Child Care for Low-Income Families

Directions for Research

Summary of a Workshop

Anne Bridgman and Deborah A. Phillips, Editors

Steering Committee on Child Care Workshops

Board on Children and Families

Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Research Council

Institute of Medicine

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1996



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Child Care for Low-Income Families: Summary of a Workshop Child Care for Low-Income Families Directions for Research Summary of a Workshop Anne Bridgman and Deborah A. Phillips, Editors Steering Committee on Child Care Workshops Board on Children and Families Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council Institute of Medicine NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1996

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Child Care for Low-Income Families: Summary of a Workshop NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Harold Liebowitz is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Harold Liebowitz are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Ford Foundation. Additional copies of this report are available from: Board on Children and Families National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 (202) 334-3965 Printed in the United States of America Copyright 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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Child Care for Low-Income Families: Summary of a Workshop STEERING COMMITTEE ON CHILD CARE WORKSHOPS JACK SHONKOFF (Chair), Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University LARRY BUMPASS, Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin ALETHA C. HUSTON, Human Development and Family Life, University of Kansas DONNA KLEIN, Work-Life Programs, Marriott International, Washington, D.C. REBECCA MAYNARD, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania EVELYN MOORE, National Black Child Development Institute, Washington, D.C. DEBORAH STIPEK, Graduate School of Education, University of California at Los Angeles JOEL J. ALPERT (Liaison), Institute of Medicine Council RUTH T. GROSS (Liaison), Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Institute of Medicine

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Child Care for Low-Income Families: Summary of a Workshop BOARD ON CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SHELDON H. WHITE (Chair), Department of Psychology, Harvard University JACK P. SHONKOFF (Vice Chair), Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University JOMILLS H. BRADDOCK II, Department of Sociology, University of Miami DAVID V.B. BRITT, Children's Television Workshop, New York City LARRY BUMPASS, Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin PEGGY DAVIS, Clinical Law Center, New York University FERNANDO A. GUERRA, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District BERNARD GUYER, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Johns Hopkins University ALETHA C. HUSTON, Human Development and Family Life, University of Kansas RAY MARSHALL, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas ROBERT MICHAEL, Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago PAUL NEWACHECK, Institute of Health Policy Studies and Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco JULIUS B. RICHMOND, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University Medical School TIMOTHY M. SANDOS, TCI Central, Inc., Denver, Colorado LISBETH B. SCHORR, Harvard Project on Effective Services, Harvard University CAROLE SIMPSON, ABC News, Washington, D.C. DEBORAH STIPEK, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Los Angeles DIANA TAYLOR, Women's Health Program, Department of Family Health Care Nursing, University of California, San Francisco GAIL WILENSKY, Project Hope, Bethesda, Maryland JOEL J. ALPERT (Liaison), Institute of Medicine Council

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Child Care for Low-Income Families: Summary of a Workshop ANN L. BROWN (Liaison), Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education RUTH T. GROSS (Liaison), Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Institute of Medicine DEBORAH A. PHILLIPS, Director ANNE BRIDGMAN, Program Officer for Communications ANNE STEWART, Consultant DRUSILLA BARNES, Administrative Associate

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Child Care for Low-Income Families: Summary of a Workshop This page in the original is blank.

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Child Care for Low-Income Families: Summary of a Workshop Preface Families' reliance on child care has risen significantly over the past 30 years. In 1993, 9.9 million children under age 5 needed care while their mothers worked (Bureau of the Census, 1995); approximately 1.6 million of these children lived in families with monthly incomes below $1,500. Another 22.3 million children ages 5 to 14 have working mothers, and many of them require care outside school hours. More than two-thirds of all infants receive nonparental child care during their first year of life, with most enrolled for about 30 hours each week (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 1995). Increased national attention to child care has also been spurred by rising costs, renewed understanding of the importance of children 's early experiences to future development, and problems experienced by states in serving all low-income families who are eligible for child care assistance. Child care for children in low-income families is of particular interest given current federal and state reforms in education and welfare that may boost the numbers of very young low-income children in need of child care, as well as put added pressures on preschools to pay more attention to preparing children for school. To focus and advance discussion on these compelling issues, the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (the federal agency that administers national child care assistance programs) asked the Board on Children and Families of the

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Child Care for Low-Income Families: Summary of a Workshop National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine to convene three workshops on child care for low-income families. The first two workshops, held in February and April 1995, sought to distill the conclusions available from current research about child care for low-income families, especially research conducted since the National Research Council's 1990 publication of Who Cares for America's Children? (Hayes et al., 1990), and examine the current status of the child care delivery system. Discussions from those workshops are summarized in a report entitled Child Care for Low-Income Families: Summary of Two Workshops (Phillips, 1995). That report addresses factors that affect low-income families' patterns of child care use; child care and children's development, including safety, quality, and continuity; child care and economic self-sufficiency; and the structure and consequences of child care subsidies. The third workshop, which is the subject of this volume, considered promising directions for research on child care, using the issues raised at the first two workshops as a stepping-off point. Participants at that workshop (held in July 1995) stressed a belief in the value of research as a guide for policy developments in this area. Participants at the third workshop represented a range of vantage points on data needs in the area of child care, including an interdisciplinary group of scholars who have studied child care and related issues, foundation representatives, federal agency heads and staff (including those in the social service and statistical agencies), congressional staff, and state and local child care administrators. Their charge: to identify promising directions for research on child care that cuts across disciplinary boundaries, integrates different data collection strategies, and establishes a closer articulation between the interests of those who conduct research and the information needs of those who use research to inform policy and practice. The workshops' focal point was poor and low-income families who use typical community-and family-based child care arrangements, as distinct from enriched early intervention programs that also may serve as child care. Low-income families were defined to include the working and nonworking poor, as well as families living just above the poverty line. Low income was typically used to refer to families with incomes below $15,000, which now include one out of every four children under age 6 (Hernandez, 1995). Jack P. Shonkoff, Chair Steering Committee on Child Care Workshops