Patterns of Child Care Subsidy Use in New York City: Care Arrangements, Parental Preferences, and Subsidy Administration Policies
||The goal of this project is to examine associations among parental preferences for child care, parents' perceptions of care quality, subsidy policies, and the care arrangements that low-income working families in New York City use for their young children. The project relies on two data sources: (1) New York City administrative data on the entire population of subsidy recipients with children age 6 and younger to describe families' child care arrangements; and (2) a phone survey with a random sample of 2,250 families drawn from the administrative data file. The survey asks parents about their reasons for selecting each of their care arrangements, their level of satisfaction with the care they use, the dimensions of care that they perceive as most important, their work/family balance, and their experiences with the subsidy administration system. Using these data, the project attends to four sets of research questions: (1) What are the dynamics of subsidy use? What is the duration of subsidy use?; (2) Is there a mismatch between parents' stated preferences for child care, and the care that they actually use? What are the policy barriers that potentially prevent families from accessing the care that they prefer? Are there specific barriers faced by families who receive vouchers (as opposed to those who receive care in a contracted setting) that affect their use of formal care?; (3) Are parental preferences for child care differentially associated with the use of formal versus informal care? How are parental perceptions of child care quality and parental work characteristics associated with the use of formal or informal care?; and (4) Does the continuity of care depend on whether the care is informal or formal?
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