0.5 10.2

Used a provider aged 17 or under in the main child care arrangement in the past week (%)

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 580 3.9 3.4 0.6 16.3
Atlanta Human Capital Development 650 3.9 3.7 0.2 5.7
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 394 4.1 5.4 -1.3 -24.2
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 380 2.9 5.3 -2.4 -45.9
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 492 2.9 4.8 -1.9 -39.0
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 313 2.0 4.7 -2.7 -57.0
Riverside Human Capital Development 406 4.1 4.8 -0.7 -14.9

Main arrangement used in the past week was formal (%)

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 580 18.6 19.4 -0.7 -3.8
Atlanta Human Capital Development 650 18.2 18.9 -0.6 -3.4
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 394 8.2 10.4 -2.3 -21.8
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 380 6.1 10.2 -4.1 -40.6
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 492 2.6 8.0 -5.4** -67.2
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 312 1.4 3.9 -2.5 -64.4
Riverside Human Capital Development 405 2.3 4.0 -1.7 -42.2

Main arrangement used in the past week was informal (%)

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 580 26.5 23.8 2.7 11.3
Atlanta Human Capital Development 650 22.2 23.9 -1.8 -7.3
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 394 35.2 36.0 -0.9 -2.4
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 380 31.0 34.4 -3.4 -9.8
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 492 33.1 28.9 4.2 14.5
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 312 27.0 27.8 -0.8 -3.0
Riverside Human Capital Development 405 26.9 28.0 -1.1 -3.9

Reported child care as a barrier to school, job training, or work (%)

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 575 15.4 16.3 -0.9 -5.3
Atlanta Human Capital Development 645 16.2 16.5 -0.3 -1.6
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 392 30.0 30.8 -0.8 -2.6
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 377 25.2 29.2 -4.1 -13.9
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 489 27.4 21.2 6.2 29.3
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 312 21.6 18.1 3.5 19.6
Riverside Human Capital Development 402 20.8 18.7 2.0 10.8
SOURCE: Child Trends calculations from the Five-Year Child Outcomes Study survey (mother reports).
NOTES:  See Appendix A.2

In sum, findings for control group families indicate use of child care by a minority, but a large one, of families even when the focus is limited to school-age children. When care was used, it involved a substantial portion of the children's day. These findings suggest that attention to the nature of children's child care arrangements should not cease with low-income children's entry into school.