PROJECTBridging the Gap


women holding a stroller and walking down a long staircase with her child

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 parents with low incomes who are seeking education and training to improve their skills and job prospects. Through a phased set of studies, our work lays the framework for a broader conversation and highlights key opportunities for action to meet the child care needs of this group of parents who are seeking improved economic security for themselves and their families.

  • Overview of the child care and workforce development systems, their intersection, and implications for policy (Adams, Spaulding, and Heller 2015; full report and policy brief)
  • Summary of conference proceedings from “Bridging the Gap: A Strategic Dialogue,” April 29, 2016 (Spaulding 2016)
  • Online discussion among practitioners working to bridge the gap between child care and education and training (Derrick-Mills et al. 2016)
  • Framework to help states facilitate access to child care for parents with low incomes in need of education and training (Durham et al. 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.]
  • The child care implications of the Medicaid work requirements in states that require parents with children to comply (Adams et al. 2019)
  • 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 families on TANF (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) 

For more information, contact the project codirectors:

Gina Adams
Senior Fellow
[email protected]

Shayne Spaulding
Senior Fellow
[email protected]

Research Areas Families Children and youth Workforce
Tags Job training Apprenticeships Student parents Building America’s Workforce
Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population Income and Benefits Policy Center