UNH Research Finds Child Care Expenses Push Low-Income Families into Poverty


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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

DURHAM, N.H. – One-third of poor families who pay for child care – 207,000 nationally -- are pushed into poverty as a result of their child care expenses, according to new research released by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.

“Our findings suggest that lowering out-of-pocket child care expenses for families with young children would serve to reduce poverty,” the researchers said. “Additionally, things like increased subsidies may expand access to higher quality child care or open the door to increased labor force participation.”

In addition, the research found families most often pushed into poverty by child care expenses include households with three or more children, those headed by a single parent, those with a black or Hispanic head of household and those headed by someone with less than a high school degree or by someone who does not work full time.

The research was conducted by Beth Mattingly, director of research on vulnerable families at Carsey, and Chris Wimer, co-director of the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University. The full report can be found here: https://carsey.unh.edu/publication/child-care-expenses

The Carsey School of Public Policy conducts research, leadership development, and engaged scholarship relevant to public policy. They address pressing challenges, striving for innovative, responsive, and equitable solutions at all levels of government and in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.