Performance Improvement 2006. From Welfare to Child Care: What Happens to Young Children When Single Mothers Exchange Welfare for Work- Infant and Toddler Care After Welfare Reform: A Cross State Comparison


The study found descriptive evidence from Miami-Dade County (MDC), Florida and from five representative areas in Massachusetts, that government policies governing welfare reform, the child care subsidy system, and minimum-standards regulations had considerable impact on the availability, use, quality, and price of infant and toddler care, as welfare reform progressed from 1996 to 2000. During this period, more than double the number of low-income infants and toddlers using child care subsidies were placed in formal (licensed) care in MDC. This was likely related to a welfare reform policy in Florida requiring cash assistance recipients with children 3-months or older to engage in work-related activities. There was also evidence during this period, in order to meet state minimum-standards regulations, that child care centers in MDC and Massachusetts had to find other sources of funding for their infant and toddler programs, since neither the prices providers charged families, nor the reimbursements providers received from the state, covered the full costs of providing care for these age groups.

PIC ID: 8214; Agency Sponsor: ACF-ACYF, Administration on Children, Youth and Families; Federal Contact: Martinez-Beck, Ivelisse, 202-690-7885; Performer: National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA

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