ERIC Number: ED479404
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Low Income and Hardship among America's Kindergarteners. Living at the Edge Research Brief.
This report describes the degree and nature of hardship among low-income and poor working and nonworking families in a nationally representative sample of kindergartners--the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (Kindergarten Cohort). Five hardship indicators were examined: (1) lack of child health insurance; (2) child has not seen doctor at least once in previous year; (3) child has not seen dentist at least once in previous year; (4) family residential instability; and (5) insufficient food in previous year. Findings indicated that at least 1 in 8 families with incomes between 100 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) could not obtain child health insurance, had not taken their child to a dentist in the past year, and had moved at least three times in their child's life. Children in families with incomes below FPL were more likely to have health insurance if neither parent was working than if one or more parents were employed full-time. The inability to obtain sufficient food and child health insurance was constant among families with incomes 100 to 200 percent of FPL, regardless of parental work status. Only when incomes were above 200 percent of FPL were parents who were working full-time better able to provide for their children than parents working less than full-time and receiving assistance. The report concludes with a discussion of policy implications and recommendations for expanding federally-funded food assistance programs, eliminating disincentives and redoubling efforts to enroll children in public health insurance programs, and providing working parents with access to health insurance and food stamps to offset costs of working. (Contains 15 endnotes.) (KB)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Comparative Analysis, Employed Parents, Family Work Relationship, Health Insurance, Hunger, Kindergarten Children, Low Income Groups, Poverty, Public Policy, Welfare Recipients
National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, 215 West 125th Street, Third Floor, New York, NY 10027-4426. Tel: 646-284-9600; Fax: 646-284-9623; Web site: http://www.nccp.org. For full text: http://www.nccp.org/media/lat03c-text.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. National Center for Children in Poverty.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Childrens Health Insurance Program
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey