image Visit coronavirus.govVisit disclaimer page for the latest Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) updates.
View ACF COVID-19 Responses and Resources

Engaging Providers and Clients: Using Behavioral Economics to Increase On-Time Child Care Subsidy Renewals

Published: January 8, 2016
Self-Sufficiency, Welfare & Employment
Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) Research Portfolio | Learn more about this project, Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS), 2010-2016 | Learn more about this project

This report presents findings from a study designed in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) to increase the number of clients who renew their child care subsidy on time.

The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) team diagnosed factors that might inhibit on-time renewal and designed three interventions for improvement:

  1. A “provider intervention,” which gave child care providers more information about their clients’ renewal deadlines and prompted them to send reminders about and help clients with renewal;
  2. A “client intervention,” which used early and clear communication to clarify the renewal process and continued follow-up communication; and
  3. A “combined intervention,” which included both the client and provider interventions

The interventions were tested in a randomized controlled trial including more than 9,000 clients who were randomly assigned to a client intervention-only group; a provider intervention-only group; a combined intervention group (clients who received the client intervention and whose providers received the provider intervention); and a control group.

This report shares key findings about each of the three interventions.

Last Reviewed: April 29, 2019