Urban Institute experts study public policies' effects on families and parents. We analyze family-leave policies, public supports for families, and government policies aimed at strengthening marriage. Our Low-Income Working Families project explores the hardships of employed families struggling to make ends meet.
A third of all families with children (13.4 million families) have incomes less than twice the federal poverty line. A sudden job loss or health crisis could derail them. Tax credits, food stamps, child care subsidies, and other work supports help. But they don't always close the gap between earnings and basic needs. Urban Institute analysts have proposed new initiatives to protect low-income working families, and help them get ahead.
This report reviews the need for subsidized child care in Massachusetts. Gaps between need and supply were identified by comparing estimates of children needing care to licensing and subsidy data. Additional information was collected through interviews with experts across the state. The report's findings include gaps for infant and toddler care, children in two of six sub-state regions, and families working nontraditional hours. It also highlighted challenges geographically matching needs and supply and the link between the child care subsidy system and the broader child care market.
This report summarizes findings from a review of Massachusetts’ child care subsidy eligibility policies and implementation practices. The review included interviews and focus groups with approximately 60 experts and stakeholders with a broad range of perspectives on the system. It identifies several important issues that, if addressed, could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the subsidized child care system. Such reforms would help fill in some of the gaps in the current policy framework, which has many strong components. This review is one component of a legislatively mandated assessment of the Massachusetts subsidized child care system.
This report examines the Massachusetts child care subsidy system's balance between providing quality early childhood education and providing workforce support for parents. It is based on qualitative and quantitative data and findings from several studies conducted as part of a legislatively mandated assessment of the Massachusetts subsidized child care system. It highlights some of the key gaps that appear to undercut one or both goals, with findings organized in four areas; subsidy system goals and administrative approach, funding levels and allocation of subsidies, supply of subsidized child care, and challenges associated with meeting the needs of parents with nontraditional workforce patterns.
Maternal depression threatens the well-being of millions of children in the United States and may increase the risk of child obesity. Poor eating habits may be the link between those two conditions. This research brief suggests that young children with mothers reporting depressive symptoms consume more unhealthy foods and beverages and fewer healthy foods and beverages than children with mothers who do not report depressive symptoms.
Knowing the economic challenges young fathers without postsecondary education face in providing for their families, New York City's Young Men's Initiative launched a fatherhood program housed in LaGuardia Community College in spring 2012. The CUNY Fatherhood Academy (CFA) aims to connect young fathers to academic and employment opportunities while supporting them through parenting classes and workshops. This report summarizes Urban Institute's qualitative evaluation of the program. The evaluation, completed under contract with the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity, focuses on CFA's design, implementation, and participant outcomes in the four cohorts served between March 2012 and December 2013.