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Child-care subsidies and family well-being

Many low-income families receive child-care subsidies, and a small but growing literature examines the relationship between subsidies and family well-being. Some studies find a negative association between subsidy receipt and family well-being, raising questions about the processes that mediate the two. Drawing on a subsample of 1,189 subsidy recipients and eligible mothers from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, we investigate the relationship between child-care subsidies and maternal and child well-being using measures of parenting stress, maternal depression, and child cognitive and behavioral outcomes. Within a sample limited to working mothers, and after addressing issues of selection, we find little evidence to suggest relationships between subsidy receipt and maternal and child well-being, despite significant negative bivariate associations between subsidy receipt and measures of well-being. Null findings are consistent with those of other recent studies and suggest that subsidy receipt in and of itself is not associated with decreased well-being of either children or mothers. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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