Phase 1 (2010 – 2014) examines how subsidy program characteristics and employment circumstances operate to encourage or discourage subsidy receipt and subsidy stability, and in turn, how subsidy experiences contribute to child care arrangement (dis)continuity. Phase 1 examines these questions for the subsidy population overall, and for particular subgroups of subsidized families: families with complicated employment circumstances; families who use subsidies for both younger & older children; immigrant families; and TANF-subsidized families.
The first phase of CCRP involves three primary research components: a telephone survey of a random sample of new subsidy program entrants, a qualitative interview study with a subsample of survey respondents, and an administrative data component that includes a longitudinal analysis of child care subsidy caseload records linked to survey data and other public benefit data.
Our research questions are:
1) What are the different patterns of subsidy use and stability over time? What are the characteristics of families who demonstrate different subsidy patterns? How does subsidy use vary with other public program use and with employment patterns?
2) To what extent do subsidy program characteristics and parental work circumstances influence subsidy use and stability? Do parental work circumstances moderate the effects of subsidy program characteristics on subsidy use and stability?
3) How stable are child care arrangements for subsidy-receiving families both during a subsidy spell and over time? What are the characteristics of families who have unstable child care arrangements during a subsidy spell and/or over time? What is the relationship between subsidy stability and child care arrangement stability?
4) To what extent do subsidy program characteristics and parental work circumstances directly influence the stability of child care arrangements? Are these influences mediated by patterns of subsidy use?
5) What challenges to subsidy stability and child care stability do parents perceive to be most difficult? Are there subsidy program characteristics that parents perceive as promoting or hindering subsidy stability, child care options,and child care arrangement stability? How do parents perceive the directionality of influence between subsidy stability and child care arrangement stability?
6) What challenges to subsidy stability and child care stability are particularly salient for parents with non-traditional jobs and/or nonstandard work schedules, TANF families, immigrant families/non-English speaking parents, families with multiple children and school-aged children needing care? What strategies do these parents develop in their efforts to deal with the challenges they identify?