Category Archives: Children

Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2005

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, Fertility & Family Statistics Branch, 2008

From the press release:
Relatives regularly provide child care to almost half of the more than 19 million preschoolers, according to tabulations released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Fathers and grandparents were the primary relative child care providers.

The series of tables, Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2005, showed that among the 11.3 million children younger than 5 whose mothers were employed, 30 percent were cared for on a regular basis by a grandparent during their mother’s working hours. A slightly greater percentage spent time in an organized care facility, such as a day care center, nursery or preschool. Meanwhile, 25 percent received care from their fathers, 3 percent from siblings and 8 percent from other relatives when mothers went to work.

The tables provide data on child care arrangements of preschoolers and grade-schoolers by various demographic characteristics of the employed mother. They also profile children who care for themselves on a regular basis and examine the size of weekly child care payments made by selected characteristics of the family.
Related:
Weekly Child Care Costs 1985-2005

Recent CRS Reports

Source: Congressional Research Service
• February 26, 2008 – Child Welfare Issues in the 110th Congress
• February 20, 2008 – Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Workers: Current Issues and Legislation
• February 19, 2008 – The Alternative Minimum Tax For Individuals: Legislative Activity in the 110th Congress
• February 14, 2008 – Largest Mergers and Acquisitions by Corporations in 2007

Children’s Stake in Social Security

Source: Joni Lavery and Virginia P. Reno, National Academy of Social Insurance, no. 27, February 2008

From the press release:
While Social Security is best known as a retirement program, it is also irreplaceable life and disability insurance for young families, according to a new report released today by the non-partisan National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI).

About 6.5 million children under 18 – or nearly 9 percent of all U.S. children – received part of their family income from Social Security in 2005. They include 3.1 million children who themselves receive benefits as dependents of a deceased, disabled, or retired parent, and an estimated 3.4 million other children who do not themselves receive Social Security, but live with relatives who do.
See also:
Summary
Fact Sheet

Investing in Early Education: Paths to Improving Children’s Success

Source: Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution, Testimony before the House Committee on Education and Labor, January 23, 2008

As members of this Committee know well, there is good evidence from scientific research that preschool education can be an effective tool in our nation’s long struggle to reduce the achievement gap between poor children and children from non-poor families. Reducing the achievement gap holds great promise for reducing poverty in the long term and even for reducing inequality. Having spent many years studying social intervention programs, I think it is fair to say that there is no body of evidence on any social intervention that holds as much promise of producing as wide a range of positive effects as high-quality preschool programs.

Every Kid Counts in the District of Columbia: 14th Annual Fact Book 2007

Source: Jennifer Comey, Peter A. Tatian, Elizabeth Guernsey, Betsy Chang, Urban Institute, February 08, 2008

From the abstract:
The 14th annual Fact Book is a comprehensive data source for indicators of child well-being in the District of Columbia. Over 50 data indicators are tracked over time. This publication provides a broad perspective on the status of children and youth in the District. We seek to inform and educate our readers about the issues affecting children and their families in the District. We encourage community residents, policy makers, professionals, and others who work with and/or on behalf of children and families to create conditions that foster the optimal health and development of our children.

The Fact Book is organized to reflect the six citywide goals for children and youth in the District of Columbia. The six citywide goals are: children are ready for school; children and youth succeed in school; children and youth are healthy and practice healthy behaviors; children and youth engage in meaningful activities; children and youth live in healthy, stable, and supportive families; and all youth make a successful transition to adulthood.

Designing Subsidy Systems to Meet the Needs of Families

Source: Gina Adams, Kathleen Snyder, Patti Banghart, Urban Institute, February 4, 2008

Many state and local child care subsidy agencies have been redesigning their policies to better meet the needs of the families they serve, and to create more efficient and fiscally responsible systems. These strategies reflect states’ growing understanding of the dynamic nature of low-income families’ lives and of the challenges they face as they move toward stable employment. This report synthesizes findings from various research projects conducted by the Urban Institute (and other organizations), and lays out a range of policy strategies states are implementing to support eligible families in accessing and retaining child care subsidies.

Rewarding the Work of Individuals: A Counterintuitive Approach to Reducing Poverty and Strengthening Families

Source: The Future of Children (via MRDC)

Between the end of World War II and 1973, the share of Americans living in poverty fell by half. But since 1973 the overall poverty rate has remained largely unchanged. Why didn’t poverty continue to decline? Falling wages and increasing rates of lone parenting are the two principal explanations. Economic changes led to stagnant and declining wages at the bottom of the wage distribution, especially among men with a high school diploma or less, and demographic changes saw a near doubling of the fraction of all families with children that were headed by a single parent.

The problems of falling wages and single parenthood are intertwined. As the wages of men with a high school education or less began to tumble, the employment rates of these men also fell, and, in turn, the share who could support a family above the poverty line began to decline — and with it the professed willingness of low-income mothers and fathers to marry. Because the U.S. social welfare system is built around the needs of poor families with children — and largely excludes single adults who are poor (and disproportionately male) — it creates disincentives to work and marry for some, aggravating these larger trends. Although recent changes have reduced marriage penalties in the tax and transfer system, some do remain, particularly when both spouses in a married-couple family have similar earnings.

A strategy that used the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to supplement the earnings of all low-wage workers aged 21 to 54 who work full time — whether they have children or not and whether they marry or not — would counter three decades of wage stagnation and persistent poverty, with significant positive corollary effects on employment and parental child support. By conditioning the benefit on full-time work, by targeting individuals regardless of their family status, by keeping the existing EITC for families with children in place, and by calculating EITC eligibility on the basis of individual income (as Canadians and Europeans do) rather than joint income for tax filing purposes, this earnings-based supplement would restore equity to the American social compact while minimizing the distortion of incentives to work, marry, and bear children.

Overview
Full Report (PDF; 156 KB)

New Report Finds Nearly One Quarter of All Children in Twelve States Don’t Have Consistent Access to Meals

Source: America’s Second Harvest

In the United States, one out of six children in small towns and big cities lives in a food insecure household, which means they do not always know where they will find their next meal. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 12 million children in the United States live in this condition – unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life.

That’s enough children to fill every seat in all of the professional league football, baseball, basketball and hockey stadiums and every Division One NCAA basketball stadium across the country at the same time. Now, for the first time, the extent of child hunger as reported by the USDA has been examined by state in a new study released today by America’s Second Harvest–The Nation’s Food Bank Network and sponsored by ConAgra Foods Foundation. In 12 states – nearly one quarter of the country – more than 20 percent of the children live in households without consistent access to food.

Full Report (PDF; 260 KB)
Interactive Map

What Happens if SCHIP Is Not “Reauthorized”?

Source: Chris L. Peterson, Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report for Congress, Order Code RS22712, September 17, 2007

From the summary:
The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 created the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and provided nearly $40 billion in appropriations over the 10-year period FY1998 to FY2007. Legislative action would be necessary to provide new funds for SCHIP for FY2008 and beyond, but SCHIP’s statutory provisions do not need to be reauthorized as they will remain on the books unless Congress expressly repeals the current law. In the absence of an FY2008 SCHIP allotment, states with unexpended FY2006 and FY2007 federal SCHIP balances could continue to operate their programs with those funds in FY2008. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia are projected to be able to cover all of their federal FY2008 SCHIP spending even without an FY2008 SCHIP allotment. Among the 36 states projected to exhaust their federal SCHIP funds in FY2008, some may be able to access Medicaid funding, though at a reduced matching rate compared to SCHIP. However, 13 states would be in shortfall immediately, entering FY2008 with no prior-year SCHIP balances. An amount equal to approximately 18 days of these states’ federal SCHIP expenditures is projected to be available from the redistribution of unspent FY2005 allotments. This report may be updated in December 2007 with states’ more recent projections.

Hitting the M.A.R.C.: Establishing Foster Care Minimum Adequate Rates for Children

Source: Diane DePanfilis, Clara Daining, Kevin D. Frick, Julie Farber, Lisa Levinthal, Children’s Rights, National Foster Parent Association, University of Maryland School of Social Work, October 2007

In October 2007, Children’s Rights, the National Foster Parent Association and the University of Maryland School of Social Work released the first-ever nationwide, state-by-state calculation of the real cost of supporting children in foster care. The report reveals widespread deficiencies in reimbursement rates across the nation–and major disparities among the states–and proposes a new standard rate for each state to use in fulfilling the federal requirement to provide foster parents with payments to cover the basic needs of children in foster care, including food, shelter, clothing and school supplies.
Summary Report
Technical Report
Press Release
Individual State Fact Sheets
The survey on how states currently set rates
Interactive map