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ABSTRACT. In this research paper, we consider the extent to which families who incur child care expenses for their young children are pushed below the poverty threshold by those costs using a supplemental poverty measure (SPM) framework. We use Current Population Survey data to determine poverty rates among families with young children who incur child care costs. We then subtract their out of pocket child care from their income to estimate the poverty rate among these families when child care is considered. Our findings suggest that one third of the poverty experienced by these families is a result of child care expenses. 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.

Keywords: poverty; child care; net income; working poor; measurement; work and family

How to cite: Mattingly, Marybeth J., Christopher T. Wimer, and Sophie M. Collyer (2017). “Child Care Costs and Poverty among Families with Young Children,” American Journal of Medical Research 4(2): 162–167.

Received 19 July 2017 • Received in revised form 20 September 2017
Accepted 21 September 2017 • Available online 15 October 2017

doi:10.22381/AJMR4220177

MARYBETH J. MATTINGLY
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Carsey School of Public Policy,
The University of New Hampshire
CHRISTOPHER T. WIMER
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The Center on Poverty and Social Policy,
Columbia University
SOPHIE M. COLLYER
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The Center on Poverty and Social Policy,
Columbia University

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