Child Care

Patricia M. Anderson

in Targeting Investments in Children

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780226475813
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226475837 | DOI:
Child Care

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Child care provision has been an important component of welfare reform. Time spent on child care may have immediate effects on the child and ultimately on his or her adult outcomes. Whether these effects are likely to be positive or negative is the main topic of this chapter. The focus here is simply on basic child care, which exists to care for children while their parents participate in the labor force. The chapter proceeds by first reviewing the data on current child care utilization and then by reviewing the observational literature on the effects of child care and the drawbacks, before moving on to the few nonobservational studies available. While experimental studies focused purely on child care are rare, there were many random assignment welfare-to-work demonstrations that had an important child care component. It does not seem that spending on child care itself can be considered a front-line approach to poverty fighting. The fact that children will be in nonparental care, however, means that spending on quality may pay dividends. It is here that carefully done experiments on the relatively straightforward aspects of quality, highlighted in observational studies such as those from the National Institute of Child Health and Development, would be quite useful.

Keywords: child care; front-line approach; nonparental care; Child Health; poverty

Chapter.  7041 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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