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Understanding churn: Predictors of reentry among families who leave the child care subsidy program in Maryland

Child care subsidies provide an important work support for low-income families, yet children often receive subsidies for only a short period of time and may cycle on and off the program. Much of the research to date on patterns of subsidy participation has focused on the duration of participation, and less attention has been paid to the dynamics of how often and how quickly children return to the program. This paper uses administrative data from Maryland to analyze the patterns of returns to the subsidy program after a break in subsidized care. We find that half of children who exited the program return to subsidy within five years, and most of those return within a few months. Returns to subsidized care are related to family circumstances, type of care, child age, and program policies related to eligibility redetermination. These factors have differential effects on the probability of returning to the same provider or a different provider, which may have important implications for the stability of children's care. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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