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Child Care, Maternal Employment, and Public Policy

Sandra L. Hofferth
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 563, The Silent Crisis in U. S. Child Care (May, 1999), pp. 20-38
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1048938
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Child Care, Maternal Employment, and Public Policy
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Abstract

Increased work requirements in new welfare reform legislation may further increase the demand for child care in the United States. Consequently, this article focuses on (1) the relationship between child care and self-sufficiency, particularly among low-income mothers; (2) factors affecting the demand for and availability, cost, and quality of child care that parents use; and (3) the part played by public subsidies in the availability, cost, and quality of child care. Low-income mothers' ability to achieve self-sufficiency depends on the availability of reliable child care, for they want the same types of care that middle-class mothers want. The federal government has played an important part in making child care available and affordable and also contributes to its quality. Much of the funding, however, has gone to middle-income or poor nonemployed parents. Child care for working poor and working-class parents is the important missing piece.

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