One goal of childcare subsidies is to increase access to quality childcare for families of low-income, thus supporting child and family wellbeing, but subsidies may not equally benefit children with and without special needs. This study examined patterns and predictors of subsidy use among children with disabilities or delays relative to children without special needs. A nationally representative sample of approximately 4050 young children from families of low-income was drawn from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort. We examined subsidized care receipt at ages nine months, two years, and four years using descriptive analyses and multivariate logistic regression. Results suggest young children with special needs utilize childcare subsidies at significantly lower rates than their peers without disabilities. Mothers' marital status, work status, education, and age, along with child's race and number of siblings were significant predictors of subsidy use. We discuss implications for policy implementation and multisector collaboration to support the early care and education of young children with special needs.
- Developmental delay
- Special needs