In-depth policy analysis that examines how lack of adequate child care is a major barrier that low-income parents face when accessing supportive services in the workforce system.

This report is an examination of the intersection of “the family and contextual barriers that can make it difficult for low-wage workers to participate in workforce development programs, and the importance of supportive services to overcome these barriers. A key barrier is the lack of child care, which may be caused by high costs or limited availability of suitable options” (p.1).This report hopes “to spur a dialogue on critical issues and solutions related to supporting the child care needs of parents in workforce development programs. This report, one of a series of papers directed toward bridging the gap between the fields of child care and workforce development, focuses on providing an overview of each system and of the issues that lie at the intersection of these two worlds. Although the issues explored in the report are relevant to a broad group of low-income parents, [the authors] focus primarily on parents who are not in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) system and are not teen parents, because child care support for these populations is more readily available” (p.1).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

The report “developed some initial insights concerning the kinds of strategies that might be effective in addressing some of the problems identified above. Three major strategies are as follows: 1. Identify and address systemic barriers within the workforce development and child care systems (through an examination of funding, policy, and implementation practices in each system) that create additional challenges to meeting the child care needs of parents seeking education and training” (p.34–35). 2. “Identify and evaluate promising practices that child care and workforce development programs can undertake to help low-income families with their child care needs to support education and training” (p.35). 3. “Identify strategies to inform key stakeholders in each system about the challenges parents seeking education and training face, and support cross-system dialogue, communication, and linkages for individuals working on these issues at the federal, state, and local levels. Work with stakeholders to identify what cross-system information would be useful for individuals in each system who are working to address these problems, and identify mechanisms to support dialogue and sharing among those who are working on these issues so that promising strategies can be identified and disseminated” (p.35–36). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)