This paper describes the primary components of the U.S. child care subsidy system and highlights variation in policies and programs across states. It then describes challenges facing the child care subsidy system, including state fiscal constraints and access to quality child care settings for low-income children. It identifies state-level efforts to improve child care quality through quality rating systems and to coordinate child care with early education systems. Finally, the paper presents five questions for consideration in thinking about domestic child care policy.
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