Bridging the Gap

Examining Child Care's Intersection with Postsecondary Education and Workforce Development

With support of multiple funders, the Urban Institute is examining the systems, policies, and practices that affect access to child care for low-income, low-skilled parents seeking education and training.  Through a phased set of studies outlined below, our work has helped lay a framework for a broader conversation about the child care needs of low-income parents who are seeking economic security for themselves and their families by improving their education and skills.

1) Exploring and documenting challenges

2) Supporting the development of effective policies

  • Framework to help states facilitate access to child care for parents with low incomes in need of education and training (Durham, Spaulding, Adams, and Gebrekristos, 2019)​
  • CCDF subsidy receipt and use in the 50 states (Gebrekristos and Adams, 2019)  [This report updates sections of Adams, et al, 2014 listed below.]​
  • CCDF state eligibility policies in 2017 and changes to those polices over the past five years (Minton, Tran, and Dwyer, 2019)  [This report updates sections of Adams, et al, 2014 listed below.]
  • Compilation of Bridging the Gap research insights to inform policy discussions about work requirements for safety net programs (Adams and Spaulding 2018)
  • Challenges and opportunities of supporting the child care and workforce development needs of TANF families (Hahn et al. 2016)
  • Implications of new provisions in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for families needing child care to participate (Spaulding 2015)
  • Implications of the reauthorized CCDF for parents seeking education and training (Adams and Heller 2015)
  • Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) state eligibility policies and services for families in education and training (Adams et al. 2014 full report; Adams et al. 2014 policy brief) 

3) Supporting the development of effective practices

4) Supporting collaboration and access to resources

  •  Online discussion among practitioners working to bridge the gap between child care and education and training (Derrick-Mills et al. 2016)
  • Summary of conference proceedings from “Bridging the Gap: A Strategic Dialogue.” April 29, 2016 (Spaulding 2016)

For more information, contact the project codirectors:

Gina Adams
Senior Fellow

Shayne Spaulding
Senior Fellow