Category Archives: Children

Did California Paid Family Leave Impact Infant Health?

Source: Ariel Marek Pihl, Gaetano Basso, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Volume 38 Issue 1, Winter 2019
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The effects of paid parental leave policies on infant health have yet to be established. In this paper we investigate these effects by exploiting the introduction of California Paid Family Leave (PFL), the first program in the U.S. that specifically provides working parents with paid time off for bonding with a newborn. We measure health using the full census of infant hospitalizations in California and a set of control states, and implement a differences‐in‐differences approach. Our results suggest a decline in infant admissions, which is concentrated among those causes that are potentially affected by closer childcare (and to a lesser extent breastfeeding). Other admissions that are unlikely to be affected by parental leave do not exhibit the same pattern.

Access to Food Stamps Improves Children’s Health and Reduces Medical Spending

Source: Chloe N. East, Center for Poverty Research – University of California, Policy Brief, Vol. 7 no. 4, November 2018

The Food Stamp Program (FSP, known since 2008 as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) is one of the largest safety-net programs in the United States. It is especially important for families with children. However, the FSP eligibility of documented immigrants has shifted on multiple occasions in recent decades. When I studied the health outcomes of children in documented immigrant families affected by such shifts between 1996 and 2003, I found that just one extra year of parental eligibility before age 5 improves health outcomes at ages 6-16. This suggests that expanding food-stamp access for such families has lasting long-run benefits for their children and may help to reduce public medical expenditures in the medium term.

Key Facts:
– Immigrants’ loss of eligibility reduced participation in the Food Stamp Program among U.S.-born children of immigrants by 50%, and reduced the average benefits they received by 36%.
– Loss of parental food-stamp eligibility before age five has clear negative effects on developmental health outcomes and on parental reports of the child’s health in the medium-run.
– An additional year of food-stamp access in early life reduces medical expenditures in the medium-run by roughly $140 per child.

DELTA 8.7 – New data dashboards launched to inform policymaking on modern slavery and child labor

Source: United Nations University – Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR), 2018

What does delta mean?
The Greek letter delta—Δ—is used in mathematics and science to signify the amount of change in a particular variable.

What is 8.7?
In Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, States committed to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and child labour.

What do they mean together?
Delta + 8.7 = Measuring the change towards Target 8.7.

On any given day in 2016, the latest year for which we have a reliable estimate, 40.3 million people were in situations of modern slavery or forced labour—or one in every 174 people alive —and 152 million children were victims of child labour. Urgent action is needed to address these problems. With Target 8.7 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 193 countries pledged their commitment to take effective measures to eradicate modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and child labour.

But what are effective measures? What works to address these problems?

To answer these questions, the United Nations University – Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) created Delta 8.7—an innovative project that helps policy actors understand and use data responsibly to inform policies that contribute to achieving Target 8.7. Delta 8.7 brings together the most useful data, evidence, research and news, analyses cutting-edge data, and helps people understand that data so it can be translated it into effective policy.

Resources
Dive deeper into Thematic Overviews, online and offline Learning Opportunities, original Research by the Delta 8.7 team, or explore the site Glossary.

Data and Measurement
Visit the Data Dashboards to explore evidence at the national, regional and global levels, or learn How to Measure the Change through our introductory materials on data science and measurement.

Forum
The Forum is the world’s leading venue for discussion of the latest data and evidence about forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour, and what it means for policy to achieve Target 8.7.

Call to Action
Explore the efforts of countries that have endorsed the UK’s Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.

Understanding the True Cost of Child Care for Infants and Toddlers

Source: Simon Workman and Steven Jessen-Howard, Center for American Progress, November 15, 2018

A state-by-state analysis of the true cost of infant and toddler child care finds it is unaffordable for most working families.

Key findings from this analysis include:
Licensed infant and toddler child care is unaffordable for most families:
– The average cost to provide center-based child care for an infant in the United States is $1,230 per month. In a family child care home, the average cost is $800 per month.
– On average, a family making the state median income would have to spend 18 percent of their income to cover the cost of child care for an infant, and 13 percent for a toddler.
– In no state does the cost of center-based infant or toddler child care meet the federal definition of affordable—no more than 7 percent of annual household income. In 12 states, the cost of child care for just one infant exceeds 20 percent of the state median income.

Current public investments in infant and toddler child care fall short:
– On average, child care for an infant costs 61 percent more than for a preschooler, yet child care subsidy rates are only 27 percent higher for infants than preschoolers.
– Child care subsidies only cover the average cost of care for an infant in three states—Hawaii, Indiana, and South Dakota.
– The gap between the child care subsidy rate and the cost of licensed infant care exceeds $400 per month in nearly half of all states.

To address these findings, policymakers can take some immediate actions, such as conducting a full cost-of-quality study and updating child care assistance policies, but they must also look to longer-term solutions such as increasing pay for infant and toddler teachers and enacting comprehensive child care reform…..

Mapping Interface Provides Neighborhood-Level Information on Children’s Outcomes

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Release Number CB18-TPS.48, October 1, 2018

The U.S. Census Bureau, in collaboration with Raj Chetty and Nathan Hendren from Harvard University and John Friedman from Brown University, released new research and a mapping interface that looks at children’s outcomes in adulthood. The Opportunity Atlas estimates children’s earnings distributions, incarceration rates, and other outcomes in adulthood by parental income, race and gender for every census tract in the United States. Users can view data, overlay their own data points of interest, and export into a data set for analysis.

Declines in Child Poverty Continue in 2017; Overall Rate Still Above Pre-Recession Level

Source: Jessica Carson, Andrew Schaefer, Beth Mattingly, Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, Data Snapshot, September 13, 2018

From the summary:
The official poverty measure indicates that child poverty declined by 1.1 percentage points between 2016 and 2017, according to analyses of the latest American Community Survey data released today. By 2017, child poverty across the nation was still 0.4 percentage point higher than before the Great Recession. Child poverty remained higher in cities and rural places than in the suburbs. For the first time, rates in cities dipped below the pre-recession level, although poverty is still slightly higher in rural and suburban places than in 2007.

Key Findings:
For the first time, rates in cities dipped below the pre-recession level, although poverty is still slightly higher in rural and suburban places than in 2007.

2018 State of Early Childhood Data Systems

Source: Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC), 2018

In April 2018, 50 states responded to an Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC) survey to assess states’ capacity to link child-, family-, program-, and workforce-level data across ECE programs. Linking child-, family-, and program-level data means having the ability to follow individual children, programs, and staff across programs and over time. Data may be housed in different systems or within the same system. The 2018 Survey included questions about linking child-, program-, and workforce-level data; data governance and policies; and uses of coordinated early childhood data.

National findings and recommendations from the 2018 Early Childhood Data Systems Survey are available in our final report. Click here to explore an interactive map with state profiles containing child, program, and workforce data.

Trusting states to do right by special education students is a mistake

Source: Matthew Brock, The Conversation, September 28, 2018

On Sept. 20, the U.S. Department of Education released a new framework to “rethink” how the department oversees special education services for students with disabilities.

As part of this framework, the department plans to provide states with “flexibility” and to “acknowledge” that states are “in the best position to determine implementation of their programs.”

This flexibility relates to how states satisfy the provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – a federal civil rights law known as IDEA meant to ensure all students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate education.

In my opinion, the assumption that states are in the best position to determine implementation of their programs related to the IDEA law is a faulty one. So is the notion that relaxing enforcement of these provisions would have a positive impact on students.