The profile of arrangements used by these low-income parents is strikingly different from that used by all low-income families
These can take the form of reducing child:adult ratios, reducing group sizes, establishing and enforcing safety regulations, and education and training. An example of such regulations is a model standard that applies to small family home caregivers. The National Health and Safety Performance Standard (American Public Health Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, 1992) states that one small family caregiver who does not have an assistant “shall not care for more than six children, including no more than two children under age 2. These numbers include the caregiver’s own children under the age of six. If only children under age 2 are in care, there shall be no more than three children, including those of the caregiver” (Chapter 1, Staffing).
If any child under age 3 is in care, there shall be no more than four children, including the caregiver’s own children under the age of six
We also have training programs for providers of child care. The Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, West Virginia Child Care Development Specialist Registered Apprenticeship Program offers child care apprentices 4,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training and 300 hours of classroom instruction. The child care providers earn their salaries while they are in the program and receive incremental wage increases as their skill, ability, and knowledge increase. The DOL reports that employers report almost no turong child care providers and that providers remain highly satisfied with their careers (dol.gov/dol/wb/public/childcare/child3.pdf).
Private employers may sometimes directly or indirectly provide resource and referral services. Some employers contract with private agencies to assist employees in learning about the range of child care options. The government could encourage such activities by CA payday loans providing subsidies or tax credits to firms if they provide such assistance. An example of this is the program at the Virginia Mason Medical Center which offers child/family resource and referral services.
Recent reports suggest that although some federal funds are available to improve access to higher-quality care among lower-income families, some states have not made these funds available or have set up programs that result in low take-up rates. According to “Access to Child Care for Low-Income Working Families” released in October 1999, 1.5 million children of 14.7 million (about 10 percent) in low-income households were receiving child care subsidies. The major source of funds is the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), a federal program that provides funds to states to subsidize child care. According to federal law, children living in families with incomes up to 85 percent of median income in the state could be eligible, but states have set lower limits ( The levels set and the take-up rates differ across states. The report details coverage in each state and take-up rates. Expanding eligibility to the federal maximum level and/or encouraging take-up of the existing subsidies through outreach are ways to increase the demand for high-quality care.
Data aggregated from state agencies indicate that the child care arrangement most frequently chosen by parents receiving direct federal subsidies is center-based care (Phillips, 1995), see Figure 8.
This evidence indicates that families do respond to available subsidies. Siegel and Loman (1991) found, as well, that AFDC families in Illinois showed different distributions of child care use based on whether they received a child care subsidy and which subsidy they received. Families receiving a child care benefit that reimbursed them for their child care costs 30 to 60 days after they had incurred these costs were discouraged from using child care options they could not afford with their disposable income. Their patterns of use were similar to those of unsubsidized, low-income families. In contrast, families who received subsidies through programs that either subsidized providers directly or enabled the families to pay providers when fees were due showed substantially higher rates of reliance on center-based and formal family day care arrangements.