This study examined how changes in Rhode Island child care policies impacted families and children. The study used child care subsidy administrative data from 1996 through 2000, and data on availability, quality and price of care for different age groups of children. Major findings included: (1) increases in eligibility and increases in reimbursement rates associated with Rhode Island’s Starting Right initiative significantly increased the likelihood that current and former welfare recipients would use child care subsidies and significantly increased the availability of formal child care, and (2) these policy changes increased work among cash-assistance and non-cash-assistance recipients and encouraged cash recipients to leave welfare for work. The most powerful impact of the changes in child care policies was on families that left welfare (former cash recipients) and worked at least 20 hours per week. These policy changes had less effect on families on cash assistance participating in some activity other than work.
PIC ID: 8148; Agency Sponsor: ACF-ACYF, Administration on Children, Youth and Families; Federal Contact: Martinez-Beck, Ivelisse, 202-690-7885; Performer: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue,, Cambridge, MA