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Exploring Parent Decision-Making: Subsidies, Employment, and Child Care

Resource Type: Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects
Principal Investigator(s): Carlin, Caroline; Davis, Elizabeth E.; Temple, Judy A.;
Date Issued: 2009
Description: Decisions that parents make with regard to nonparental child care for their children are tied to other household decisions. Intuitively, we would expect the choice of maternal employment and the setting of care for young children during the mother's employment hours to be a simultaneous decision. While we refer to these decisions as "choices", it is important to recognize that these occur with the context of (often severe) resource constraints and limited information, and are influenced by social and group norms and expectations. Not all of these constraints and influences are observable by researchers, making the detangling of these choices challenging in quantitative analysis. This project uses recent, nationally-representative, longitudinal data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) and innovative statistical methods to examine parents' child care and employment decisions in the context of subsidy receipt. Research questions include: (1) What factors affect parents' decisions about employment, use of non-parental child care and type of child care used?; and (2) what is the role of child care subsidies in these decisions?
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