Performance Improvement 2008. Are Child Care and Development Funds Serving Rural Children?


This project examined the extent to which subsidies from the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) served families in urban and rural areas of the country in FY 2004. The project used county identification codes from administrative records to identify the urban or rural geography of the counties in which recipients resided. While some counties consisted almost entirely of either urban or rural areas, many contained a blend of city and countryside land masses and were not easily defined with a two-category identification system. To address this challenge, the researcher used the Isserman Urban-Rural Density classification system and placed each child into one of four types of counties based on the blend of urban and rural areas inside their borders.

Overall, the analyst found that the distribution of CCDF caseloads approximately matched the distribution of children in all income groups residing in those areas. For example, about 61 percent of the CCDF caseload resided in urban or partially urban counties, which was about the same percentage of the nation's under-ten child population that lived in those counties. The study also compared the characteristics of subsidy recipients in urban and rural areas of the country and found that urban and rural caseloads had many similarities. Families in both urban and rural areas predominately used the program to attend work, versus training activities, and their children were in subsidized care for over 30 hours per week. The study confirmed previous findings that rural CCDF children participated in center programs at lower rates than urban CCDF children.

Report Title: Child Care Subsidies In Urban And Rural Counties,
Agency Sponsor:
ASPE-OHSP, Office of Human Services Policy
Federal Contact:
Kendall Swenson, 202-690-6888
Staff of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

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"PerformanceImprovement2008.pdf" (pdf, 1.29Mb)

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