The Policy Context and Infant and Toddler Care in the Welfare Reform Era
Ann Witte, Magaly Queralt, Robert Witt, Harriet Griesinger
NBER Working Paper No. 8893
We provide descriptive evidence from Miami-Dade County (MDC), FL and from five representative areas in Massachusetts (MA) that government policies governing welfare reform, the child-care subsidy system and minimum-standards regulation have had considerable impact on the availability, price, and quality of infant and toddler care, as welfare reform progressed from 1996 to 2000. Among our more interesting findings are the following: (1) There has been more than a doubling of the number of low-income infants and toddlers with child care subsidies in formal care in MDC, an area where cash assistance recipients are required to be active when their youngest child is three years old; and (2) Child care centers in both MA and MDC appear to be subsidizing their infant and toddler programs; this helps to explain why it has been difficult to expand the amount of infant and toddler care available.