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A Historical View of The Demographic and Employment Characteristics of Families Receiving Child Care Subsidies From 2009-2013

Publication Date

The child care subsidy program provides critical support to families to support parental labor force participation as well as child development. This study provides a historical view of the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of parents who received subsidies over the 2009-2013 period. Little is known about subsidy recipients at that time, as most research is based on surveys, which undercount the number of people getting these subsidies. This study uses more rigorous methods that can more accurately describe participants who received subsidies 10 years ago. Key findings include:

  • Over the 2009 to 2013 period, the subsidy program was critical for parents to maintain employment and support their children. The program targeted unmarried parents – particularly mothers – many of whom had some education above a high school degree. The program likely contributed to most participating parents maintaining a strong attachment to employment and family income above poverty.
  • Most parents receiving child care subsidies had a high school diploma or GED, and over half had attended some college or completed a bachelor’s degree.
  • Most participating parents had a substantial attachment to employment, with nearly eight in 10 working, and many working full time.
  • Over half the families had income above the federal poverty level.
  • More than eight of 10 participating parents were not married, with 80 percent being unmarried mothers.

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Product Type
Research Brief
Children | Mothers | Families with Children
Location- & Geography-Based Data
National Data | State Data
Child Care Development Fund (CCDF)