urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Poverty, Assets, and Safety Net

Mother and ChildGovernment safety net programs aim to protect families during tough times—before they fall into poverty. But rising unemployment, foreclosures, and economic distress are putting pressure on a system already in need of updates and repairs.

Urban Institute experts, building on decades of welfare reform research, evaluated public safety nets and proposed new initiatives to bolster work supports and help families gain a stable financial footing. Read more.

Featured Links

Data Tools

  • NICCNet Income Change Calculator
  • TRIM3 program and poverty analysis model
  • Welfare Rules Database — tables on TANF data from each of the states and Washington D.C.

Related Policy Centers

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A Review of Child Care Needs of Eligible Families in Massachusetts (Research Report)
Julia Isaacs, Michael Katz, Sarah Minton, Molly Michie

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.

Posted to Web: March 27, 2015Publication Date: March 27, 2015

Review of Massachusetts Child Care Subsidy Eligibility Policies and Practices: A Report for the Assessment of the Massachusetts Subsidized Child Care System (Research Report)
Gina Adams, Michael Katz

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.

Posted to Web: March 27, 2015Publication Date: March 27, 2015

Balancing Quality Early Education and Parents' Workforce Success: Insights from the Urban Institute's Assessment of the Massachusetts Subsidized Child Care System (Research Report)
Gina Adams, Michael Katz

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.

Posted to Web: March 27, 2015Publication Date: March 27, 2015

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