National Study of Child Care for Low-Income Families: State and Community Substudy Final Report

Published: September 15, 2007
Child Care
National Study of Child Care of Low-Income Families, 1997-2007 | Learn more about this project

The National Study of Child Care for Low-Income Families, conducted for the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was a ten-year effort in 17 states and 25 communities to provide information on the response of states and communities to the child care needs of low-income families, on the employment and child care choices these families made, and on the factors that influenced those choices. In addition, the study focused on the family child care arrangements of low-income families and the experiences of children in this type of care. The study was conducted by Abt Associates Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

The study was designed to examine how states and communities formulate and implement policies and programs to meet the child care needs of families moving from welfare to work, and other low-income parents; how these policies change over time; and how these policies, as well as other factors, affect the type, amount, and cost of care in communities. In addition, the study investigated the factors that shape the child care decisions of low-income families, and the role that child care subsidies play in those decisions. Finally, the study examined, in depth and over a period of two and one-half years, a group of families that use various kinds of family child care, and their child care providers. The goal was to develop a better understanding of the family child care environment, and the extent to which the care provided in that environment meets parents’ needs for care that supports their work-related needs and meets children’s needs for a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment.

Last Reviewed: April 29, 2019