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Investing in Infant and Toddler Child Care to Strengthen Working Families

Rasheed Malik, Center for American Progress


Child care is expensive and scarce for children under 3 years old, when the benefits from quality child care are highest. This report analyzes the economic effects of access to child care for families with children under 3. The author uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to understand the challenges facing families with very young children and the opportunity to improve their lives by investing when children are young. This dataset contains information on what families report spending on child care, the types of care arrangements that they use, as well as the dynamics of income and debt for parents with very young children.

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