The Sustained Effects of the New Hope Program on Child Care Use among Low-Income Families
Chantelle Dowsett, University of Texas at Austin
Danielle Crosby, University of Texas at Austin
Aletha Huston, University of Texas at Austin
Edward Lowe, University of California, Los Angeles
We use experimental data from a welfare and work program to assess whether a package of work supports (including expanded child care assistance) offered during the 3-year New Hope Program made lasting changes in parents' child care decisions. Despite the fact that New Hope subsidies ended before the second assessment, New Hope parents used more center-based and after-school care and less home-based care than did control parents, especially for their early elementary school age children (ages 6-8). Their preadolescent children (ages 9-12) also spent less time in unsupervised care, particularly during the summer. We use ethnographic reports collected during the transition off the program to help explain how parents were able to continue using formal, organized care after eligibility for New Hope program benefits ended.