Disruptions to Child Care Arrangements and Work Schedules for Low-Income Hispanic Families are Common and Costly

Child care is a critical support for working families that allows parents to pursue opportunities for employment and economic mobility.1,2 Child care’s vital role in the lives of families and in the overall economy is reflected in federal and state programs such as the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) that aim to improve low-income families’ access to care options that support parents’ work efforts.3 A key premise of these programs is that families should have access to care arrangements that can both accommodate the needs of parents and children and that coordinate well with parents’ work lives. Yet research consistently shows that many parents encounter challenges when trying to coordinate employment and child care schedules, particularly for those in low-wage jobs.4,5,6

Footnote and References


a This brief uses the terms Hispanic and Latino interchangeably throughout.


1 Bromer, J., & Henly, J. R. (2009). The work-family support roles of child care providers across settings. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 24(4), 271-288. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2009.04.002

2 Lowe, E. D., & Weisner, T. S. (2006). “Child Care and Low-Wage Employment.” In Yoshikawa, H., Weisner, T. S., Lowe, E. D. (Eds.), Making it Work: Low-Wage Employment, Family Life, and Child Development (pp. 235-255). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

3 Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Program, 45 CFR section § 98. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2016-09-30/pdf/2016-22986.pdf

4 Henly, J.R., & Lambert, S. (2005). Nonstandard work and child-care needs of low-income parents. In Bianchi, S. M., Casper, L. M., & King, R. B. (Eds.), Work, family, health, and well-being (pp. 473–492). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

5 Sandstrom, H., & Chaudry, A. (2012). “You have to choose your childcare to fit your work”: Childcare decision-making among low-income working families. Journal of Children and Poverty18(2), 89–119. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/10796126.2012.710480

6 Spiers, K. E., Vesely, C. K., & Roy, K. (2015). Is stability always a good thing? Low-income mothers’ experiences with child care transitions. Children and Youth Services Review, 53, 146-156. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2015.03.026