Low income families search for quality child care four community profiles
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Low Income Families’ Search for Quality Child Care Four Community Profiles. Demetra Evangelou Susan Kontos Jim Elicker Department of Child Development and Family Studies Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 47907-1269 USA Research funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Low Income Families’ Search for Quality Child CareFour Community Profiles

Demetra Evangelou Susan Kontos Jim Elicker

Department of Child Development and Family Studies

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1269

USA

Research funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Outline

  • Overview of study

    Community Child Care Research Project (CCCRP)

  • Purpose

  • Methods

  • Findings

  • Implications

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Indiana: The crossroads of America

  • Population: 6,080,485 ethnic

  • Capitol city: Indianapolis

  • Median income for 4 person family: $62,097

  • 15.4% of children under 5 in poverty (national 20.8%)

  • Unemployment rate: 5%

  • More exempt care than other states

  • 34% single parent household

  • 7.3 % LBW

  • 90.000 children in subsidized care

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Research Questions

  • Types of child care settings low income working poor families use

  • Problems in finding and maintaining child care arrangements

  • Flexibility in the child care arrangements and in employment conditions

Community Variations

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Project Overview

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Population

Working poor families

  • Families that earn $35,000 or less/year

  • Training/in school/working

  • Single mother/absent father

  • Very young

  • Multiple children

  • Not receiving TANF (welfare)

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Purpose

  • Describe the difficulties experienced by low income working poor families in finding and maintaining child care for their children

  • Understand the process by which families find and maintain reliable, affordable and acceptable in quality child care

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Methodology

  • Child Care Expert key Informant Interviews

    • Semi structured phone interviews

  • Parent Focus Groups

    • Semi structured face to face interviews

  • State Data

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Parents

Safety trust

Who should care for the children

Child age

The subsidy cycle

Employer involvement

Flexible hours

Transportation

Experts

Rising demand

Parent education

Improve quality

Provider training

Alternative forms

Subsidies

General findings

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Child Care Settings in the Four Counties

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Locating Child Care

  • Allen

    “Try to keep my kids at home, you know under my wings”

  • Lake

    “People who work there they make it hard for you”

  • Marion

    Look around the neighborhood, make appointments, internet

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Flexibility

  • Allen

    “They don’t care what your excuse is..they have no sympathy for people with kids”

  • Marion

    “..so it would be nice sometime to know that ok it’s Tuesday and my kids can be there and I am going to do grocery shopping”

  • St. Joseph

    “Child care centers should be available you know for working parents during the day and also students in the evening”

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Problems

  • Allen

    “The vicious circle that goes”

  • Lake

    “It was so inflexible that it was impossible to work the three to eleven shift”

  • Marion

    “I don’t like that sometimes a lot of teachers are coming and going…get some good teachers and pay them a little more so they can stay.”

  • St. Joseph

    “I did not want her in a home day care because she basically when the kids go there they watch cartoons and that’s what they did all day long”

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Financial Resources

  • Allen

    “Child care is expensive, my daughter is $180 a week…if it wasn’t for the voucher agent I wouldn’t have been able to pay for it.”

  • Lake

    “You know it is impossible at $7.85 an hour”

  • Marion

    “look at us we are all single mothers, we all work 40/50 hours a week just to pay the rent….I don’t know what I would have done”

  • St. Joseph

    “If I make anything more than what I make, they’ll pull my child care”

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Dreaming

  • Allen

    “An ideal child care would be affordable and you know that your child is watched like a hawk every second”

  • Lake

    “Trust, trusting relationship with your kids, dependable, pick them up, drop them off and it just really trusting somebody”

  • Marion

    “You can drop them off whenever you want to”

  • St. Joseph

    “Longer hours, come to my home”

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Community

  • Allen

    Affordable and closer to work places

  • Marion

    “If you qualify for this program and send our child to day care so you can go to work”

  • St. Joseph

    “People that are working and going to school and trying to do the right thing should get the extra help”

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Supports

Family

Subsidies

Challenges

Single parents

Safety/trust

Need for back up care

Fragile balance

Planning for a rainy day:Low income working poor families

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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Implications

  • Child care quality

  • Parental education/expectations

  • Accessibility

  • Flexibility

  • Affordability

  • Employer support

  • Policy design

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002


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THANK YOU

EECERA conference Nicosia, Cyprus, August 28-31, 2002