Panel: Public Early Care and Education and its Impacts on Child and Family Outcomes
(Family and Child Policy)

Friday, November 3, 2017: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Stetson G (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Owen N. Schochet, Georgetown University
Panel Chairs:  Anna D. Johnson, Georgetown University
Discussants:  Chris M. Herbst, Arizona State University

Effects of Childcare Subsidies on Long Term Outcomes of Low Income Children
Wladimir Zanoni, University of Chicago and Anna Johnson, Georgetown University

Variation in State Child Care Subsidy Policies and Its Impacts on Subsidy Receipt and Child Care Arrangements
Yoonsook Ha1, Daniel Miller1, Margaret M C Thomas1 and Marci Ybarra2, (1)Boston University, (2)University of Chicago

Do Parental Nonstandard Work Schedules Explain Income-Based Gaps in Center-Based Early Care and Education Participation?
Alejandra Ros Pilarz, Ying-Chun Lin and Katherine Magnuson, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Publicly-funded early care and education (ECE) plays an important role in children’s development and provides a valuable support to low-income families with young children. It is therefore important to understand the design and impact of these services and to ensure their quality and accessibility to improve both child and family outcomes.

This symposium seeks to address this need by presenting four papers that examine how parental employment and state-level policies influence take-up of publicly-funded ECE programs, and how child and family outcomes are supported by participation in publicly-funded ECE.  The first paper uses a sample of children ages 0 to 5 from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) to examine the extent to which parental nonstandard work schedules may help explain income-based gaps in center-based ECE participation; they find evidence that they do.  Merging data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and state-level data from the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), the second paper examines what state-level child care subsidy rules are correlated with subsidy receipt and ECE setting type.  Results indicate that the use of a wait list is significantly associated with lower take-up, while a lower family copayment policy is associated with higher take-up of subsidies and increased use of center-based care arrangements.

The third paper uses quasi-experimental methods to test the effects of Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) subsidy receipt in early childhood on children’s test scores and school absences in eighth grade.  Using a unique database of linked administrative records in Chicago, IL, the authors find that the 8th-grade test scores and absenteeism patterns among children exposed to CCDF-subsidized child care programs are better than what those would have been in the absence of program participation. Further exploring the effects of participation in publicly-funded ECE programs on parental education, the fourth paper uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) to examine the effects of CCDF subsidy receipt on changes in educational attainment for a low-income sample of mothers.  The authors’ execution of OLS regression, difference-in-difference, and robust propensity score models provide considerable evidence that subsidy receipt improves maternal educational attainment over two critical early child development periods, particularly for mothers with low baseline levels of education.

Given the breadth and depth of these papers, a lively question-and-answer session is expected, which will be made richer via discussant comments provided by Dr. Chris Herbst, Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs and a faculty affiliate in the School of Social Work in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University.

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