GAO Finds State Child Care Assistance Limits Disproportionately Impact Low-Income, Working, Non-TANF Families and Children


Publication Date: June 2003

Publisher: Center for Law and Social Policy

Author(s): Jennifer Mezey

Research Area: Social conditions

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This analysis summarizes a recent report by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) that found that, since January 2001, 23 states have adopted policies that reduce the overall availability of child care assistance for low-income working families. The GAOs findings indicate that entry into and remaining in the child care assistance system "may be less possible for families, particularly for families not associated with the welfare system."

As long as child care resources are constrained, states will need to make difficult policy trade-offs when allocating child care assistance among needy families. Mezey concludes that increased federal child care funding is needed to effectuate Congressional intent and ensure that more vulnerable, low-income, working families receive the child care assistance they need to support their families and stay off of public assistance.