Brief How Contextual Constraints Affect Low-Income Working Parents' Child Care Choices
Heather Sandstrom, Lindsay Giesen, Ajay Chaudry
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A multiyear qualitative study describes how low-income parents view their supply of child care, how they learn about their options, and barriers to access. Common impediments include nonstandard schedules, inflexible employers, and unreliable transportation. Challenges are even more intense for immigrants, parents lacking English proficiency, and parents of infants and of children with special needs. Head Start can't enroll enough children to meet demand, and though many families qualify for child care assistance, CCDF spending is capped. Enhancing investment in these resources would help low-income working families get the higher quality and more stable care children need.
Research Areas Neighborhoods, cities, and metros Social safety net Children and youth
Tags Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Child care Families with low incomes