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Parent Employment and the Use of Child Care Subsidies

Authors: Stephanie A. Schaefer, J. Lee Kreader, Ann M. Collins, and Sharmila Lawrence
Publication Date: June 2006

This is an excerpt from the full brief.

A growing body of research is starting to shed light on the ways child care subsidies are achieving one of their central goals—supporting employment for low-income parents. Second in the series Reviews of Research on Child Care Subsidies, this research brief summarizes the Research Connections literature review of the same title, Parent Employment and the Use of Child Care Subsidies, which examines recent research addressing the basic question:

  • What parent employment outcomes are associated with the use of child care subsidies?

That is, how do employment decisions and patterns for low-income parents with subsidies tend to differ from those of low-income parents without them? For which subgroups of these parents—such as, those with or without high school diplomas, with or without
cash assistance histories—do child care subsidies appear to make more difference? What factors in addition to subsidies influence parents’ employment decisions? While these questions are posed broadly in terms of “parents,” the research to date focuses on “mothers.”