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Getting help with child care expenses

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Giannarelli, Linda; Adelman, Sarah & Schmidt, Stefanie R.
Publication Date: 
7 Feb 2003

Available in print for order (see SOURCE) and online for download.

Excerpt from executive summary:

Working families with children find different ways to cope with the high cost of nonparental child care. Families may obtain help from relatives, the government and other organizations, employers, nonresident parents, or other individuals. In some cases, families are able to use nonparental child care without paying anything - for instance, by participating in a program that does not require a parental payment, or by having a relative care for the children without payment. Other families get help with part of their child care bill but still have some child care expenses.

This analysis explores how much help employed families get with child care expenses and the types of help they receive. The findings are presented for all employed families as a whole and for different groups of families - low-income families, families with preschool-age children, and so on. The paper also examines the relationship between child care help and child care expenses.

The analysis is based on the National Survey of America's Families (NSAF), a nationally representative survey focused on families with children. The NSAF has been conducted twice, in 1997 and in 1999. This analysis focuses on the 1999 data, with some discussion of differences between the 1997 and 1999 results.