Food Subsidy in Child Care: Correlates of Program Participation and Associations with Child Outcomes

Sanders Korenman, Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY)
Kristin Abner, University of Illinois at Chicago

This study uses the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) to study child care food subsidies under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Because of limited prior research on the CACFP, we address three basic questions: (1) Does CACFP reach targeted low-income children? (2) How do participating families and child care providers differ from non-participating families and providers? (3) How is attending CACFP-participating child care associated with children's food consumption, weight, and food security? Findings include that provider incentives to participate strongly associate with the probability that a child will attend CACFP-participating child care. As a result, provider decisions, in combination with program rules, leave many poor children outside of CACFP. Results also suggest that CACFP may be associated with positive child outcomes such as increased milk consumption and healthier weight.

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Presented in Session 153: Public Policy and Child Outcomes