Access to Early Care and Education for Disadvantaged Families

Posted by Child Trends on June 25, 2018

Child Trends report highlights income-based access to ECE

A new report from Child Trends examines income-based differences in access to early care and education (ECE) services, and explores how different state subsidy programs support equity of access to ECE. According to the report, low-income parents were less likely than their higher-income counterparts to perceive a choice in the decision about their child’s care. They were also less likely to consider multiple child care options during their search.

Researchers found greater equity in children’s use of center-based child care in states where subsidized child care providers received more funding per subsidized child. These states also had the greatest equity in terms of parental choice when searching for child care. States with more inclusive income guidelines for the subsidy program, coupled with higher family copayments, had the greatest equity in terms of meeting parents’ child care preferences.

The greatest gap in low- and higher-income families’ access to high-quality child care was found in states that focus on serving the neediest families; these states had lower-than-average reimbursement rates and average copayments.

To view the report, go here.

Access to Early Care and Education for Disadvantaged Families: Do Levels of Access Reflect State’s Child Care Subsidy Policies?

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