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Publication Date: November 2004

Publisher(s): Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Author(s): Sunhwa Lee


Special Collection: The Joyce Foundation

Topic: Economics (Economic policy, planning, and development)
Human rights (Economic, social, and cultural rights)
Social conditions (Public welfare and social services)

Keywords: low-cost childcare ; public pre-kindergarten; low-income mothers

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This report finds that low-income mothers are much more likely to stay employed if their jobs provide childcare and health insurance. These mothers largely have to rely on low-cost childcare options such as help from relatives, with less than 20% using organized care. The report recommends more financial support for childcare, expansion of Head Start, and public pre-kindergarten as policies that can help mothers keep their jobs and stay off welfare.

Health insurance plays an important role in job stability, and mothers with health benefits become more productive workers and are less likely to change jobs. With all personal and other job characteristics being equal, mothers with employer-provided health insurance are nearly three times more likely to stay on the job compared to mothers without employer-provided health insurance.