Proposal to Offset Families’ Child-Care Costs Could Enhance Equity by Dramatically Cutting Poverty Among People of Color Across New England Proposal to Offset Families’ Child-Care Costs Could Enhance Equity by Dramatically Cutting Poverty Among People of Color Across New England

By Marybeth J. Mattingly and Jess Carson

In this brief, authors Beth Mattingly and Jess Carson consider the impact of capping child-care expenses for New Englanders paying out of pocket for child care. Using the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, they find that poverty would decline by 40 percent among New Englanders in families paying for care, if out-of-pocket payments were eliminated for those below their state median income and capped at 7 percent of income for higher-earning families. Absolute reductions would be greatest for Black and Hispanic New Englanders, meaning that such a policy change would also bring their poverty rate closer to rates among white New Englanders, thereby decreasing the racial/ethnic poverty-rate gap.

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