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Study of the Effects of Making Families Eligible for Subsidies In Illinois. Draft Results. October 2009. Research Partners. One of four random-assignment studies that are part of the Child Care Subsidy Evaluation, funded by OPRE

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study of the effects of making families eligible for subsidies in illinois

Study of the Effects of Making Families Eligible for Subsidies In Illinois

Draft Results

October 2009

research partners
Research Partners
  • One of four random-assignment studies that are part of the Child Care Subsidy Evaluation, funded by OPRE
  • Abt Associates is the prime contractor with partners MDRC and National Center for Children in Poverty
  • MDRC is taking primary responsibility for the impact study analysis

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

research design
Research Design
  • Overview:
    • Illinois Dept of Human Services and the Illinois Action for Children worked closely with us to do the study. Illinois DHS was willing to commit $6 million for the initiative.
    • Families over income eligibility ceiling in Cook County, IL were randomly assigned to be eligible for subsidies for 2 years.
    • 1/2 of the program group had a 6-month redetermination period; the other half had a 12-month redetermination period.
    • 1884 families in the study, includes applicants and re-applicants.
    • Incomes between 50-65% of SMI ($18,000 - $24,000/year).
  • Research Questions:
    • What is the effect of receiving child care subsidies on child care, employment, and income?
    • What is the effect of extending the redetermination period on the stability of subsidy receipt?
  • Data Sources:
    • Administrative records from Unemployment Insurance, public assistance, and child care subsidy program
    • Telephone interview with parents

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

data sources
Data Sources
  • Baseline data from subsidy application
  • Data from administrative records
    • Child care subsidies
    • Unemployment insurance (employment and earnings)
    • Public assistance (TANF and Food Stamps)
  • Data from survey (conducted about two years after random assignment)
    • Child care history since random assignment (e.g., type, interruptions in care, hours)
    • Child care reliability, flexibility, satisfaction, and out-of-pocket costs
    • Employment history since random assignment (e.g., hourly wage, fringe benefits)
    • Income at the time of the survey
    • Issues with the survey: varied follow-up period with subsidy group responding earlier & recall and bias issues. We limited the follow-up period and weighted the responses.

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

slide5
Parental Child Care Decision-Making: Conceptual Model

Family

Parent & Child

Characteris-

tics

Parent Values, Beliefs, & Definitions

Financial Assistance Used

CHANGE OF ELIGIBILITY

For CCDF Subsidy

Stability

Amount

Other Financial Assistance

Parental Employment Outcomes

Opportunities

Constraints

Barriers

(As perceived byparent)

Preferences:

Dynamic set of parent opinions

Community

Quantity and quality of child care supply

Employment characteristics

Social Networks

Consumer Education /qualitative information

Child CareArrangement(s) Used

Number

Type

Hours

Price/costs

Stability

Perception of Quality

Family and Child Outcomes

Model comes from merge of products created by Child Care Policy Research Consortium (2003) and the Minnesota Child Care Research Partnership (2008).

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

slide6
Please note that these results are preliminary.

A final report will be available in the next few months.

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

context characteristics of families
Context – Characteristics of Families

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

context characteristics of community
Context – Characteristics of Community
  • Cook County, IL
  • Chicago and surrounding areas
  • Between 2005-2008

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

context characteristics of the subsidy at time of the study
Context: Characteristics of the Subsidy at Time of the Study
  • Income-eligibility ceiling for subsidies in Illinois: 50% of SMI
  • Illinois serves all eligible applicants
  • Standard 6-month redetermination period
  • Co-payment is tied to income and number of children in care

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

co payment and reimbursement rates 2005
Weekly Copayments and Reimbursement Rates in Illinois, 2005

Copayment and provider reimbursement

1 child in care

2 children in care

Copayment amounts by income as a percent of state median income ($)

Standard child care subsidy eligibility

1

2

8.4% to 12.5%

3

4

12.5% to 16.7%

5

7

16.7% to 20.9%

8

12

20.9% to 25.0%

11

16

25.0% to 29.2%

15

22

29.2% to 33.4%

20

34

33.4% to 37.6%

25

44

37.6% to 41.7%

31

54

41.7% to 45.9%

37

64

45.9% to 50.0%

43

74

Expanded income eligibility for current study

50.0% to 55.0%

49

84

55.0% to 60.0%

55

94

60.0% to 65.0%

61

104

Reimbursement rates ($)

Center care

Child under 2 1/2 years old

169

338

Child over 2 1/2 years old

122

243

Licensed home care

Child under 2 1/2 years old

108

215

Child over 2 1/2 years old

103

205

Unlicensed home care

47

95

SOURCE: MDRC calculations from State of Illinois Department of Human Services.

NOTES:

Co-Payment and Reimbursement Rates, 2005

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

subsidy receipt among program and control group
Subsidy Receipt Among Program and Control Group

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

effects of extended redetermination period on subsidy receipt
Effects of Extended Redetermination Period on Subsidy Receipt

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

quarters employed for program and control group
Quarters Employed for Program and Control Group

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

child care program and control group
Child Care: Program and Control Group

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

child care program and control group1
Child Care: Program and Control Group

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

summary of study
Summary of Study
  • For families in the sample (Cook County, average monthly incomes $2600), eligibility for subsidy receipt did not affect earnings.
  • Eligibility did affect amount of months subsidy receipt, type of care, satisfaction, amount paid, job-related problems.
  • This can be thought of a test of a specific group of families of specific aspects of a child care and employment decisionmaking conceptual model.

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

next steps
Next Steps
  • This is one of two random assignment studies testing the effects of subsidy policy “levers.” (Washington co-payment study is the other.)
  • We need more rigorous tests of different aspects of the conceptual model (experimental, quasi-experimental).
  • A comprehensive research agenda could be proposed to test different “arms” of the model.
  • Many values of further developing the model (parent selection of care factor in virtually every descriptive study of child care and early education that we do and complicates our understanding of findings).

Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Illinois

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