ERIC Number: ED475194
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Untapped Potential? How States Contract Directly with Providers To Shore Up Child Care Choices for Low-Income Families.
Schumacher, Rachel; Irish, Kate; Greenberg, Mark H.
States are using federal and state dollars to expand child care assistance for low-income families. Nevertheless, persistent gaps in child care supply continue, particularly among specific populations. State expansion of child care funding has slowed, and most states face major fiscal crises. Many states have moved to all- or majority-voucher systems for delivering child care assistance to low-income working families. Nearly half of the states use contracts to fill supply gaps and expand choices for families. This study examined contracting policies, interviewing child care state administrators in most of the 24 states that used contracts in 2002. Between 1998-2000, the percentage of children receiving child care subsidies through contracted providers was 10-12 percent (with great variation among states). States used contracts to create and stabilize child care availability in certain areas; provide child care to meet the needs of specific populations; extend the day and year of care for children in Head Start; and improve the quality of program standards and enhance child care services. Results indicate that contracts help states target the needs of special populations, many people prefer contracts, and contracts allow states to conduct closer provider monitoring. Recommendations for the federal government, states, and future research are offered. Three appendices include methodology, state contract program descriptions, and state contact information. (SM)
Descriptors: Child Care, Federal Aid, Federal Programs, Low Income Groups, Migrant Children, School Age Child Care, Urban Areas
Center for Law and Social Policy, 1015 15th Street, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-906-8000; Fax: 202-842-2885; Web site: http://www.clasp.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.; Foundation for Child Development, New York, NY.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.; J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation.; Moriah Fund, Washington, DC.; Open Society Inst., New York, NY.; Public Welfare Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Social Policy, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families