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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Bohn, Sarah; Danielson, Caroline
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Nearly a quarter of young children in California live in poverty—a fact that has profound educational, health, and economic repercussions now and in the long term. High housing costs and low wages are key barriers to reducing the prevalence of child poverty. Lawmakers have taken action to address these issues: the minimum wage is slated to increase to $15 an hour by 2022, and recently enacted laws aim to ease the state’s housing crisis.

    This report examines how high housing costs and low wages contribute to poverty among young children ages 0–5 and considers additional policy approaches that could mitigate need among this population. Our related interactive allows for a deeper exploration of how these potential changes could affect California’s diverse counties. We find:

    • In California, most young children live in areas with high costs of living, and most parents work. Among poor families with young children, 78 percent of adults work in low-wage jobs and 31 percent pay more than half their income toward housing. The challenges facing these families differ...

    Nearly a quarter of young children in California live in poverty—a fact that has profound educational, health, and economic repercussions now and in the long term. High housing costs and low wages are key barriers to reducing the prevalence of child poverty. Lawmakers have taken action to address these issues: the minimum wage is slated to increase to $15 an hour by 2022, and recently enacted laws aim to ease the state’s housing crisis.

    This report examines how high housing costs and low wages contribute to poverty among young children ages 0–5 and considers additional policy approaches that could mitigate need among this population. Our related interactive allows for a deeper exploration of how these potential changes could affect California’s diverse counties. We find:

    • In California, most young children live in areas with high costs of living, and most parents work. Among poor families with young children, 78 percent of adults work in low-wage jobs and 31 percent pay more than half their income toward housing. The challenges facing these families differ across the state. Those in low-cost areas—mostly inland and northern regions—are more likely to work low-wage jobs, while those in high-cost coastal and urban areas are more likely to pay a large share of their income toward housing. Minimum wage increases and lower housing costs could reduce child poverty substantially, especially in high-cost areas.
    • The current safety net is limited in its ability to reach some of the lowest-income families in the state. Devoting more resources to address this gap through, for example, expansions to the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit or a broad-based child credit could assist many severely poor families. Such approaches would have larger impacts on child poverty in low-cost areas. In contrast, rental assistance that targets both low incomes and high housing costs would reduce child poverty to a similar degree across the state. The approaches we examine range widely in estimated total costs, from $417 million to $2.3 billion, and would assist 210,000 to 390,000 young children statewide.
    • The current safety net is also limited in its ability to reach low- and moderate-income families who are struggling but may not fully qualify for existing programs—a particular challenge in high-cost areas. Taking into account the cost of living when determining income eligibility for work-based, child, or renter’s credits would help address this gap and could reach those missed by current programs. These approaches range from $4.1 billion to $5.6 billion in estimated total costs and would assist 310,000 to 1.6 million young children statewide. (Author summary)
  • Individual Author: Karoly, Lynn A.; Whitaker, Anamarie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of a growing number of U.S. cities seeking to expand access to and raise the quality of preschool programs, especially for the city's most vulnerable children. To inform stakeholders regarding potential investments designed to expand preschool access and quality, this report compiles the most-reliable research evidence concerning the short- and long-run effects of high-quality preschool programs for participating children and the associated costs, benefits, and economic returns. Our review draws on evidence from rigorous evaluations of full-scale U.S. preschool programs implemented at the national, state, and local levels. We provide evidence for specific programs, as well as results from syntheses across multiple preschool program evaluations. We assemble evidence of the impacts of the preschool programs on children's school readiness. In cases where children have been followed beyond the preschool years, we also consider research regarding longer-term effects. Attention is also given to evidence of impacts for universal versus targeted programs and for...

    Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of a growing number of U.S. cities seeking to expand access to and raise the quality of preschool programs, especially for the city's most vulnerable children. To inform stakeholders regarding potential investments designed to expand preschool access and quality, this report compiles the most-reliable research evidence concerning the short- and long-run effects of high-quality preschool programs for participating children and the associated costs, benefits, and economic returns. Our review draws on evidence from rigorous evaluations of full-scale U.S. preschool programs implemented at the national, state, and local levels. We provide evidence for specific programs, as well as results from syntheses across multiple preschool program evaluations. We assemble evidence of the impacts of the preschool programs on children's school readiness. In cases where children have been followed beyond the preschool years, we also consider research regarding longer-term effects. Attention is also given to evidence of impacts for universal versus targeted programs and for programs of varying intensity. Key Findings

    • There are numerous examples of real-world preschool programs with rigorous evaluations that show improvements in school readiness for participating children.
    • Favorable impacts have been demonstrated for part- and full-day preschool programs, as well as one- and two-year programs, but the research is not definitive about the comparative effectiveness of these options.
    • High quality is a common element among the preschool programs with the largest effects on school readiness and with sustained effects at older ages.
    • Children across the income spectrum may benefit from high-quality preschool, but the impacts tend to be larger for more-disadvantaged children.
    • High-quality preschool programs show sustained benefits for other aspects of school performance other than achievement scores, such as lower rates of special education use, reduced grade repetition, and higher rates of high school graduation.
    • Improving the alignment between preschool and the early elementary grades may help sustain the initial boost in cognitive and noncognitive skills from preschool participation.
    • High-quality preschool programs represent a significant investment of resources, but that investment may be paid back through improved outcomes during the school-age years and beyond. (Author introduction)
  • Individual Author: Anderson, Theresa; McDonnell, Rachel Pleasants; Soricone, Lisa
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2014

    This presentation describes Accelerating Opportunity (AO), a multi-state career pathways initiative designed to provide a more streamlined path for adults with low basic skills to move from integrated adult basic education and skills attainment to stackable credentials with labor market value.  The presentation includes some evaluation findings as well as discussion of partnerships the involved colleges have leveraged.

    This presentation was given at the 2014 National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Annual Workshop.

    This presentation describes Accelerating Opportunity (AO), a multi-state career pathways initiative designed to provide a more streamlined path for adults with low basic skills to move from integrated adult basic education and skills attainment to stackable credentials with labor market value.  The presentation includes some evaluation findings as well as discussion of partnerships the involved colleges have leveraged.

    This presentation was given at the 2014 National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Annual Workshop.

  • Individual Author: Braun, R. Anton ; Kopecky, Karen A.; Koreshkova, Tatyana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Poor heath, large acute and long-term care medical expenses, and spousal death are significant drivers of impoverishment among retirees. We document these facts and build a rich, overlapping generations model that reproduces them. We use the model to assess the incentive and welfare effects of Social Security and means-tested social insurance programs such as Medicaid and food stamp programs, for the aged. We find that U.S. means-tested social insurance programs for retirees provide significant welfare benefits for all newborn. Moreover, when means-tested social insurance benefits are of the scale in the United States, all individuals would prefer to be born into an economy with no Social Security. Finally, we find that the benefits of increasing means-tested social insurance are small or negative, if we hold fixed Social Security contributions and benefits at their current levels. (Author abstract)

    Poor heath, large acute and long-term care medical expenses, and spousal death are significant drivers of impoverishment among retirees. We document these facts and build a rich, overlapping generations model that reproduces them. We use the model to assess the incentive and welfare effects of Social Security and means-tested social insurance programs such as Medicaid and food stamp programs, for the aged. We find that U.S. means-tested social insurance programs for retirees provide significant welfare benefits for all newborn. Moreover, when means-tested social insurance benefits are of the scale in the United States, all individuals would prefer to be born into an economy with no Social Security. Finally, we find that the benefits of increasing means-tested social insurance are small or negative, if we hold fixed Social Security contributions and benefits at their current levels. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wood, Stephen; Kendall, Rosemary
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Improving access to affordable, quality child care is one of Child Care Aware® of America's top goals. Although child care is a necessity to enable parents to work, the high price of child care in every community strains household budgets and forces parents to make compromises about the quality and safety of care they choose for their children.

    Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2013 Report provides information about the cost of child care from a recent survey of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) State Network offices and local agencies. Child care costs were reported for infants, 4-year-olds, and school-age care in centers and family child care homes. The report also compares the cost of child care to household income, expenses and college tuition. (author abstract)

    Improving access to affordable, quality child care is one of Child Care Aware® of America's top goals. Although child care is a necessity to enable parents to work, the high price of child care in every community strains household budgets and forces parents to make compromises about the quality and safety of care they choose for their children.

    Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2013 Report provides information about the cost of child care from a recent survey of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) State Network offices and local agencies. Child care costs were reported for infants, 4-year-olds, and school-age care in centers and family child care homes. The report also compares the cost of child care to household income, expenses and college tuition. (author abstract)

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