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Neighborhood effects on working mothers' child care arrangements


  • Liu, Meirong
  • Anderson, Steven G.


The implementation of stricter work requirements for low-income mothers following passage of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act has elevated the importance of developing quality child care options for working families. Prior research indicates that the type of child care used not only is associated with maternal labor force participation, but also affects children's later cognitive outcomes. This study used the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study to examine whether neighborhood factors were related to the types of child care selected by employed mothers of three-year old children in the post-welfare reform era. Multinomial logistic regression analysis revealed that working mothers in neighborhoods with higher poverty rates were more likely to rely on relative care and family day care than on center care, and mothers in neighborhoods with higher immigrant rates were more likely to rely on family day care than center care. The findings are useful in informing social policies and interventions related to early child care education and child care provision for low-income families, particularly with respect to considering neighborhood factors in targeting parent education and child care development strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Meirong & Anderson, Steven G., 2012. "Neighborhood effects on working mothers' child care arrangements," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 740-747.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:4:p:740-747 DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.12.021

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hirshberg, Diane & Huang, Danny Shih-Cheng & Fuller, Bruce, 2005. "Which low-income parents select child-care?: Family demand and neighborhood organizations," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(10), pages 1119-1148, October.
    2. Sandra L. Hofferth & Douglas A. Wissoker, 1992. "Price, Quality, and Income in Child Care Choice," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 70-111.
    3. Robert J. Lemke & Ann Dryden Witte & Magaly Queralt & Robert Witt, 2000. "Child Care and the Welfare to Work Transition," NBER Working Papers 7583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Susanna Loeb & Bruce Fuller & Sharon Lynn Kagan & Bidemi Carrol & Judith Carroll, 2003. "Child Care in Poor Communities: Early Learning Effects of Type, Quality, and Stability," NBER Working Papers 9954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Johansen, A-S & Leibowitz, A & Waite, L-J, 1996. "The Importance of Child-Care Characteristics to Choice of Care," Papers 96-21, RAND - Reprint Series.
    6. Mario Luis Small & Laura Stark, 2005. "Are Poor Neighborhoods Resource Deprived? A Case Study of Childcare Centers in New York," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(s1), pages 1013-1036.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ha, Yoonsook & Ybarra, Marci, 2014. "The role of parental immigration status in Latino families' child care selection," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(P3), pages 342-351.
    2. Liu, Meirong & Chen, Manrong & Anderson, Steven G., 2014. "Factors influencing child care-related maternal work exits," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 168-176.


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