Patterns and predictors of childcare subsidies for children with and without special needs

Amanda L Sullivan, Elyse M. Farnsworth, Amy R Susman-Stillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-228
Number of pages11
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by a grant from the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (Grant No: 90YE0166 ), an office of the Administration for Children and Families in the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Childcare
  • Developmental delay
  • Special needs
  • Subsidy


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