The need for high-quality child care has increased dramatically over the past several decades. Indeed, child care has become a critical support to allow millions of parents nationwide to work, go to school or receive training. Access to quality child care can also support the healthy development of children. At the same time, the cost of child care is significant, making it difficult for low-income families to afford. Without access to affordable, high-quality child care, low-income families can struggle to find work or
pursue education, and children may lose out on their full potential.
This policy brief focuses on access to child care through child care subsidy programs and state policies choices that better assist low-income working families; WPFP recognizes the importance of quality child care but that issue is not explicitly addressed here. The brief outlines barriers to accessing the subsidy for low-income families, reviews state policies that increase access to the subsidy and offers various recommendations states can take to support increased access.
Read the Brief (PDF)
The Future of Work for Low-Income Workers and Families
Headlines abound with “the future of work” and all the promise, challenges, excitement, fear and uncertainty working people feel about what will happen to their jobs and their ability to earn a living in the next decade and beyond. Many who write on this topic view today’s economic transformation as on par with previous economic disruptions such as the Industrial Revolution.
This brief outlines five primary policy areas that frame an array of issues and problems advocates and policymakers should examine as they contemplate the future of work, particularly for low-income workers.
Millions of American breadwinners work hard to support their families. But, despite their effort, almost one in three working families are mired in low-wage jobs that provide inadequate benefits and offer little opportunity for advancement and economic security. Compounding the problem are public policies that do not adequately prepare workers to advance to higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs or promote the creation of quality jobs.
The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) was launched in 2002 by national philanthropic leaders who saw the need to strengthen state policies affecting these working families. This national initiative is now supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce and Kresge foundations. WPFP focuses on the states because their policies and investments critically affect the lives of working families.
The WPFP is active in 22 states and the District of Columbia. In each state the WPFP partners with one or more nonprofit organizations to strengthen state policies to better prepare America's working families for a more secure economic future.
New Retirement Plan for Private Sector Workers Would Strengthen Economic Security in Kentucky (August 2016)
Download the report (pdf)