The National Study of Child Care of Low-Income Families project studied the low-income child care market in 25 communities in 17 states, with a sub-study to examine the family child care market in 5 neighborhoods drawn from these communities. It provides essential information on issues surrounding subsidized childcare and its implementation by the states, with particular attention how it was implemented after the passage of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). The study examined how significant shifts in welfare policy and programs affected the childcare market for welfare recipients and the working poor at the community level.
The project produced three main reports. In the State and Community Substudy report, state child care policies, practices, regulations and resource allocations were examined through state plans, surveys and interviews over a three year period, charting the states' economic condition, political structure and full implementation of PRWORA. In the Patterns of Child Care Use Among Low-Income Families report, communities were studied using a survey and other data collection techniques, such as focus groups and site observations, in order to determine what types of families used child care and child care subsidies. And in the Care in the Home report, information documenting and describing the family child care market was gathered through surveys, interviews, focus groups and observations in the child's home and care setting.