Social Policy

Unusual insight into complex social problems related to the impact of public policy on individuals, communities and institutions

Child care food subsidies

Authors

  • Kristen Abner
  • Sanders Korenman

More than a dozen federal programs provide food and nutrition support to children and families. One such subsidy is the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This program reimburses caregivers for meals and snacks provided to children in child care centers, family day care homes, after-school programs, and homeless shelters, as well as to adults in adult day care centers. Children account for more than 95 percent of CACFP expenditures. The authors discuss the effectiveness of the CACFP, and offer suggestions to improve the targeting of nutritional assistance and child care subsidies.


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Elizabeth T. Powers has conducted research on the incentive effects of public insurance programs, the effects of child health on maternal labor supply, employment effects of the minimum wage, and the caregiver labor market. Ongoing research projects are in the areas of children’s cognitive development, U.S.-Mexican migration, child support policy, work disability and the Disability Insurance program, and long-term care facilities. Powers is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and received fellowships and awards for her scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania, Vassar College, the Brookings Institution, and the University of Illinois. She has been a principal investigator on numerous grants.

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Darren Lubotsky’s research falls within two broad areas: the American labor market and the health and cognitive development of children. Some of his recent projects study the impact of rising health insurance premiums on public-sector compensation, the impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on employment, and the economic status of immigrants in the United States.



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Maria Krysan focuses her research on racial residential segregation and racial attitudes. Her investigations of these substantive issues often connect to methodological questions about how to study this sensitive area of social life. She combines standard closed-ended survey analysis with mode of administration experiments, analyses of open-ended survey questions, focus groups, and in-depth interviews. In addition to an edited volume with Amanda Lewis, The Changing Terrain of Race and Ethnicity, her most recent work has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Science Research, Social Problems, and The DuBois Review. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Russell Sage Foundation, and Ford Foundation.  Her most recent work focuses on understanding the causes of residential segregation, particularly as viewed through the question of how people end up living where they do.



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Rachel Gordon's research broadly aims to measure and model the contexts of children and families' lives, often using longitudinal data sets. She has examined numerous contextual and social factors that affect children and families, including the use of child care and preschool quality measures for high-stakes policy purposes, the health outcomes of child care and maternal employment, the implications of teenagers' looks for their social and academic achievement, the association between community context and child well-being, the relationships between youth gang participation and delinquency, the causes and consequences of grandmother co-residential support for young mothers, and the evaluation of an innovative job program for young couples.

Gordon has received extensive funding from numerous sources and is currently Principal Investigator (PI) on two large grants. The first, from the Institute of Education Sciences (R305A130118: Measuring Preschool Program Quality: Multiple Aspects of the Validity of Two Widely-Used Measures) examines two widely used measures of quality -- the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ECERS-R) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) -- including their structural validity (dimensions of each scale), response process validity (order, fit and separation of items along underlying dimensions), and predictive validity specific to cutoffs defined in policy system (Quality Rating and Information Systems; Head Start Recompetition). The collaborators are studying these aspects of validity across a dozen datasets, using meta-analyses to systematically accumulate results. The second, from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01HD081022; Predictors of Achievement from Early Childhood to Adulthood), contributes to the growing body of research on physical attractiveness as a source of social stratification with wide implications for health, akin to more frequently studied factors like race and gender. Based on the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, the project will create and analyze the largest-ever public repository of physical attractiveness ratings for a cohort from birth into young adulthood.


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Robert Kaestner's area of expertise are health, labor and social policy. He is an expert in health and labor economics and has conducted research on the effects of Medicaid and private health insurance on infant and child health; whether or not expansions in Medicaid crowded out private health insurance; the effect of Medicare coverage on health behaviors, prescription drug use, hospitalizations and mortality; the impact of state policies on the timing, place of occurrence and incidence of abortion; the effects of welfare reform on employment, fertility, health insurance and health; the effect of Title IX on adolescent physical activity and weight. He has authored more than 100 scholarly publications and has been awarded several research grants from the National Institutes of Health.