Shifting Child Care Subsidy Administration to a Private, Centralized System: Implications for Child Care Stability in Maryland

Research BriefEarly ChildhoodSep 1 2017

The state of Maryland recently made a major change in its administration of the federal child care subsidy program. Until late 2015, local departments of social services provided case management for families receiving child care subsidies. In late 2015, Maryland shifted case management to a private, centralized system known as Child Care Subsidy Central (CCS Central). Early childhood leaders in Maryland made this change, in part, to promote more stable child care arrangements for children receiving subsidies.

This brief explores whether the length of time that families were authorized to receive a child care subsidy (i.e., the eligibility period), or the length of the vouchers children received for each child care arrangement, were longer after the shift to CCS Central. Given that families in Maryland are more likely to leave the child care subsidy program at the end of their eligibility or voucher period,these two indicators offer an early look at how centralization may affect the stability of subsidized child care.