Child Care and the Welfare to Work Transition
Robert J. Lemke, Ann Dryden Witte, Magaly Queralt, Robert Witt
We assess the role of child care in the welfare to work transition using an unusually large and comprehensive data base. Our data are for Massachusetts, a state that began welfare reform in 1995 under a federal waiver, for the period July 1996 through August 1997. We find that both the nature of the child care market and the availability of subsidized care and early education affect the probability that current and former welfare recipients will work. Regarding the child care market, we find that the cost, stability and quality of care matter. We also find that child care subsidies and some types of early education serve to increase employment. To be more specific, we find that increased funding for child care subsidies and the availability of full day kindergarten significantly increase the probability the current and former welfare recipients work.