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1 Gina Adams Gina Adams The Urban Institute From research conducted by Kathleen Snyder, Patti Banghart, and Gina Adams Supported by The Joyce Foundation.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Gina Adams Gina Adams The Urban Institute From research conducted by Kathleen Snyder, Patti Banghart, and Gina Adams Supported by The Joyce Foundation."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Gina Adams Gina Adams The Urban Institute From research conducted by Kathleen Snyder, Patti Banghart, and Gina Adams Supported by The Joyce Foundation Making Child Care Subsidy Systems Work: Strategies to Support Access and Retention of Subsidies THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.

2 2 Introduction Child care subsidies key in helping female-headed families work and care for their children – 85% of CCDF families headed by single parent Child care subsidies key in helping female-headed families work and care for their children – 85% of CCDF families headed by single parent Research shows some eligible families who need help are not getting it, and those that do have short spells Research shows some eligible families who need help are not getting it, and those that do have short spells Many factors responsible, but some likely to be related to subsidy policies and practices Many factors responsible, but some likely to be related to subsidy policies and practices Focus today on research findings about state/local strategies to support subsidy access and retention Focus today on research findings about state/local strategies to support subsidy access and retention Data from state/local CCDF administrators in 7 Midwestern states (supported by Joyce Foundation) Data from state/local CCDF administrators in 7 Midwestern states (supported by Joyce Foundation)

3 3 Research Questions What are subsidy agencies doing to support subsidy access and retention? Overall, for parents with fluctuating work/non- traditional work schedules, and for English Language Learners What lessons have they learned? What tradeoffs are involved? Parent burden, staff workload, fiscal responsibility, and minimizing improper payments

4 4 Overarching Approaches… Linking Benefit Systems Through structural/administrative approaches: Through structural/administrative approaches: Linking computer systems Linking computer systems Combining responsibilities within a single worker Combining responsibilities within a single worker Through the client process: Through the client process: Combined applications Combined applications Synchronizing review dates Synchronizing review dates Taking comprehensive approach to aligning systems Taking comprehensive approach to aligning systems

5 5 …Overarching Approaches Improving Customer Service Requiring local agencies to improve customer service Requiring local agencies to improve customer service Conducting customer service surveys Conducting customer service surveys Minimizing in-person visits Minimizing in-person visits Making it easier to get in touch with staff Making it easier to get in touch with staff State level toll-free numbers State level toll-free numbers Phone call tracking system Phone call tracking system Scheduling hot line Scheduling hot line Dedicated customer service staff Dedicated customer service staff Putting information on-line Putting information on-line

6 6 Simplifying Key Steps in Process… Application Making applications widely available (including online) Streamlining the application form Creating single application forms Recertification Longer recertification periods (12 mos.) Recertification reminders Granting grace periods prior and backdating

7 7 …Simplifying Key Steps in Process Interim Reporting Only requiring reporting of major changes Not requiring subsidy adjustments during interim period Creating simple “change reporting forms” Centralized change call centers Linked data systems

8 8 Minimizing Breaks in Subsidies Retaining subsidy or eligibility: After losing a job for job search During medical leave Despite temporary increases in income Suspending subsidy payments temporarily for brief periods of ineligibility or not needing care

9 9 Special Populations Fluctuating/Non-traditional Work Hours Creating more flexible authorization approaches Allowing providers to bill for more/less hours Authorizing care for sleep time for night shifts Authorizing care for more than one provider English Language Learners Providing materials in other languages Making interpreters available in multiple ways Tracking language in computer system

10 10 Concluding Thoughts Critically important area for low-income women Improving access is of interest to agencies despite (because of?) fiscal constraints Agencies seeking partners (cross system, other organizations working with parents) What to do if you want to examine these issues? (handout) Assess subsidy system to identify problem areas Identify cause of the problem Identify possible solutions Implement solutions and assess the results

11 11 Selected Source Documents all available at Supporting Child Care Subsidy Access and Retention: Ideas from Seven Midwestern States. (Policy Brief). December Snyder, Banghart, and Adams. Supporting Child Care Subsidy Access and Retention: Ideas from Seven Midwestern States. (Policy Brief). December Snyder, Banghart, and Adams. Strategies to Support Child Care Subsidy Access and Retention: Ideas from Seven Midwestern States. (Full Report). November Snyder, Banghart, and Adams. Strategies to Support Child Care Subsidy Access and Retention: Ideas from Seven Midwestern States. (Full Report). November Snyder, Banghart, and Adams. Is There a System Supporting Low-Income Working Families? February Zedlewski, Adams, Dubay, and Kenney. Is There a System Supporting Low-Income Working Families? February Zedlewski, Adams, Dubay, and Kenney. Child Care Subsidies and TANF: A Synthesis of Three Studies on Systems, Policies, and Parents. March Holcomb, Adams, Snyder, Koralek, Martinson, Bernstein, and Capizzano. Child Care Subsidies and TANF: A Synthesis of Three Studies on Systems, Policies, and Parents. March Holcomb, Adams, Snyder, Koralek, Martinson, Bernstein, and Capizzano. Child Care Subsidies for TANF Families: The Nexus of Systems and Policies. March Adams, Holcomb, Snyder, Koralek, and Capizzano. Child Care Subsidies for TANF Families: The Nexus of Systems and Policies. March Adams, Holcomb, Snyder, Koralek, and Capizzano. Getting and Retaining Child Care Assistance: How Policy and Practice Influence Parents' Experiences. March Adams, Snyder, and Sandfort. Getting and Retaining Child Care Assistance: How Policy and Practice Influence Parents' Experiences. March Adams, Snyder, and Sandfort. Navigating the Child Care Subsidy System: Policies and Practices that Affect Access and Retention. March Adams, Snyder, and Sandfort. Navigating the Child Care Subsidy System: Policies and Practices that Affect Access and Retention. March Adams, Snyder, and Sandfort.


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