Survey of Child Care Subsidy Recipients in New York City, June 2008-July 2009
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
||The goal of this project was to explore 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 relied on two data sources: (1) New York City administrative data on the entire population of subsidy recipients between January 2006 and December 2008 with children age six and younger to describe families' child care arrangements, and (2) a phone survey with a random sample of 2,045 families drawn from the administrative data and collected in two different waves. The first wave of data collection occurred between June 2008 and January 2009, the second wave occurred between February and July 2009. Due to the short interval between waves, no cohort effect was expected and the waves were merged into a single analytic sample, but the variable labels differentiate between the waves for future analysis.
Survey questions covered current child care arrangements, preferences for child care arrangements, satisfaction with subsidies, and experiences with subsidy enrollment and recertification. The administrative data were used to calculate the number and length of spells of subsidy use over the 36-month period. Children are classified according to subsidy mechanism (contract vs voucher) and population (public assistance vs low-income). Weights were created so survey respondents would generalize to the population of subsidy recipients as of February 2008 (including multiple children per family).
Using these data, the project aimed to answer four 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 received 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?
4.Does the continuity of care depend on whether the care is informal or formal?
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