Performance Improvement 2004. Child care subsidy policy issues and prospects for evaluation research in states and communities


This project sought to learn about current childcare policy issues and to develop potential research questions to inform the design of a childcare evaluation research initiative. The project was jointly sponsored by the Administration on Children and Families and the Smith Richardson Foundation.  Childcare policy issues have grown over the past decade. Greater numbers of low-income parents need childcare assistance as they make the transition from welfare to work. At the same time, childcare funding has expanded by adding resources to fund many policy and program strategies to address childcare policy issues. Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. spoke with childcare administrators representing 9 of the 10 ACF regions, 19 states and the District of Columbia. Overall, the state and regional childcare administrators expressed keen interest in participating in policy evaluation research  with other states and the ACF. Some of the issues state and regional childcare administrators identified during the project included: 1) how to balance the goal of focusing scarce childcare assistance on families with the least resources while ensuring that families continue to receive assistance during transitions, 2) how to balance the need to transition families to paying full market cost of childcare while keeping co- payments affordable, and 3) how to increase the stability of childcare assistance for eligible, low-income families. For every issue identified, a policy or program issue strategy was developed and described.

PIC ID: 8018
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Jakopic, Richard, 202-205-5930
Performer: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC

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