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Child Care Subsidies Not Protecting Families

"A young child is no longer simply a child; he or she is a preschooler, poised at the starting gate in the race of life." —Neil Kurshan


A report of the National Center for Children in Poverty (, "The Dynamics of Child Care Subsidy Use: A Collaborative Study of Five States," documents how the current child care subsidy system in the United States does a poor job of protecting children and families:

"This study suggests that in addition to having trouble accessing subsidy assistance, low income families may be having trouble retaining their assistance. One of the clearest conclusions from decades of research on welfare dynamics and employment of low-educated workers is that mothers in the low-wage job sector experience both high levels of job instability and low levels of earnings growth over time. This suggests that low-income families exiting welfare, and other working poor families, are likely to need child care subsidy assistance for a long period of time. The results of this study suggest that, currently, the assistance families receive is not very continuous, does not last very long, and may be associated with substantial turnover in their children's care arrangements. These dynamics do not bode well for either families' economic security or for children's healthy socioemotioinal development."

To learn about advocacy initiatives in the US aimed at improving our subsidy system, check out our Strategic Partners web sites at

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